Breakthrough and future plans
The rest is a success story: vly products have been on supermarket shelves since 2018. Currently, their dairy alternative range can be found in over 5,500 shops, and the trend is rising. In terms of sales, they proudly state on their website that they have already sold 721,432 liters of their creamy milk alternative (as of 10.11.2020). The team is very confident that there is still a lot of potential in terms of sales: “In Germany, plant-based products account for only 5% of the market, whereas in the USA this share is closer to 15%,” says Nicolas Hartmann. His dream, he says, is to replace all animal protein with plant protein at some point.
The founder believes everyone would benefit from this, because nutrition would be healthier and more sustainable. According to vly, they need 13 times less water, 15 times less CO2 and five times less land to produce their products than is needed for milk production. vly currently employs eight full-time employees: all highly motivated to work for a better world. In the future, the company will continue to grow; the founders want to employ more people and offer their products outside Germany. One day, they’d like to market their products worldwide.
They are still in contact with Potsdam Transfer, exchange information regularly and look forward to conferences taking place in the Potsdam Science Park. Their conclusion: “The Potsdam Science Park is a highly modern and attractive place for innovation,” says Nicolas Hartmann. In general, he recommends all founders who need knowledge from research to maintain close contact with universities or research institutes. “We deliberately seek exchange with research institutions because we believe that there are a lot of bright minds and ideas, especially at German universities. This is where institutions such as Potsdam Transfer are important, as they facilitate the flow of knowledge between research and business and give start-ups the necessary boost,” explains Nicolas Hartmann.