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Supernutural GmbH sells their self-produced nut cream machines to companies and offers monthly subscription to their customers in cooperation with local farmers, therefore, helping with SDG 15. They also reduce food waste, packages, and do not need any additives for their nut products. Their nut cream is sustainable, 100% natural, and healthy.
Supernutural GmbH was founded by Amelie Sperber and Timo Sperber in 2015 and is based in Munich. The married couple started the company together without investors or crowdfunding and had common jobs before starting the company. Together Supernutural came up with a business plan. Freshly pressed nut cream! Originally, Supernutural wanted to import a machine from the United States, "but Supernutural [found they] were incredibly expensive, only made of plastic, and didn't even work with the electricity grid [in Europe]”, annotated Amelie Sperber on the initial problems Supernutural encountered. “And then we just couldn't let go of it and at some point, Timo, my husband, said it can't be that difficult to build such a thing, ourselves” justified the CEO. After that decision Timo Sperber started to build the machine. Their machine is built of long-lasting materials, mostly stainless steel and oak wood instead of plastics, and is adapted to 230 Volt electricity-grid, that is predominant in Germany and Europe.
The mission of Supernurtural is to raise awareness about living and eating healthily and to give the opportunity to do so, all while being a sustainable business that wants to inspire other companies to be more sustainable, as well. That is the reason why Supernutural has chosen a product-as-a-service-model for their business: instead of buying and owning one of the nut processing machines, customers pay for the use of the machine and the nuts. This results in a lower consumption of raw materials that would be needed if every customer had to own a machine in order to get their nutritional snack.
“You are, what you eat” tells Amelie Sperber, implying a healthy and balanced nutrition is key to personal performance and wellbeing. This is their way to differentiate themselves from competitors, guaranteeing them a unique position in the nut cream market. By changing the way people can obtain the nut cream in general, it helps them and the world in terms of sustainability. Often there is an interest or desire for certain types of food everyone has, but how long does it last? So, there is a huge potential of food waste. To avoid this risk, Supernutural made the decision to produce their cream locally and only on demand. Supernutural sells or rents these machines to grocery stores, hotels, and even professional sports teams. But this is not everything Supernutural offer. “[…] for us it's not just the machine, but also the nuts in the meantime, because we also offer the nuts, also sustainably sourced directly from farmers within short distances, only from our latitudes. Everything comes from Europe and Africa, but we don't have anything from Asia or America, because we simply say that the footprint has to fit somewhere here too,” Amelie Sperber mentions on their product offering. So, customers already have nuts Supernutural can offer to their own customers. In principle, however, the machine works with every kind of nut and, therefore, is not limited to the nut’s origin, making it viable all over the world. According to the CEO, “It was a matter of course, that our business is sustainable. I believe in our business-plan, sustainability wasn’t a key topic”. Therefore, their idea was sustainable, but Supernutural believed in the business plan, regardless of a focus on sustainability.
During a vacation in the United States in 2014, the founders experienced a lot of freshly pressed nut cream, loved the taste, and decided that people in Germany also deserved such an experience. “And it was so incredibly tasty that we thought to ourselves: "Why is it that in Europe we only ever make the stuff in jars in the factory?”, asked Amelie Sperber, herself. From then on they wanted to become pioneers in the market of freshly pressed nut cream in Europe, because there were no other competitors at that time. The founders wanted to raise awareness in the field of eating healthily and educate people on how to do that. Moreover, they had the goal to offer people the chance to be sustainable in their everyday life and show that sustainability can be part of everything in our lives. “Sustainability actually starts with our own food. It's not just mobility, it starts with the very small things we eat every day. This is actually the biggest lever for sustainability.” “You can simply make nut cream from nuts,” explained Amelie Sperber. The idea of nut cream, which is only produced on demand and does not have any additions like palm fat, emulsifiers, or other artificial components fascinated them so much, they made some life changing decisions. Often, there is an interest or desire for certain types of food everyone has, but how long does it last? So, there is a huge potential of food waste, because of packaging. To avoid this risk, the founders made the decision to produce their cream locally and only on demand. The potential of the innovation has already been recognized. For instance, in 2020 Supernutural won the German Sustainability Award. Additionally, the EIT from the European Union invested in the company, showing trust in the innovation and its future. This keeps them motivated every day.
Without the innovation, Supernutural would not exist today. Their choice to create a sustainable nut cream machine helps them today in the number of sales. Sustainability is a topic which was not that popular when Supernutural was founded, but gained a lot of momentum during the last years. More customers are taking sustainability into account during the buying process. So, the demand of the customers exists and will only increase over the next few years. With this ever-growing demand in society, the interest of hotels, universities, and bakeries must increase as well, resulting in more potential customers for Supernutural. “That's why it's more of a holistic interpretation for us and also our clients really use it for their own sustainability strategy because every company wants to become sustainable,” commented Amelie Sperber on the ever-growing demand.
The sustainability of the company's sourcing, production, and distribution is one of the main factors that set it apart from others in the market. Supernutural sources their nuts directly from local farmers who are certified organic. Additionally, all their machines are made 100% in Germany, using high-quality and resource materials for a long service life and are also CE standard certified (Sperber 2021).
Good nutrition does not get the attention it deserves. Nuts normally are seen as a very healthy snack., because of their vegetable fat sources, which are considered healthy. But why are conventional nut creams considered unhealthy? This is due to their nutrition values. “[…] freshly pressed nut cream doesn't need any palm fat, no emulsifiers, nothing that would adulterate this food and it doesn't need any artificial preservation either” Amelie Sperber said on the advantages of their innovation, resulting in a completely unique and natural taste. Customers are still able to enjoy nut cream, but way healthier and with better nutrition values.
The society also benefits from great and healthy nutrition. “With the machine, we generate such an ‘aha’ experience: ‘What do I eat otherwise? Where do you get that? What's in it […] Supernutural really started to change their eating habits all at once.” Amelie Sperber commented on the change of general food selection and awareness. A lessening of people with obesity or diabetes contributes to less stress on medical infrastructure which allows the medical field to perform better and, therefore, contribute more to society.
Actively reaching the UN Sustainability Developing Goals is a big part of the company leaders’ mission: Supernutural works towards SDG goal 2, as they partnered with hospitals in Ethiopia to address malnutrition and undernourishment. “Issue two is also very important, no hunger. We are also in Ethiopia with our machines in hospitals for malnutrition and undernourishment. So, where explicitly the children in Ethiopia who would actually get nut cream from UNICEF are” stated Amelie Sperber on their contribution to SDG 2. In terms of SDG goals, Supernutural GmbH supports SDG Goal 15. Supernutural promotes organic farming by working together with organic nut farmers and, in addition, created a business model which Supernutural calls “nuts as a service”. Supernutural has monthly subscriptions with their customers so Supernutural can buy nuts on a regular basis, which represents a purchase guarantee for them. Also, farmers can plan accordingly since Supernutural knows their annual stock will be processed into nut cream (Interview Sperber 2022).
Furthermore, Supernutural is matching SDG 8 “decent work and economic growth”. Supernutural does not take away jobs in their region by manufacturing the grinders themselves, instead Supernutural strengthens the local economy and work hand in hand with businesses from the region: “[…] For example, we have regional craft enterprises here that enable sustainable production. Because the added value stays in the region. We don't take away anyone's jobs either, but we strengthen the region and the added value somewhere[…]” Amelie commented. Additionally, Supernutural also created jobs. As the company grew there was a need for more employees, starting out with the two founders in 2015. Supernutural meanwhile consists of 15 people and is still expanding. Despite aiming for sustainability goals as a start-up company, Amelie Sperber, CEO of Supernutural GmbH, told us in an interview that their company has seven digits in sales but keeps reinvesting most of their profits, because they are still in the growth stage.
As a market leader in this industry, they have customers and partners worldwide from over 25 nations, some of which are world leading brands such as FC Bayern, Audi, Porsche, SAP, Marc O´Polo, Deloitte, Ministry of Health Belgium, Edeka, Rewe, and many others. Companies use these appliances to produce fresh nut cream for their workers, so they can be as healthy as possible, resulting to less sick days and having gernerally more energy in their workforce. In addition, they gain happier workers, since they offer them a more balanced food selection After recognizing the importance of sustainability in society, they tried to improve their communication and marketing, “And at some time, sustainability gained more importance on the market. This led to the decision to increase our communication regarding sustainability because we never did so,” noted Amelie Sperber. With an ever-increasing communication and demand in society for sustainability, the sales of their innovation should increase as well.
Freshly pressed nut cream is very different to its competitors in taste and nutritional values; creating a unique experience. “The final product is disruptive for a lot of other products on the market […]” commented Amelie Sperber on the uniqueness of their product.
The ability to produce everywhere in the world with regionally available nuts turns this into a very sustainable innovation.
After a good start into the European market, they have the potential to expand into other countries. Their already-built machines with 110 Volt connection, enabled them to enter countries like the United States with a big market for nut cream.
Freshly pressed nut cream is a great food for athletes because they normally are not allowed to eat nuts. “It’s really that your metabolism is blocked because the nuts are in your stomach for 15 hours and your body just wants to get rid of them and it's just busy with the nuts and all the energy is in your stomach but not in your head,” explained Amelie Sperber, "the use of nuts in professional sports settings.” […] But it is also viable in other scenarios like studying for an exam. The nuts have lower bioavailability – a term that refers to the proportion of a food`s nutrients that our bodies can absorb and use – compared to other foods, because of their tough structure. That hardness is due to their rigid cell walls. Pressed nut cream disrupts plant cell walls; that is why protein, fat, and carbohydrates that are located inside the nut can easily be absorbed from our body.
Another point is that society gets a healthy product, which has a positive effect on health and performance. Supernutural is also committed to promoting education in the field of healthy nutrition. For this purpose, workshops are also offered, especially in schools, to educate future generations, "we are also heavily involved in the German Sustainability Award for nutrition as a school subject” the founder pointed out.
Older people in retirement homes can benefit from this innovation, as well. “[…] we have now the first retirement home. Normally when you're an old person and you can't chew anymore and you just don't have much energy you're given high calorie glucose shots, that's just pure sugar where your insulin curve rises and then drops off rapidly. So that brings nothing. We are actually quite happy that we can counteract this.” said Amelie Sperber.
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Amelie Sperber, CEO
Supernutural GmbH sells its self-developed nut cream machines to companies and offers a monthly subscription service in collaboration with local farmers. This helps to achieve SDG 15 (Life on Land) by supporting sustainable agriculture practices. The company also reduces food waste and packaging. Its nut products do not require any additives. The nut cream produced by Supernutural GmbH is sustainable, 100% organic, and healthy.