Who are you and what do you do?
We, Andreas (29, industrial engineer), Sarah (29, doctorate in financial mathematics) and Thomas (56, tax consultant), are the Gipfelpuls founders. We’re athletic, like to be out in nature and all of us are true connoisseurs. That was how, after quite a few bad buys and disappointing snacks, we came up with the idea to create something that covered all of our needs:
- Energy for doing sports,
- a healthy and tasty snack and
- substantial brain food for working.
All three benefits are rarely offered all together. The food science key turned out to be using high-quality nuts and seeds not in small amounts as garnish, but as the base for the snack instead.
Whether for your heart, blood pressure or brain: All nuts have different positive properties to offer your body, are nutritious, provide energy and, despite their high calorie content, have been proven not to be fattening. In Germany, only three grams of nuts are consumed as opposed to the recommended 20 to 25 grams. We think that’s because mixed nuts are often boring on the one hand and inconvenient to eat on the other because they aren’t offered in a compact form. Our Gipfelpuls nut bites are round, compact and a tasty highlight thanks to the base, which is a combination of dried fruit and spices.
Not many – but high-quality – ingredients
But that’s already been done!
As if. If you look at the alternatives on the market that advertise their products with nuts, then what you’ll usually find are products based on dates or oats that have just a tiny portion of nuts.
Dates not only have a very specific and intense flavor – they’re also very sweet. If you use dates as the base, that makes it necessary to have a pasty consistency for manufacturing. That’s not everyone’s cup of tea and is far from being a good nut snack.
There are, however, some real nut bars here and there on the market. We were really excited to have found them in the beginning. But when we tried them, we unfortunately realized that you couldn’t taste the natural flavor of the nuts anymore because the binding agent that was holding the ingredients together simply tasted too sweet.
Thanks to a specialized machine, we’re able to manufacture our nut bites with up to 70 percent less binding agent but still make them soft and chewy. By the way, we use rice syrup as our binding agent because it’s 100 percent glucose. Unlike honey or agave nectar, rice syrup isn’t metabolized in the liver, but goes right into the bloodstream, which is the quickest and fastest way the body can convert it into energy.
Gipfelpuls nut bites are made up of just a few, high quality ingredients and do not contain any oats or dates. Thanks to the compact ball shape, they’re great for dividing up into helpings and sharing with friends — assuming you want to give any away.
The biggest challenge: increased brand awareness
What was your biggest challenge so far?
Our first major challenge was establishing our own manufacturing facilities with all of the regulations and certificates so we could manufacture the products according to our vision. Now our biggest challenge is to increase awareness of our brand and to assert ourselves as an honest and healthy alternative to the major players. The market just keeps changing — people are becoming more aware and sustainability-oriented and want to have products that are in sync with their own beliefs — without being tricked by deceptive packaging. We think that’s exactly what we have to offer.
Now let’s get down to the nitty-gritty: How is business going?
When we started in November, we were amazed to see how successful our product was thanks to Christmas sales. 1,500 packages were sold in one week, and we almost couldn’t produce them fast enough. Now our manufacturing processes are all in tune and we’ve hired a colleague for production so we can concentrate on expanding sales.
What does Munich mean to you?
Munich means diversity, opportunity and energy to us. All three of us are originally from the Eifel region. It’s beautiful there, no doubt about it. Nonetheless, we were looking for a big city that is teeming with life – one that’s in line with our philosophy. And of course being so close to the mountains is a major plus.
“F*** off unicorn”
How will your startup become the next unicorn? Or will we be seeing you at an Epic Fail Night soon?
F*** off unicorn. That’s not what we’re about. We think that anyone who works hard will also be successful over the long term. We’re proud to have created something and to be able to offer a high-quality alternative to the products, which are often bad, from the major players. When we walk through the city and see our products in your hands, it warms our hearts and we know that our work was worthwhile.
What’s your mountain?
We don’t have just one mountain. As “newbie” Munich residents, we have lots of fun thoroughly testing out all the mountains in the area and there’s still always something new to discover.