It’s always pleasing to see how fast soft beverage industry is growing. Recently, we have published a review article for France based Gallimaté brand. With great taste and function we are more than proud to have this brand among other reviewed. Today, I am extremely happy having a chance of talking with Guillaume Vilain, CEO & Co-founder at Gallimaté.
The idea of creating Gallimaté came up in Berlin with Gonzague, the other co-founder. That’s where we discovered the Yerba Mate drinks. We loved the idea of using the magical powers and energizing effect of the Yerba Mate in a drink and decided to create our own, with our own values: our drinks had to be natural, healthy, made only from high quality ingredients, functional and surprising by their taste. That’s what drove us to create the Gallimaté Original in 2017, followed by the Ginger Ale and Tonic in summer 2018.
All Gallimaté drinks are 100% natural, low in sugar and made from the highest quality ingredients. All drinks contain Yerba Mate and are flavored with distinctive flower or herb. Here are the three flavors:
It’s difficult to choose a favorite drink because the all fit to a different mood or moment in the day, but I’d say my favorite is still the Original.
There were many of them! Luckily all along this journey we always have been accompanied by great people who helped us a lot with their knowledge and experience.
The first challenge was the recipe development, how to formulate a great tasting product based on what we had created in the kitchen.
Manufacturing the drinks was also a big challenge as it is quite complicated to find manufacturers that agree to produce low quantities in France.
Another challenge was to raise money. We started this adventure with no network nor experience but we met great business angels who believed in us and our project. We raised 300.000€ in April and are now working on our Series A that we’d like to close during the first trimester of 2019. Thanks to the Series A, we will be able to hire more people, invest more in our export strategy and produce PET bottles for the retail stores.
At the moment, we are available to buy in France only, in about 100 bars, restaurants, hotels and gourmet grocery stores. Soon it will be possible to order as well from Amazon. We have just signed a partnership with a distributor, Food District who will accompany us in our development and help us to be on the shelves of the main French retail stores in 2019.
We are about to launch in Asia as well. At the moment we are in discussions with about 8 other markets across Asia and Middle East, so hopefully 2019 will see explode our global distribution to make it easier for customers around the world to get the benefits of the Gallimaté drinks.
Our big ambition is to launch in the US (and Canada) where the market of the Yerba Mate drinks is still not taken by any big name.
Hopefully by being featured on Drinkpreneur we can start to get some contacts and discussions with importers, manufacturers, retailers and investors in the US who might be interested in our products. We are only a year old, but I predict that our export business will overtake our business in France in less than 12 months.
Although our brand is rising very fast and successfully it is our very first experience in the beverage industry and entrepreneurship in general. Before starting the Gallimaté adventure I was a researcher in environmental sciences and Gonzague was teaching human health. We had to learn a lot very fast but also had the chance to meet amazing people who accompanied us all along the way.
Be ready for what you’re going to live! Being an entrepreneur is a tough journey, it’s tough and mentally draining. And even more than you could think before starting. But it is also very rewarding, more than any other job I think.
For more information visit Gallimate website.