TWO Bournemouth brothers are enjoying the sweet (and additive-free!) taste of success with their new brand of weight-loss protein porridge.
Andrew and Robert Sweeney from Westbourne, turned their backs on lucrative careers in finance to create Oomf! that is now estimated to turn over £2.5m this year.
Since its launch in 2011, the brand has been established in Waitrose and Holland and Barrett. Now its Bench Pressed Oats range will be stocked in 258 Tesco Express stores nationwide this week.
The porridge, which contains whey, a high protein by-product of the cheese process, and natural sugar, Xylitol, that has no insulin response and is recommended by dentists, is the brainchild of Robert, who mixed protein powder with his porridge to fill up for longer while at university.
Struck by the idea that it’s possible to enjoy a healthy, filling breakfast, Robert approached his brother to ditch his city finance job and drive the idea forward.
Three years later, it has a built up a celebrity following including health fanatic TV star, Lucy Mecklenburgh, McFly’s Harry Judd and international tennis player, Rafael Nadal.
Robert explains: “It’s appalling how many large food companies load sugar into food because it’s cheap to manufacture, reduces fat and maintains taste, but is the main driver of diabetes.
“I wanted to find a way to make porridge taste good without sweetening it with sugar.”
Despite the prototype, which was approved by friends and family, the major hurdle came in mass production.
The brothers met resistance from many manufacturers who felt they were too small to be taken seriously.
Andrew and Robert slept in their car to save money on hotels, and finally, their first big order came in: 4,000 pots from Holland and Barrett.
Andrew, 29, and Robert, 26, believe their success was achieved through building up a presence on popular social networking sites.
The Oomf! range includes Skinny Oats, pots of porridge high in protein and containing less than 200 calories in flavours from Golden Syrup to Berry Blast and pots of Gingerbread, Banana and Apple & Sultana Bench Pressed Oats, packed with a 20g of protein for those wanting more out of their workouts.