Puratos unveils Sparkalis venture championing SME ingredients innovations
Puratos global confectionery and bakery ingredients group has unveiled its latest venture, Sparkalis, support innovation in the food tech sector, reports Neill Barston.
The initiative aims to support the development of innovative products, services and solutions, as well as acting as a catalyst for collaboration with emerging enterprises and SMEs operating across the industry.
As the business explained, Sparkalis will both be a start-up incubator and a provider of direct investment. Its flexible approach means it can offer scalable support to accelerate business growth for food tech innovators.
Even start-ups with the most exciting new innovations often lack support in the ‘seed’ or ‘pre-seed’ phase to turn their ideas into scalable products, which this new fund will be able to support. As its name suggests, Sparkalis will be able to support excellence in innovation, empowering start ups to move from the ‘chrysalis’ stage, to actualisation/ full scale development., Sparkalis will focus on collaborations that will help make baked goods healthier and more sustainable. Investments will include projects on plant-based products, fermentation and digitalisation. The venture will also support manufacturing ideas.
Building on Puratos’ rich history and experience, Sparkalis will be able to quickly kick-start innovative ideas and bring them to market to the benefit of bakers, pâtissiers and chocolatiers around the world. A global network of almost 100 experts is ready to quickly assess projects and personally mentor the most promising start-ups. Each supported project will be mentored by a dedicated Puratos specialist to maximise the success of the original innovative ideas becoming commercial concrete successes. The business has delivered a number of key recent innovations, including last summer’s release of its Satin20 sugar reduction line for bakers (pictured main image), with the business anticipating that its latest initiative will help deliver an enhanced range of ingredients for the industry.
The new venture will provide holistic expertise in product development, global scaling of market-ready solutions, support on regulatory requirements, and training opportunities. Sparkalis will also provide partners’ access to Puratos’ own Taste Tomorrow research programme, the world’s largest ‘always-on’ scheme for in-depth insights into global and local consumer behaviours in bakery, patisserie and chocolate.
As the company reflects, its origins began life in a Belgian garage over 100 years ago with the ambition of simplifying the lives of bakers and confectioners. A century later that ambition remains unchanged. Sparkalis underscores the company’s commitment to innovation, which in recent years has seen the development of projects like Bakeronline, a start-up that that allows bakers to create free personalised web shops.
Filip Arnaut, Managing Director of Sparkalis and R&D Director at Puratos said: “Sparkalis was born out of a deep desire to support inspiring food tech pioneers and build success stories together. Sparkalis underscores Puratos’ continued commitment to driving innovation to create a healthier and more sustainable ‘foodprint’ around the world”.
Sophie Blum, Managing Partner at Sparkalis and Chief Marketing Officer at Puratos commented: “Sparkalis is looking for the future changemakers among start-ups in the bakery, patisserie and chocolate sectors. Our team of global experts, each with their own professional background, is excited to transform their visions into successful business realities. This venture provides the perfect growing soil to discover the next big innovation in food while relying on Puratos’ century-long R&D, network and consumer understanding.”