Shape Your Future With Robert Jakobi CEO and Founder of BOU
BOU is an innovative company that could disrupt the food industry with its innovative products. Today we are speaking with the CEO and Founder of BOU Robert Jakobi, who will help us understand more about the company and how their main product, “the cubes”, are prepared.
You, yourself, are the CEO and Founder of BOU, what inspired you to start this business?
Robert Jakobi: Having worked in food and business for several years in the UK, I knew from my years of study across the pond that the US had a lot to offer food entrepreneurs.
I saw an opportunity to revamp a section of the supermarket that had not seen innovation in a very long time, the bouillon cube aisle. Born out of a need to help people rediscover the joy of cooking, BOU results in meals that are both packed with flavor while being convenient and easy to prepare that the entire family can enjoy. Perfect for cooks of all skill levels, our products are made in the US, contain 30% less salt than other leading brands and are made from non-GMO and artificial-free ingredients.
Within three months of launch in May 2017, BOU was stocked at major retailers across the country including Whole Foods, Kroger, Wegmans, Safeway/Albertson’s, Amazon and 6,000 more retailers. We are now also available at Walmart and recently launched a new and innovative Garlic Bouillon Cube which is great for eliminating messy garlic prep.
What is the founding story of BOU? How complicated has it been to find investors willing to support your project?
R. J. : The idea to create a healthier bouillon cube first came to me in 2015. I was living in the UK but my now-wife was in New York. During one of my trips to see her, she made a home-made chicken soup with a bouillon cube. Upon closer inspection of the label and noting the ingredients, I was shocked by the amount of sodium in it. When she told me that she didn’t have time to make the broth from scratch and that there was basically only one brand to choose from at the grocery store, it dawned on me that an entire section of the supermarket was in dire need of a shakeup.
I wouldn’t say finding investment is ever easy, however, I had a proven track record of success behind me which definitely helped. Between 2011 and 2014, my previous company, Metcalfe’s Food Company, was the fastest-growing privately-owned food and drink company in the UK. In 2015 I also launched a spinoff brand, Metcalfe’s Skinny, a leading premium popcorn brand that was acquired by Snyder’s (owner of Kettle Chips) in 2016. This certainly made it easier $7.8 million in investment.
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What do you think about the future of the food industry? Do you see any specific trend that you find particularly exciting?
R. J. : The demand for plant-based products is huge right now and companies like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat are really riding that wave. With that in mind, we are seeing a lot of people adopt a flexitarian diet, not quite giving up on meat but eating less of it which is why we are continuing to expand our lineup to encompass more vegetarian and vegan-friendly options like our Miso Broth Cubes and our newest Garlic Bouillon Cube.
It’s also exciting to see more and more people returning to cooking rather than eating out as often or ordering takeout. They are rediscovering the enjoyment in making a meal yourself which is what gets us excited at BOU. Our range is perfect for amateur cooks through to professional chefs because we are flavor-packed and convenient.
What future do you see for BOU? How do you see your company in five years from now?
R. J. : We’re honestly only just getting started! Five years from now, I see BOU in every household pantry as a flagship kitchen staple item like ketchup and salt are today.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here by Impakter.com columnists are their own, not those of Impakter.com