Kraft Heinz looks to disrupt the food industry, dishes out US$100m

Kraft Heinz has launched Evolv Ventures, a venture fund that will invest in emerging tech companies transforming the food industry. Kraft Heinz committed up to US$100 million to Evolv Ventures and brought on venture investor Bill Pescatello to lead the fund. Pescatello brings more than a decade of successful venture investing experience at two leading venture funds to Kraft Heinz.

Bernardo Hees, CEO at Kraft Heinz said, "New technological innovations in the food industry create endless new opportunities to strengthen business models. Through Evolv Ventures, we will work with tomorrow’s most innovative founders and companies in the space, and use the full resources of Kraft Heinz to help them succeed."

While Kraft Heinz has a long history of developing iconic brands including Philadelphia, Heinz and Oscar Mayer, the new fund will accelerate the company’s exposure to emerging technologies and businesses, and better leverage its position in the industry.

“At Evolv Ventures, we will move beyond brands to have a committed first look at our industry’s most promising and disruptive tech-enabled companies,” said Pescatello. “With the insights, data and access available at Kraft Heinz, we look to take full advantage of our unique position and be the foremost value-added investor in the space.”

Meanwhile in Asia, the Kraft Heinz Company has appointed Karina Ong as its chief marketing officer for the Asia Pacific region. Based in Singapore, she will lead the growth agenda for the brands and spearhead the long-term innovation pipeline for Kraft Heinz portfolio in the zone. As CMO, Ong also joins the Kraft Heinz regional leadership team, reporting directly to Rodrigo Wickbold, Kraft Heinz APAC president.

Ong brings to the team close to 18 years of consumer marketing experience at the regional and global level. Prior to joining Kraft Heinz, she was with Unilever where she held several roles, the latest as global brand development director for Pond’s. Prior to Unilever, Ong was also responsible for leading key brand and marketing teams at Johnson & Johnson and Lux Asia.