Onami Food (35). A pioneer in the production and sale of 100% vegan marine products

Charles Fouquet and Benjamin Devos were among the first to enter the market for 100% vegan marine products, made from seaweed, herbs and cereals. In May 2021, they created Onami Foods in Rennes, with a desire to change our consumption patterns for a better food ecosystem. After one year of R&D, in May 2022 they started marketing their first line of products to supermarket and restaurant chains. Very good reception. The duo is aiming for 1,500 points of sale and a turnover of 3 million euros by the end of 2023. The fundraiser is in preparation. ” Our ultimate goal is to build a production plant in Brittany by the end of 2024 says Benjamin Devos, co-founder and CEO.

Charles Fouquet and Benjamin Devos lived in Brittany before leaving to train twenty years ago at a hotel school in Lausanne. ” That’s where we met said Benjamin. Then everyone steered their boats. The first to travel the world and rise one by one in the hospitality industry to finish as F&B Director with a large group in Singapore. In search of a better balance between his professional life and his family life, he created, on the spot, a cheese factory then a bistro business before integrating them. food import and export companys for the CHR sector. Turnover increased from 10 to 50 million euros.

In mid-2019, Covid arrived in Asia and brought with it restaurant closures. The businessman left Singapore and returned to Brittany where he worked for a year on a digital platform project within the Le Duff group. It was during this period that he made contact with his friend Benjamin. ” He thought of an innovative project around 100% vegan products made from seaweed. He asked if I wanted to join. I’ll go first he explained. After hotel school in Lausanne, the latter went to China where he successfully established a bakery chain.. “ In 2019, when I sold most of my stock due to Covid, my network had 26 stores. I immediately returned to Brittany. »

A fateful encounter with Hervé Balusson

In early 2021, the pair set about perfecting their project: how to make “gourmet” “no fish” and with tantalizing nutritional claims? “The idea above all is not to eliminate consumption of our beloved fish and shellfish, but to offer alternatives to avoid resource depletion and conserve biodiversity. » The first market study reported 3,600 companies offering “meatless steaks” but only 17 alternative products to fish.You should know that in 2021, most are in the R&D stage and most are installed in the United States or the Netherlands..” With the help of Breton seaweed transformation pioneer, Hervé Balusson (Olmix), they decided to launch seafood by finding new sources of plant protein to replace marine animal species.

“Clean Label” products.

Innovation is about bet on rice and chickpeas, not wheat or soy. A much more controversial material with a lighter carbon footprint. Added to this are iodized products, Breton seaweed. Onami Foods was born in May 2021 in Rennes. The duo is joined by Amélie Catelot, biologist in charge of product innovation and development. The first recipes in the form of steaks, fillets, burgers and nuggets were developed. “ Ravioli and prawns are being prepared. Failed to find a vegan factory in France, production is now done in the Netherlands. We are the only ones who respect “Clear label”. Thanks to the seaweed, we found a solution not to use no excess ingredients, no chemical additives, soy or palm oil. We filed a patent. »

€3 million in revenue by the end of 2023

After six months of marketing, U-Express, Franprix and Carrefour distribute Onami products. The launch was first carried out in Paris to learn how to control logistics flows. An agreement was also recently signed with Intermarche. Until the end of the year, the company is aiming for a target of 1,500 sales points. ” We have participated in many exhibitions and hosted many tasting operations. This is important: from the moment people taste our products, they are convinced. This is especially true among those under 35 years of age. We are starting to generate a little turnover and we are targeting 3 million euros by the end of 2023.” To meet its goals, the couple relies on investing 1 million euros per year. Onami Foods also works with catering groups such as Pokawa, la Criée or Hank Burger.

Production plant in Brittany by the end of 2024

If the company is based in Rennes, the duo is now hosted in Paris, within Smart Food Paris, an innovation platform dedicated to food:conditions are ideal and primarily our buyers are based in Paris. » Comprised of a dozen people, the team should grow significantly in the coming months. . ” We recruited about twenty people, mostly sales staff and an HR manager. We also set up a fundraiser with a conglomerate of 4 investment funds. Our ultimate goal is to build, by the end of 2024, a production plant in Brittany concluded Onami Foods Co-founder and CEO Benjamin Davos.

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