On the mission to make ketogenic food accessible and tasty for everyone - Meet KETOFAKTUR
We recently had an opportunity to sit down with Christiane Wader and Marcus Jaeger from KETOFAKTUR - German manufacturer and brand of authentic bread and bread mixes that are all ketogenic, vegan and gluten-free. What initially started as a solution to a founders’ personal need when recovering from cancer, now is being appreciated and enjoyed by people of all demographics and dietary preferences. Read on to learn more about their entrepreneurial journey, products, achievements, challenges and advice to other food startups.
1. Please introduce yourselves and what you were doing before starting KETOFAKTUR?
Behind KETOFAKTUR it’s me, Christiane Wader, Founder, and Marcus Jaeger, CEO. We’re cousins, both 37 years old and before starting KETOFAKTUR each of our careers were in completely different fields: I was in Information Technology & Consulting, and Marcus in Sales & Marketing within the automotive industry.
2. How did you come up with the idea to start KETOFAKTUR?
I (Christiane) started to eat on a ketogenic diet after I was diagnosed with liver metastases from breast cancer back in 2012. At that time it was a real challenge as there were hardly any suitable food products in supermarkets and restaurants. So, I started to bake the keto bread myself at home. After testing multiple ingredient variations and constantly improving the recipe, I reached a formula that was very tasty and authentic - as a real bread should be. Right there, the idea to bring this tasty bread to other people was born.
However, due to my health condition, I knew that I would not be able to run a food startup as I was still recovering from surgery and chemotherapy at that time. I knew that I needed to find a business partner who would do the sales and marketing, while I would develop recipes at home. One day I was on a call with my cousin Marcus, who at that time wanted to switch from the corporate world to a startup, where he would be convinced of the product, as well as open and honest with the customer in sales. It was a match right there and we decided to bring KETOFAKTUR to the market together.
3. What is your main drive and motivation to work on KETOFAKTUR and what does your brand stand for?
When we develop KETOFAKTUR products we always think from the customers perspective, especially the ones with cancer or dietary restrictions. I know many people who have stopped the keto or low carb diet because they were missing authentic, tasty bread as a baseline for their daily food. This serves as a great motivation for us - to manufacture keto bread that works not just as an alternative, but moreover, is delicious, authentic and a healthy product loved by customers of various segments. In addition to that, having all our products gluten-free and vegan is an innovative combination that we are very proud of. Our mission is to make ketogenic food accessible and tasty for everyone and we are achieving that with each customer who has tried KETOFAKTUR products.
4. Tell us more about your product assortment and channels through which you sell them.
Today we have two ready-baked breads: BREAD No38 that is made from lots of walnuts, pumpkin seeds, chia and golden flax seeds, and BREAD No45 - our rye style bread. Both products have 6 weeks long shelf-life and are ketogenic, vegan and gluten-free.
In addition, we just launched a bakery mix that’s suitable for foodservice companies, as well as end consumers who want to bake bread at home. The formula of bakery mix, similarly as our ready-baked bread, is unique as it is the first one on the market that has no added egg, is vegan, gluten-free and ketogenic, and has the authentic taste of a real, delicious bread.
Currently we sell our products via multiple sales outlets - health stores, our online shop, as well as restaurants and coffee shops who are using our bread in their food offering. We have just started to enter retail chains and are looking to expand the number of point of sales in certain retail and high-end foodservice with the help of Vegshelf B2B platform.
5. What is the achievement you are really proud of at Ketofaktur?
The authentic taste and innovative recipe of our products is what makes us stand out, have loyal customers and makes us very proud altogether. It is usually not possible to manufacture bread that is ketogenic, gluten-free, vegan and, most importantly, tastes delicious. So, it took us a long time to develop it until we were completely satisfied. Now we are also proud to bring the same level of innovation and authenticity of taste via the bakery mix.
Also, it’s great that we hardly need to advertise our products as many of customers find their way to us through word of mouth. Over the time, we have built a large fan base that is very loyal and appreciates our products very much.
6. What’s the customer audience for your product?
Customers for KETOFAKTUR products are of different segments, however the unifying aspect is the desire to eat healthy. People with gluten intolerance, diabetes, vegans, athletes and ones on a ketogenic diet find our products perfectly suitable for them. Also, we were very positively surprised by the response from people with celiac disease and gluten intolerance as for many of them KETOFAKTUR was the first authentic and truly delicious bread they have tried in years.
7. What can we expect from KETOFAKTUR in the near future?
Currently we are working tirelessly on three focus areas: improvement of series manufacturing, new product development and sales. We will continue to improve the readiness for series production of our products until we reach perfection. Also, we will extend our product lines, there is a lot in the product development drawer that will be revealed very soon. And, finally we will expand our sales network with the focus on health stores.
8. What has been your biggest challenge so far and what do you need help with right now?
Apart from the time-taking recipe development process, organizing the production and finding the right team with the same motivation and values has been a very time-taking challenge that thankfully we have achieved. Today, one of the biggest challenges we have is to find like-minded investors with whom to work long-term for growth of the company.
9. What’s your advice for other food brands and startups that are just embarking on their journey?
Believing in yourself is crucial for the success of a startup and that’s something we want to wish to those food brands who are just starting. Keep following your dream and don’t give up no matter how many small or big hold-ups will occur.
Full product assortment of KETOFAKTUR for retail and foodservice buyers can be discovered on Vegshelf B2B platform. To see the product info (e.g. price, MSRP, certification, MOQ, label, delivery terms and other) and inquire directly, register here.