Danone, Mars and Ingredion have signed up as founding members of Givaudan’s new innovation platform for the food industry.
Called Mista, the initiative is said to be more encompassing than an incubator or accelerator and aims to enable start-ups and established corporations to optimise ideas, products, people and investments.
Located in San Francisco, Mista will open its physical premises in early 2019. With 7,000 square feet of space, the Mista Optimisation Centre will provide access to a product development facility, equipment for pasteurisation and fermentation, experts providing market and leadership development strategies, as well as input from culinary and food scientists.
Givaudan said that the project will be able to help both large and small companies with scale up, distribution, building a team and searching for partners.
Scott May, vice president of innovation at Givaudan and head of Mista, said: “Mista, which means ‘tasty morsel’ in Sanskrit, is all about the creation of a new business model focused on product innovation and development for the food industry.”
He added: “Today’s food systems are so complex, and the challenges so large that no single company can address them alone, and that’s where the concept of Mista really comes to life.”
The Mista team will target 20 start-ups to bring into the platform within the first year, with roughly ten of those located at its headquarters in San Francisco.
George Graham, vice president of Mars Advanced Research Institute, said: “Collaboration is at the heart of our innovation approach. As one of Mista’s founding members, we are looking forward to partnering with the best and brightest to address some of the food system challenges of our time.”
Takoua Debeche, EVP of research and innovation at Danone North America, said: “Food companies continue to be disrupted at a fast pace with accelerated innovations and changes in the marketplace. To adapt and stay relevant for its current and future consumers, Danone has made growth a priority and is exploring new ways to innovate, alongside with building an agile and creative culture across functions. In such a model, connecting with our communities is a must.
“The Bay Area is without doubt one of the richest ecosystems for food and food tech start-ups and we see Mista as an important outpost for us to connect with a broad community of entrepreneurs, and have the ability to test, learn and iterate around new consumer-centric opportunities. We share the same vision as Mista and we are looking forward to collaborating with innovative partners and start-ups to contribute to create the food systems of the future: healthier for the people and better for the planet.”
Tony DeLio, chief innovation officer at Ingredion, added: “The food industry is changing at an accelerated pace, which brings tremendous opportunities for companies with a technology mindset to drive innovation and growth. The future is about collaboration and we look forward to actively engaging with food companies wherever they are in their stage of growth to help meet changing consumer preferences and market trends. We’re excited to add our expertise in the ingredients space with the capabilities from other leading food companies to pioneer new levels of product innovation with Mista.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019