Colombian passion and German care: these are the two cornerstones of the Cata's brand of the Freiburg-based start-up NativosFood. The founding couple Adam Sikora and Catalina Montoya specialise in the production and distribution of plantain crisps and other innovative foods from South America. The young company focuses not only on selected ingredients and traditional recipes, but also on sustainability and environmental protection, explains co-founder Adam Sikora when asked.
The basic idea gave rise to NativosFood and its own brand Cata's last summer. Due to the founder's Colombian roots, the entrepreneurial couple has a special relationship with the South American country. "On our travels, we kept noticing that the plantain was eaten in various forms at parties and family gatherings. That's how the idea came about to bring the product to Germany and give something back to the country of Colombia. This basic idea ultimately led to the creation of three flavours, which we developed on our own. The special thing about the sea salt crisps is the spoon shape, which is why it is best suited as a snack with the corresponding sauce, which we will also be offering soon."
The two founders Adam and Catalina Montoya together with Yadir Salazar Mejia (middle), Ambassador of Colombia, at this year's Anuga. Here, the crisps were presented at the Colombian joint stand on the opening day of the fair.
Manufactured and packaged at origin, sustainability in the broadest sense is top priority for the crisps, Sikora continues. "Sustainable palm oil is used, for example. The water needed for production is also returned to the cycle. In addition, we support social projects in Colombia and also take care of CO2 compensation and are part of 'Saving the Amazon'. Plantains are still a relatively unknown product in Germany. However, due to the sustainability and the many nutrients, we are convinced of the high potential of the product."
True to the motto 'The good mood snack from South America', the own brand Cata's is introduced locally in the food retail stores. And not without success: the vegan and gluten-free crisps can already be found in many owner-operated Edeka stores as a secondary placement. The next step is to also supply the corresponding dip.
Expanding the product range and opening up new markets
The Freiburg-based start-up relies on both B2B and B2C channels for sales, because in addition to supplying food retail markets, it also operates an online shop for private customers. "We are already working on further products, but we are still in the start-up phase. As far as sales markets are concerned, we have initially set our sights on the German market. Due to our location not far from the French border, the French market would also be interesting for us. But that's all still up in the air."
The plantain crisps are available in three different flavours: Sweet Chilli, Sea Salt and Chilli Lime.
Acting sustainably, making a positive difference
"We pride ourselves on offering high quality, authentic and above all innovative products while promoting sustainability and environmental protection. We believe that businesses have a responsibility to be environmentally conscious and sustainable, and we will continue to work to effect positive change," the founding couple unanimously emphasises.