Monday, 13 December 2021

LOAT-al Hero?

 One of my very first posts about new brands on Extrawurst had a look at the (then) phenomenon that was mymuesli . This was back in 2008 when Facebook was a novelty and personalisation meant getting your name engraved on a pen, or something. The idea of mass customisation seemed a brave new world indeed, and for quite a few years afterwards I held this up as a favourite when it came to new, start-up brands, maybe because it wasn’t, productwise, in the tech field.

mymuesli is no longer a start-up, more part of the establishment, although a quick flit around the website revealed a rather sad notice that they no longer deliver to the UK “due to Brexit.” And once you’re establishment, there are always young pretenders yapping around in the hope of seizing your crown.

Enter another duo of young German chaps with a good idea. Philipp Reif and Tim Horn have backgrounds as IT specialists (at Deutsche Bank and Telekom) and sportsmen, who saw a gap in the market for quick-to-prepare healthy breakfasts. They introduced Oatsome Smoothie Bowls in 2017 -  an idea that’s part mymuesli, part Huel, part Ben & Jerry’s (note the quirky flavour names). With their background, it’s no surprise that Philipp, Tim and their colleagues develop recipes as one would develop software - testing and learning, failing fast, and all that stuff. Proof that this can work for the traditional food industry?

The company seems to be doing well so far. Sales are in the 10s of millions of €s, the company is profitable, and they have hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers. According to this article, they are learning from mymuesli’s mistakes of rushing offline and expanding too quickly. And I’m proud to say they come from just down the road, on the Hanauer Landstrasse.

It’ll be very interesting to see - in another 13 years - what has become of both of these brands. But maybe I’m now showing my age in that longevity may not be the aspiration these days.

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