A recipe for growth

Chef Low Cal (CLC) is a pre-revenue, startup that has invented a natural zero-calorie flour substitute which can be used in place of up to 70% of a recipe’s flour requirement.

Chef Low Cal was started by co-founders with little food industry experience, but with a mission to develop a great-tasting diet bread. Maven was introduced to CLC thru an investor connected to a Bain alumni.  Maven was engaged to help CLC develop a road map for success. Recognizing that the business lacked sufficient funding to take on a project of this size combined with the promising and interesting nature of the business, Maven proposed to conduct the work for a mix of equity and cash.

The roadmap for success addressed a wide range of questions for how CLC should proceed:

  • What business should CLC be in? Ingredient supplier to bakeries, licensor of technology to bakeries, or a CPG bread brand?
  • Which markets are the most attractive and how should we sequence an approach to each market? The bread market is quite diverse and the technology also applied to pasta, pet foods, and a variety of other food products.
  • Within the priority markets, which companies should be the focus of business development? Differences in product line and approach to product development made some companies a better fit for the CLC product.
  • What should a business development process look like? How do you get a new ingredient introduced into the product development process?
  • What resources (people and capital) will CLC need to execute the go-forward strategy?

This project is ongoing, but initial steps have been taken to build CLC’s long-term success including the hiring of an expert in food technology science as well as an independent evaluation of the product. The information from the third-party laboratory will help the team to develop a strong pitch for seed investors as well as a go-to-market plan.

Maven Associates works on projects of various sizes and complexities, but in all of them, it works closely with the management team to chart an exciting path forward.

Chef Low Cal quote