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Bringing the taste of liquorice to the world

Liquorice is dividing - people either love it or hate it.
Johan Bülow’s dream was to make the world fall in love with liquorice.
So how do you create something appealing, well respected and recognizable from the sticky black stuff?

Johan Bülow was born into an entrepreneurial family by a mother who dreamt that one day her children would make something of themselves. From an early age, this attitude evoked a feeling in Johan that he would create something special and ever since, that was all he thought of.

Bülow fell in love with liquorice and threw his passion and attention on the black substance. According to Johan the well-known herb and Scandinavian favorite was underappreciated and deserved to be taken seriously. He saw the potential in it which then led to inspiration and the start of his business.

Obviously great businesses are not created overnight. Hard work and many man-hours need to be put in. One of Bülows biggest challenges was in learning how to be an entrepreneur, starting from his early days. He had experienced a lot of difficulties and was learning his lessons the hard way.

In a span of almost 12 months, he discovered the hassles and pains of operating his own business. the biggest lesson he learned?  If he didn’t do it himself then it wouldn’t get done and problems wouldn’t magically get solved or disappear. Bülow realized that he needed to go through trial and error in order to best understand the process.

In 2007 Bülow opened his shop in Svaneke, located on the Danish island of Bornholm which was a huge hit. Slowly but surely Bülow started expanding his business and his gourmet liquorice is now loved all over the globe.

Since the very beginning, Bülow’s role in the company has been the same. He continues to focus on the products and brand as these are the areas where he shines. He maintains his enthusiasm along with his vision to teach the world to love liquorice. 

Focus has expanded

Since the very beginning Bülow’s role in the company has been the same. He continues to focus on the products and brand as these are the areas where he shines. He maintains his enthusiasm along with his vision to teach the world to love liquorice. 

From the very beginning, the goal was to teach the world to love liquorice and it still is, but for the last couple of years, the focus has also increasingly been on thinking more sustainably.

Being the frontman of a huge company, no matter the industry also brings lots of responsibility along the way. Not only in society but also the planet. Lakrids by Bülow understands that and knows the future of the company lies in sustainability and are taking steps towards it.

Currently, Lakrids by Bülow are in the phase of implementing various ideas in their production. In terms of waste management, they are involved in the process of minimizing waste of raw materials. One example is that they now are one of the first companies in Europe who use cans made of 100% recycled and recyclable PET plastic (PET also is known as the 1st category of plastics which is a great option because it can be recycled several times and has environmental and economic benefits like saving on energy and raw materials involved in production).

Nevertheless, the lid on the packaging is still made out of virgin plastic material which will be substituted by a more sustainable component in order to make the entire packaging earth-friendly. As Bülow himself has mentioned earlier: “Our jars have a past and by recycling them, you can give them a future”.  This is an example of their attitude towards change but their efforts don’t stop here.

They have also set up a sustainability committee that meets every month. For now, Lakrids by Bülow is not 100% sustainable but they are constantly working towards that goal. Steering the overall identity and position of any company towards a more sustainable direction from one day to another is not an easy task to do. For Lakrids by Bülow, it has felt natural to implement decisions that bring about positive change. This overall sustainability approach in internalization and reaching new markets is also being implemented in their branding strategy. This opens doors to new stores and customers who have a similar mindset.

When this groundbreaking liquorice experience was established in 2007, things were very different. At the time the idea that something as ordinary as liquorice could be transformed into a unique and luxurious experience was unheard of.

The success of Lakrids by Bülow has spilled over beyond the borders of Denmark. Currently, the liquorice can be found across Scandinavia, Germany, Canada, the United States, and the United Arab Emirates. In January 2019 a small change to the name was made changing the name from Lakrids by Johan Bülow to the name Lakrids by Bülow that we know it today. 

When going international, Bülow’s focus has been to create a name in the same segment as other iconic Danish brands such as Bang & Olufsen and Lego. “You should be allowed to dream” in the words of Bülow himself.

With a focus on trademarks, Lakrids by Bülow can secure that their packaging and products are distinguishable from others and be more memorable in the eyes of the customers. Furthermore, they are developing new specialty products that are sweeter and fruitier in order to please the taste buds of new segments. The development and introduction of these products are part of a strategic approach that aids in entering new markets more easily and adjust to specific market needs and preferences. The new products will also help new markets get used to the taste of liquorice in a more natural way since most countries outside of Scandinavia are not used to its distinct taste.

The company has earned a strong position in Scandinavia, along with Germany where they are currently gaining momentum. The United Arab Emirates is also proving that the world is starting to love liquorice. The rest of the world awaits!