“There was a big gap in the [bouillon] category for a better-for-you, alternative brand,” he told FoodNavigator-USA. “We wanted to come in and disrupt the space.”
Aiming to compete head-to-head against food giant Unilever’s Knorr brand, Jakobi launched BOU, a line of three ‘better-for-you’ bouillon cubes (beef, chicken, and vegetable).
He already had experience in the food industry as CEO of Metcalfe’s skinny (a UK-based healthy snack brand recently acquired by Snyder’s-Lance).
During his stint there, he met an American food manufacturer that came up with a proprietary method of making bouillon cubes without added MSG. After the sale of Metcalfe’s skinny, Jakobi worked with the manufacturer and began pursuing his next entrepreneurial chapter with BOU.
Different flavor profile, inviting new buyers with packaging
Because there is considerably less sodium than the top-selling national brands, the bouillon cubes have a different flavor profile and are less salty. But Jakobi doesn’t see this as a hindrance.
“Bouillon has existed for decades, but we’re looking to bring a new set of consumers,” he said. “Bouillon has been associated with being unhealthy because it has very high amounts of sodium and salt, and so we want to basically re-educate people on our better-for-you alternative.”
Before shoppers can even read that the products have no added MSG, Jakobi wanted to make sure his brand’s products stand out on store shelves. “Our packaging, we’re not in a pack or box format. We’re in a jar, and it’s high-end in appearance so it stands out on the shelf,” he said.
Under the wings of AccelFoods
Having launched on store shelves 1 month ago after a 15-month conception process, BOU is still only found in some New York City retailers, as well as online on its website. is a cohort in the New York-based accelerator AccelFoods, which has accelerated the likes of Brami, I Heart Keenwah, and JicaChips.
“We plan to go to the back of the store, effectively sitting alongside Knorr,” Jakobi said. “But we’re working right now on new lines of products, a range of gravy cubes, and of on-the-go soup cups for the front of the store,” he added.
With tutelage from AccelFoods as well as his own expertise from working as CEO of a food company, Jakobi is aiming high for BOU. “The soup category hasn’t really been disrupted by a better-for-you brand, so we think there’s still a really big gap in the market for that, so we want to have products at the front and back of the store.”