Perhaps unsurprisingly, the idea behind OG Krunch’s business – which now generates a turnover of €150,000 a year – stemmed from a joke.
Wanting to give a birthday present to a friend that looked like an enormous bag of cannabis – but wasn’t – Etienne Lallement began experimenting in the kitchen with white chocolate, puffed rice and matcha tea.
The sweets were the surprise hit of the party and Lallement’s friends encouraged the recently-graduated marketing student to commercialise the tongue-in-cheek chocolate.
The founder and sales director of the start-up said: “We realised that there are a lot of confectionery products aimed at young children, such as Haribo, and at older people like Werther’s Original or Ferrero Rocher but nothing specifically for our own age, the 18 to 35-year-olds.”
An initial crowdfunding campaign raised €8000, which allowed the four entrepreneurs to develop the range of appropriately-named flavours: Peanut Haze, Purple Pot, Critical Seed with roasted hemp seeds and Coco Bud with coconut.
“We spent one year finding the right recipe that gives the right texture, colour and taste.”
OG Krunch now sells in France and exports to Belgium, Switzerland, Spain, the Netherlands and California in the US through distributors.
All of the 1,500 SKUs that OG Krunch produces each week are still hand-made, however, and it is currently looking for ways to scale up to meet the growing demand.
Producing bigger volumes while still getting the same texture has been difficult.
“This is our current challenge. We are trying to meet people who can help us find a way to scale up while keeping the same texture and appearance – food engineers for example – at events like this.”