The Lycka brand by the Hamburg-based purefood start-up has been featuring recently on supermarket shelves. Launched in 2014 by Felix Leonhardt und Sven Perten as frozen yoghurt in stylish Lycka cartons, in 2016 the company added sugar free snack bars to its product range. Their latest vegan product, ice-cream with coconut milk, is now on the market. These ambitious entrepreneurs are aiming high and not simply at lucrative contracts with large retailers. From the start, a percentage of purefood’s turnover has gone towards projects by Welthungerhilfe – a German non-profit aid agency. Hamburg News spoke to founder Sven Perten about this social business model.
Hamburg News: Sven, how did your latest product come about?
Sven: When frozen yoghurt arrived in supermarkets, we received more and more requests for sugar free products and not simply low-calorie and low-fat items. Last year, we met that demand with our snack bar. But developing ice-cream without granulated sugar was by no means easy and coming up with a creamy consistency proved a challenge. After many tests and rounds of feedback, led by our food technologist, Jana, we finally came up with a solution and began producing ice-cream with coconut milk sweetened only with agave nectar and dextrose. The same applies to our other products – one packet finances a school meal for a child in Burundi.
Hamburg News: Are you planning other products?
Sven: We are on a mission to create an alternative to many supermarket foods that are full of chemicals, pollute the environment and exploit people. We have not met our goal yet with three products. At present, we are developing a drink that will launch on the market this summer. Not all of our products will be available solely from purefood GmbH in future. Spin-off companies will be responsible for new products. That is our long-term plan. To begin with, we wish to become profitable by the end of this year.
Hamburg News: Where did you get the idea for Lycka?
Sven: We had the idea for Lycka as students in a shared kitchen. My flatmate at the time, Felix, is now my business partner and he has always been a health food advocate. My parents, who are both yoga teachers and their lifestyle, have shaped me. The real impetus for developing such a product came during a seminar on social entrepreneurship that I attended during a term in Seattle. On my return to Germany, Felix and I developed the concept of Lycka. That opened doors for us at Welthungerhilfe. A similar co-operation with Viva con Agua had gone well for the organisation. So we established the collaboration with Welthungerhilfe before our first frozen yoghurt appeared on supermarket shelves.
Hamburg News: Your Instagram account shows photographs of children in Burundi alongside lifestyle posts by apparently carefree foodies. Do they go together?
Sven: The consumption of artificial or non fair-trade food is responsible for many global problems. We want to bring young people in contact with these issues via Lycka. That is best achieved with lifestyle issues by influencers on Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook. Although, they may appear unsuited at first glance, a closer look reveals a sensible strategy.
Interview by Christin Apenbrink
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