Every one of you that followed our progress at Renjer over the past years has certainly noticed how fast things developed for us and what an exciting journey it has been.
In 2016 we started working on the idea of Renjer – Traditional Reindeer Jerky. Without even being a real company we managed to find all necessary sources to make the product happen – a meat supplier, a packaging supplier, and a producer.
In 2017 we finally managed to get our company up and running from a legal perspective and in May 2017 we had our first B2B client, buying the original products from us, which were packaged in a box. We started to pick up more and more customers over the year, especially after an exciting sales trip to the North. However, our sales numbers were not overwhelming and we decided to change something.
In January 2018 we managed to launch Renjer 2.0 – three new wild jerky products of reindeer, elk, and deer in a convenient and beautiful package. With that, we dramatically increased our sales numbers and managed to attract an external investor in summer 2018. Towards the end of the year, by a quirk of fate, we decided to apply for the German startup show “Die Höhle der Löwen”, without any expectations though. This brings us to 2019 and to the 5 reasons, why it was the best year in Renjer’s history so far.
1. We were invited to participate at “Die Höhle der Löwen”
Incredibly enough our application for the TV show was accepted and we were invited to Cologne in Germany in January. It was by far the most exciting day of all our business lives, pitching our products in front of the 5 well-known investors. To be honest, we did not expect anyone to be interested in investing in us, but we were just happy for this experience and the chance to present our Renjer wild jerky on TV.
2. We actually got a DEAL at “Die Höhle der Löwen”
You might have been watching the show and believe it or not – but we got three investment offers and ultimately decided to take Ralf Dümmel as an investor, as we liked the “whole package” that he was promising to us. After that day was over, the probably most exciting 8 months of our life started: getting everything ready for the date on which our performance would be shown on television, which was the 17th of September 2019.
3. We learned more than ever before
Even though we can tell you that those 8 months often felt frustrating due to several production problems we encountered, it was surely the time in our lives where we learned a lot and “grew up” from a business perspective. In order to cope with the large demands of the German market, we needed to find new suppliers and producers. This naturally entailed changes in various processes, which were previously much easier to handle on a smaller scale.
Another factor to mention is that we did not only get a new investor from the TV show but also a second new investor from Norway, which is both our distributor and has become a close advisor for us three. As the day of the TV show came closer and closer, our tension grew pretty much proportionally as well.
4. We were live on Television!
On the airing date of the show, we also had the opportunity to be part of a live television sales program to present Renjer wild jerky to potential customers in whole Germany. While Alex presented the jerky as routined as a seasoned TV host, Anton and Tim enjoyed a beer with the co-host.
You can imagine that during the week after the show, we all got many, many messages, both to Renjer and privately, from customers, friends, and family. We were thankful for every one of those messages, as it showed us how many people supported us and stood behind us. So a big THANK YOU all for that once more.
5. We know what to improve for 2020
We have to be honest – the German market entrance of our products was not as successful as we all hoped. We were only disappointed for a short time though! We figured out which screws we have to adjust in order to make 2020 a great success and celebrate Renjer 3.0 with our customers and fans.
Through extensive research, we have understood that our customers would like to see more variety in our product recipes, and we will listen to that request! At the end of 2019, we have conducted several rounds of product testings, both of potential new jerky recipes for our own products, as well as with competitor products. What is important to us, however, is to keep our products natural and healthy, with a nice, chewy consistency and unique flavors. We hope you understand that our products will never cost 2,99€ in a supermarket or even less, like some of our beef jerky competitors. Our focus is to provide high-quality wild meat jerky and not jerky that can be mistaken as candy. So to summarize – we will stay true to our brand Renjer, which aims to provide a wild jerky experience that makes you feel like you are sitting by a bond fire in a Scandinavian forest. Nevertheless, we heard your feedback and we will soon come back with three awesome new products.
2020 is about to be very exciting – stay tuned and thank you for always being on our side!