Dotted with challenges, but never lacking in determination, discover the origin of OneGum energizing chewing gum.
The OneGum adventure was launched in 2013 by three high school friends, Ludovic, François and Romain. Young graduates, often tired between sports training, travel and demanding first jobs, the three young men were looking for a quick and portable solution to sluggishness and fatigue.
Between the three of them, they developed the miracle recipe: a chewing gum enriched with caffeine and vitamins. This product, which they call OneGum, allows you to carry several doses of energy with you (a pack of chewing gum is equivalent to ten coffees!) in a light and practical format. The icing on the cake: the “chewing gum” format promotes faster absorption of the active ingredients, which pass directly into the bloodstream through the mucous membranes of the mouth.
After a year of R&D...
...and while one of the three partners had to go abroad to complete his studies, Ludovic and Romain threw themselves headlong into the adventure and spent months traveling across France to promote their product in stations -services.
After months of testing, they launched OneGum nationally in 2015, in Total service stations. At the same time, the two friends approached Parisian pharmacies on a daily basis, who were won over by the effectiveness of the product. Subsequently, the Franprix and Monop' brands were in turn convinced by this innovative product.
Approved and validated by athletes
At the end of 2017, OneGum was consumed by players from several Ligue 1 clubs, and by national teams, a real achievement which was covered in the media. The two founders are finally starting to get paid and morale is high.
Building on this enthusiasm for their product, the two friends signed a national distribution agreement with the largest distribution brand in France. The holy grail for any food entrepreneur! They launch production accordingly and raise money to be able to make heavy marketing investments.
The decisive moment
But going from a Parisian presence to a national distribution proves too brutal for the start-up, and 2018 is a real crossroads for young entrepreneurs. The sales teams of foreign multinationals present at the checkout are in fact an obstacle to the presence of French VSE products. Not having the means to hire a team of 20 people to cover the national territory, the two young entrepreneurs are forced to withdraw.
Of the 2000 stores planned, only around a hundred actually sell the young brand's chewing gum. The financial losses are very significant. Disgusted by this aborted national launch and the complexity of mass distribution, one of the two partners left the adventure in November 2018...
Ludovic, the last remaining founder, is faced with a tough choice: give up and close the door, or fight body and soul to save his company?
Ludovic therefore decides to try everything: he takes out a bank loan for which he himself guarantees and rethinks the strategy. Now alone at the helm of the company, and convinced for several months already of the need to radically change approach in order to hope to save OneGum, the young entrepreneur is betting on a new risky strategy. He invested massively in sport, and signed a partnership worth several tens of thousands of euros with Stade de Reims, newly promoted to Ligue 1.
Convinced that consumers are looking for innovative products developed by French start-ups, the young man also decides to launch innovations in a market dominated by American multinationals. He is also focusing on exports, and hiring a new Franco-British general director, Harriet, to carry out these projects.
The bet is risky, but the young entrepreneur is right to follow his instinct: 2019 is the year of renewal, marked by numerous media publications around the use of OneGum products by professional athletes and the explosion of sales on the internet . Harriet's mission is clear: focus everything on sport, accelerate international development and develop new innovative products.
At the end of 2019, turnover doubled compared to the previous year and the start-up launched into the Spanish, Swiss and Norwegian markets with export results representing almost 40% of sales, compared to less than 5% in 2018. Building on this turnaround, the start-up faces the future with confidence and plans to continue its international expansion with the launch of new countries.
The OneGum family is growing with the arrival of OneBoost and OneKids food supplements. Today, there is a whole team behind these innovative confectioneries.
Our (penultimate) appearance on TV