nu organics GmbH, a young start-up from Dresden, wants to replace sugar bombs in bar form with nutrient-rich low-carb alternatives. “We tested raw vegetarian products that boost concentration incredibly,” says Christian Fenner, the company’s co-founder and marketing head. While on the hunt for healthy snacks, Fenner and his fellow students discovered some interesting raw materials during a term spent on exchange in the UK. Following a thorough investigation, they were impressed by two candidates: raw cocoa and hempseed. Combining these two natural bio-ingredients to produce the nucao chocolate bar resulted in a true bundle of energy. That encouraged the inventors to apply for a grant from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy via their university in Aachen. As a result, nucao became one of the first food start-ups to receive the EXIST grant. “The stage was set for the first chocolate bar thought out on scientific principles,” says Fenner proudly.
Together with food chemist Dr Tom Teichert and in collaboration with the university institutes at RWTH Aachen and the University of Jena, the founders developed a product in the category of “Natural Functional Food”. Their innovative approach has already raked in numerous prizes: in 2017, nucao picked up the “Next Organic Startup Award”, the “FreeFrom Award” and the “Natural Organic Award Scandinavia”.
“At nucao we avoid all refined sugar and synthetic additives,” says Fenner, explaining their marketing strategy. “That puts us in a new niche between food supplements, muesli bars and chocolate.” The young entrepreneurs are focusing on nutrition-conscious consumers as their target group, those who would like to enjoy chocolate but without the guilt. Their bars will also be of interest to vegans and vegetarians. Two new varieties, barberry and hazelnut, will be introduced at BIOFACH 2018, alongside the existing espresso and coconut cinnamon.
nucao (www.nucao.de) is one of the exhibitors at the Young Innovative Companies Pavilion, which is sponsored by the German Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWI) and is aimed at newcomers and start-ups in Germany. A total of 20 companies will introduce themselves in Hall 9 at BIOFACH, the World’s Leading Trade Fair for Organic Food (www.biofach.de), from 14 to 17 February 2018.