Baouw Organic Nutrition, a French brand of sports nutrition launched last year, has already reached the shelves of about 400 stores and is preparing to launch in sports and outdoor stores on a more international scale. The brand stands out with a range of entirely organic, vegan and gluten-free recipes, with support from an acclaimed French chef and a specialist in sports nutrition.
Baouw was launched by Rémi Forsans, who has a long track record in the action sports and outdoor industry – most recently as secretary general of the Outdoor Sports Valley (OSV), which he has helped to build up for the last six years. Forsans teamed up with Gilles Galoux, former marketing manager for major food conglomerates. They want to add another dimension to sports nutrition, with a range of tasty and easily digestible French-made products.
The duo teamed up with an award-winning chef, Yoann Conte, who currently boasts two Michelin stars, and has its products made in the Alps. Benoît Nave, the company's sports coach and nutritionist, set guidelines for Baouw to make products adjusted for gender and type of activity. Baouw has also adopted a somewhat offbeat communication strategy, focusing on people who enjoy activities such as surfing, skating and kayaking.
A key point for the partners was to move away from sugar-loaded sports nutrition. After extensive analysis of other products in the market, Baouw opted for ingredients that are organic and partly cooked raw, without eggs, at a temperature that doesn't destroy the benefits of the ingredients. The nutritional bars are particularly compact, weighing in at just 30 grams for about 100 calories.
Formally established at the start of 2017, the company started delivering in April and has since sold about 200,000 bars. The target has been set at 800 points of sale and 600,000 bars for 2018, including salty recipes that have yet to be launched. They will be based on ingredients such as beetroot and sweet potato, potentially mixed with fruit.
The distribution for the time being consists primarily of organic food stores such as Biocoop, Naturalia and Bio Monde, but the brand has also been taken up by prominent outdoor and sports retailers such as Au Vieux Campeur, Espace Montagne and Snowleader. The company aims to expand in other European countries, from Belgium and the Netherlands to Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Austria, as well as the U.S. market.
The launch comes as the steady growth in demand for healthier nutrition is drawing sizeable investment from the food industry. Just a few weeks ago, Kellogg agreed to pay $600 million for RX Bar, which was projected to reach sales of $120 million in 2017. Another recent investment by Mars in Kind bars valued the target at about $4 billion, as reported by The New York Times.
The majority of Baouw's shares is held by the four founders, and the remainder is spread between eight investors.