Sector: Sales & Services
Date de creation: September 2019
Date of analysis : October 2020
Maturity of the project: End of crowdfunding – launch of the first products on sale
A spread to make at home that helps save the orangutans.
The Papa Outang spread was born from an idea of Thibaut, ex-creator of advertising campaigns for major brands, who decided to create his own brand with a real positive impact on the environment. He is quickly joined by Loïc, who after having worked in international finance, decides to commit to zero waste in his personal and professional life.
After launching a petition in November 2019 to see if their product could appeal to consumers, Thibaut made the first recipe for the spread in January 2020. In February 2020, they met with the Kalaweit association, which takes concrete action against deforestation and the disappearance of biodiversity on the island of Borneo (Indonesia). A partnership is thus created, 10% of Papa Outang’s profits will be donated to the association in order to buy hectares of forest to transform them into a natural reserve and not into palm oil crops.
Their crowdfunding campaign launched in September 2020 ended on October 8 with immense success. Their initial target was 150 pre-sales. More than 5,000 pre-sales were ordered, allowing the Kalaweit association to buy and preserve 12 ha of forest.
The preparation for spread created by Thibaut and Loïc is very simple and consists of only 3 ingredients: hazelnuts, sugar and cocoa.
The hazelnuts come from an organic production in Italy, the rapadura cane sugar from Dominican Republic (a sugar obtained from cane juice dried in the open air and sieved, without transformation or refining) and the lean cocoa is labelled Max Havelaar (an association that acts for a fair trade, respectful of human rights and the environment).
Thibaut and Loïc want to propose more sustainable solutions for consumers when they go shopping in mass retail stores. Papa Outang is their first product and is a solution to consume palm oil free spread that directly helps to save the environment.
The goal of the two founders is also to inform consumers so that they can make informed choices and change their purchasing behavior easily. This is why they have also created a website and an application to educate consumers about the dangers of palm oil (on the environment and local populations) and to know in which products it can be found.
Finally, buying the Papa Outang spread preparation is a way to actively participate in safeguarding the environment and biodiversity by making a donation to an activist association through its purchase.
→ Towards an eco-design approach for the product?
The inventors of Papa Outang had a long reflection on the design of the spread to limit its environmental impact. The raw materials come from responsible production, the product is sold semi-finished which limits the impact of its transformation, the packaging is recyclable. However, the product is not yet produced on a large enough scale to really evaluate its impact (for example, via a Life Cycle Assessment, which would allow us to quantify the impact of transporting imported raw materials).
The Papa Outang spread is only composed of 3 ingredients:
3-ingredient spreads already exist on the market (e.g. the Italian spread teo&bia). Papa Outang differentiates itself thanks to the direct financial aid that its purchase brings to committed associations, such as the Kalaweit association.
Papa Outang is made with 48% hazelnuts (compared to 13% in a jar of Nutella ). Oil is naturally present in the hazelnuts and is more than enough to create the desired texture without adding palm oil or other oils.
Papa Outang is made at the Bovetti chocolate factory, located in the heart of the Dordogne, which has been committed for more than 30 years not to use palm oil in any of its products.
Concerning the packaging, it is currently made of plastic and kraft paper bag. The brand is seeking to develop the packaging either towards a packaging made of 95% paper and recyclable binders, or towards an industrially compostable wood cellulose packaging.
Papa Outang is sold in semi-finished form, i.e. only as a mixture of dry products. Consumers simply need to add liquid (water, vegetable milk or milk) and heat in a pan. The product is ready in a few minutes.
There are several advantages to selling the product in semi-finished form :
Papa Outang is a committed brand that aims to raise consumer awareness of the environmental and social dangers of palm oil. In April 2020, Thibaut and Loïc took advantage of the confinement to create the website antihuiledepalme.fr.
It is a source of information, based on institutional studies (USDA, GreenPeace) that helps to understand the palm oil business. The site highlights in particular the non-effectiveness of the RSPO (Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil) certification, which brings together, among others, the major players in distribution and consumption. RSPO palm oils are said to be sustainable because they are not supposed to come from operations that increase deforestation, particularly in Indonesia and the island of Borneo. However, the lack of controls on the ground does not guarantee this. (For more info: click here).
The website also aims to help individuals to convince their entourage by giving them counter-arguments to the preconceived ideas of consumers (ex: the impact of our individual purchases is not strong enough to change the industrial giants… and in fact it is! Click here to learn more! )
Finally, to help consumers act in a more sustainable way and stop buying products containing palm oil, Thibaut and Loïc have created an anti palm oil extension. This extension allows to detect palm oil during online shopping and is available on Auchan, Carrefour, Monoprix, Biocoop, Casino, Intermarché … The extension is downloadable (on Chrome) here !
The main benefit of Papa Outang is its direct positive impact on the environment. By donating 10% of its profits to environmental associations, such as Kalaweit, which take concrete action to preserve the environment, Papa Outang is a committed brand that aims to be useful to society.
Thanks to an eco-design approach, already in place for their first product launches, Papa Outang minimizes its environmental impact at every stage of the spread’s life cycle: sourcing sustainable raw materials, energy-efficient processing, recyclable packaging, etc. In particular, the sale of Papa Outang in semi-finished form makes it possible to use bag packaging rather than glass, thus limiting the environmental impact of transportation. As glass is much heavier, it can represent up to 30-40% of the weight of the finished product. Thus, the load of a truck will be much greater and therefore there will be more CO2 emissions than with the same amount of product packaged and transported in sachets.
It now remains to think about the transition to larger scale production if the product appeals to consumers and to respect these principles.
NB: Thibaut and Loïc have chosen to source organic hazelnuts from Italy rather than French hazelnuts because there is no organic hazelnut chain in France. In fact, France suffers the damage of pests, in particular the hazelnut balanin whose larvae feed exclusively on the fruit and which is responsible for 80% of the damage on the whole French chain. 
Loïc and Thibaut noted that during the confinement in the spring of 2020, donations were redirected to the medical sector. As a result, many associations suffered by losing part of their “usual” income.
The two committed founders therefore wished to find a solution to sustainably finance associations and enable them to be resilient in the long term, especially during a crisis.
Their desire is to develop innovative products, part of the profits of which will be donated to environmental associations. As the food industry is one of the only sectors that resist crises, again demonstrated during the period of containment, they have developed as their first innovative product, the spread to make at home. Papa Outang is therefore an effective way to provide a stable resource for the Kalaweit association, which will be able to predict the number of donations obtained each year by forecasting the sales of the spread. In addition, Loïc and Thibaut want to market their products in supermarkets and hypermarkets to offer their responsible product to all populations and maximize their sales.
On the other hand, Papa Outang is a product made in France, which generates local employment. Following the very numerous pre-orders placed during crowdfunding, the chocolate maker producing the spread will have to hire several temporary workers in his factory to ensure production. In the longer term, the chocolate maker may eventually hire an employee to ensure the production of Papa Outang.
Papa Outang’s social benefits are twofold:
Loïc and Thibaut have the will to replicate the model of their spread for any type of product found in supermarkets:
Thibaut and Loïc do not intend to stop at the development of Papa Outang. They have the ambition to develop new food and non-food products found in mass distribution. They also want to make only “made in France” and to source raw materials from French producers, when possible and consistent with their approach.
A recipe book is also being prepared to propose various and varied recipes using Papa Outang! spread.
The meeting with Loïc was very enriching for our members of the association. Thibaut and Loïc’s approach was not directly to base their business model on a circular model. They first wanted to propose a business model whose main goal is to finance non-profit associations and to sell products with positive social and environmental impacts. The stakes of the circular economy being naturally coherent with the stakes of sustainable development, the two founders have set up (of course they realize it! ) circular economy approaches! This shows the strength of alternative production and consumption systems, all of which aim to limit our impact on the environment and society!
Copyright CirculAgronomie 2020