This is a story about audacity. Our story’s protagonist is Anders “The Duck” Linden, a Swedish chef, environmentalist, and rebel. In 1995, Chef Linden felt isolated when he began experimenting in his restaurants with plant-based protein foods. But today, he is a leader in a global movement to proliferate plant-based food and his company Oomph! is growing from its Scandinavian roots to expand to the UK and the United States.
Adding some “Oumph!” to Global Sustainability
Linden founded Oumph! in 2015 to create something “that the world needs more than ever” which is delicious plant-based food that is easy to cook, healthy, and energizing, and most importantly, our food choices must reduce human impact on climate change.
Linden has been a chef since the 1980s and is known for his creative flair and innovative, bold style of work. He was determined to fashion food that was rich in taste while remaining easy on the environment. By 2004, he started his first plant-based brand, “Go Green.” Because he was trail-blazer, he had to become his own mentor and inspire himself to give, learn, and create even when others thought his plant-based potein business was crazy. As Linden says, “giving is living.”
The Beans of a New Generation
Oumph! is a 100% plant based product made with soya beans and spices that come in several shapes and consistencies. It is a great alternative to meat because it is rich in protein, fiber, folic acid, and iron as well as low in calories. Oomph! soya beans are processed in Holland and the texture and taste are refined in the Swedish town of Stora Levene, Västra Götaland.
Oumph! can be cooked, grilled, or fried. Linden suggests that his customers continue to make their favorite recipes, but replace the meat with a source of protein that is healthy, easy to cook, tasty, and sustainable.
Judging by results, Linden has created a recipe for success. In 2016, Oumph! was awarded ‘Food Product of the Year’ by the Swedish Grocers Federation. Thanks to Oomph!, the growth in plant-based products in Sweden grew by 24% from 2015 to 2016. And, in 2019, Oomph! won first place in three categories of the World Food Innovation Awards: best food service/catering product, best plant-based product, and best street food brand!
Creating Change “In a Cool but Serious Way”
Sustainability remains a driving force for Oomph!, and Linden vigorously continues his life-journey to shift in this world to a plant-based diet. Linden explains his motivation, “By 2050 the human population will reach 11 billion. If we continue on the same path, we will not have enough animals to support the population. Today, humans consume 70 billion animals every year and that is not sustainable. We would like to change this in a cool but serious way.”
Linden sees Oomph! as an opportunity to express both his love of people through his food and love of the planet. By running a sustainable business, he inspires others (and himself) to take better care of the one planet we were given. He is passionate about his business, as his efforts to change our world make him feel alive. A key to success for the audacious Linden is to continue to find out where his limits are and to push them every day.
Of course, Linden has faced challenges through his endeavors, including self-doubts, timing to launch products, and his impatience. He has this advice to share with entrepreneurs and others: “There are no shortcuts in life. Be ready to work hard. Do not try to make yourself perfect everyday just try to make yourself awesome every day. You need to believe in what you do even if you cry sometimes. Do not be afraid of your mistakes, embrace them.”
Food for Energetic People
Although Oumph! is not currently available for retail purchase in the United States, it was featured at Disneyland’s Food and Wine Festival in 2018 and other holiday festivals in 2019 as well as national restaurant shows across the United States. Oumph! is available for purchase in Europe in 400 Tesco stores, all Whole Foods Markets in the UK and all over Scandinavia in thousands of stores and a variety of restaurants. As Oumph! continues its rapid expansion with new products and locations, keep an eye out for its launch in a store or restaurant near you.
Linden wants to continue to inspire change in our world by creating innovative and sustainable food that everyone enjoys. Linden said, “I challenge myself every day to be a little more awesome than I was yesterday.” Would you expect anything less from an audacious entrepreneur?
For more information on Oumph! check out the following social media sites: