Genusskoarl: Wiener Würze, a savoury sauce based on lupin

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Photos: Eva Fischer and Christian Lendl

WienerWürze by Austrian startup Genusskoarl gives food that extra something: the perfect umami flavour. This rich savoury sauce is based on three essential elements: four natural, organic ingredients, traditional brewing process and modern know-how.

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Genusskoarl Team:
Karl Severin Traugott, Founder and CEO
Nathalie Traugott
Christoph Hödl
Carina Eichberger
Anna Miklukova

Please introduce yourselves: What does your startup do?

We are a Viennese startup founded in 2017. I am a company founder with a background in food technology and passion for innovative, healthy cooking. When I read about the possibility of brewing spices from lupins in the industry media, I got curious and started experimenting. The result was so convincing that I founded my startup Genusskoarl.

Looking for a product that can add a flavoursome touch to every meal, came up with an idea for WienerWürze. It works equally well with soups, sauces, dressings or marinades and can become a substitute for a variety of spices.

How did you come up with an idea and concept? What inspired and motivated you to create this product?

Behind the product is my passion for everything brewed and natural. I got a lot of inspiration from my native Vienna, the Viennese cuisine with all the multicultural influences of the former Habsburg monarchy as well as the omnipresent Art Nouveau style.

All of these traits we also offer in our product: high quality, unique taste and distinctive design.

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What is unique about your business idea and operating model?

Our business concept is based on the uniqueness of our product which we want to position as a natural alternative to a variety of condiments based on glutamate & co. We try to be perceived as a sustainable European company offering the highest level of transparency and traceability. We are convinced that sustainability is one of the most important prerequisites for long-term success.

What were the most significant difficulties you had to overcome while building your startup?

One of the biggest challenges was building a network of reliable business partners who share the same values as Genusskoarl. In addition, the end consumer also had to be convinced of his responsibility in choosing healthy, sustainable food.

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Where do you see yourselves and your company in 5 years?

In five years' time, I want WienerWürze to be the product that customers will choose for its good taste, versatility and clear list of sustainable and organic ingredients. This should enable me and my employees as well as our suppliers to achieve consistently good sales and secure a budget for further food innovations that will meet our high eco-social standards.

What are your expectations from the NX-Food Startup Shelf Program?

My best-case scenario would be a permanent listing at METRO, other major retail chains as well as broad utilization in the restaurant industry. WienerWürze should be the product of choice in both sophisticated and modern/fast cuisine.

What are your main milestones and achievements?

  • October 2016 — Founding
  • September 2017 — Market entry
  • November 2017 — Listing at Meinl am Graben — upmarket grocery in the heart of Vienna and BIOGAST (organic wholesaler)
  • October 2018 — Listing at DM drugstores throughout Austria
  • November 2018 — Organic Product of the Year 2018 Award (bioÖsterreich — Messe Wieselburg)
  • December 2018 — Vegan Product of the Year 2018 Award (Vegan Society Austria)
  • February 2019 — Opening of the new production facility
  • May 2019 — Appearance in a TV-Show 2minutes — 2million on Puls4 (AT) & Listing: Merkur, Spar Gourmet & Interspar (Austria-wide)
  • July 2019 — IFS GM Food + Certification

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