A few months ago, we were selected to be on the television show "Dans l'oeil du dragon", which aired on Monday, April 17, at 8pm on Radio Canada.
We are triathletes, we come from Montreal, and together we co-founded Näak (a company that makes innovative energy bars made with the most efficient and eco-responsible protein on the planet: cricket protein).
The story begins in March 2016, when Antoine explained to his friends Minh and William the benefits of cricket powder. Indeed, cricket powder is a super food that has exceptional nutritional value, while requiring minimal of energy and resources for its production.
Like the rest of our generation, we are convinced that new consumption habits are needed to meet the major challenges that the food industry is facing, such as pollution and water consumption caused by animal husbandry.
In 2013, the UN published a report entitled 'Edible Insects: Future prospects for food and feed security', which recommended integrating edible insects into human nutrition.
For example, the cricket is a very eco-responsible source of protein. It takes 2000x less water to produce the same amount of cricket protein compared to beef, and it produces 100x less greenhouse gases. In addition, it is very nutritious; the cricket has more protein than beef, it has more calcium than in milk, and more iron than spinach.
So, we immediately understood the immense potential of this protein for all athletes and active people. It was at this point that we decided to create Näak: Nutrition which is Adventurous for Athletes who travel Kilometers. Our one obsession? To democratize the insect diet by demonstrating its effectiveness with athletes.
Since our beginnings, we have wanted to create a movement that brings together a community around sport and nature. We want to go beyond conventional ideas and show that eating insects is cool!
To get to know our products and democratize this new diet, we participated in numerous triathlon, bike, and running events during the summer of 2016. Athletes immediately adhered to the values of Näak and the product: health, performance, and ecology.
We started our production in the kitchens of a restaurant, and we commercialized our first bar in May 2016. We sold over 4,000 hand-made bars and eventually were unable to increase our production capacity. So, we realized that the athletes wanted more!
Faced with this demand, we turned to the community to launch a socio-financing campaign in November 2016 to fund a larger-scale factory production. The campaign was launched on our own website: naakbar.com. Our video was shared over 600 times and viewed more than 75,000 times. In less than half a day, we had achieved 100% of our goal. After 3 weeks of campaign, we had raised more than $14,000 in pre-sales.
In January 2016, we signed an agreement with a co-producer based in Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu, who is now in charge of the production of Näak energy bars. We also started selling Näak bars in sports stores and natural product grocery stores. Today, we are present in more than 120 stores that you can find here.
It was therefore time to present our company and our movement to the panel of Dragons on the French Canadian version of Dragon's Den. It was an unforgettable experience for our entire team.
We would love to tell you more about Näak, so feel free to write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an interview if you work in media person or on email@example.com if you wish to distribute the Näak bars in your store.
More than 4,500 people have already joined us on social media! You should join the movement too and follow us on our Facebook page.