The story of Nick’s begins in 2014, when a Swedish serial entrepreneur with a background in mechanical engineering was diagnosed as pre-diabetic. Niclas Luthman had to change his diet, but he still loved and craved sweets. This led to him tinkering around in the kitchen and creating a line of “better for you” snacks and sweets that have no added sugar, gluten, or palm oil. Nick’s products involve an enormous amount of R&D. enabling them to achieve new food feats like offering an ice cream with 70% fewer calories than other leading brands. Nick’s recently closed $30 million in funding, launched its ice cream in 4,000 stores across the US, and has expanded into 15 European markets. Tune in for this startup’s how I built this story. 

  • 9:30 How Nick’s started 
  • 17:00 Building every ingredient from scratch
  • 23:00 The power of a good team in an emerging industry
  • 32:00 Developing innovative products from science
  • 42:00 Advice for scaling in Sweden vs the USA

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Episode Transcript

Analisa Winther, Nordic FoodTech Podcast Host  2:51 

So, I would love to start by talking about the origin story of how the company got started and why.

Niclas Luthman, N!CK’S Ice Cream  2:58 

Yeah, well, being an entrepreneur, you have no clue where life is going to take you. I never had a job to begin with. I started in the music industry because I’m a failed musician that needed a studio. I wasn’t failed at the time. It took me a couple more years. Then I built a career in electronics for the music industry and you can probably say I was quite successful. I had a fairly big company if you compare it to Swedish companies in general. That went on for a number of years, and it came to a situation where I made an exit. I also realized I was becoming diabetic like my mom. I’m a science guy with a science background and when I started looking at the science, nutritional science, it was all crap. It wasn’t science, seriously. If somebody comes up with a real scientific find like let’s say that “Eggs are definitely going to kill you” the egg lobby will completely come up with different science that tells you that eggs are the best thing on the planet. There’s nothing wrong with eggs, by the way. I eat a lot of eggs. It’s just an example. So, the dairy industry is very good at lobbying. So is the sugar industry and there’s been quite weird science. If you compare it to where I come from, which is electronics and mechanical engineering where everything has been pretty well mapped out and you know what’s right and what’s wrong. In nutritional science, I think people are still grappling, not really knowing if it’s fat, sugar, calories. I mean, what should we do?…

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