The Slovaks and their protein bars have won the world, their total sales coming up to several million euros

  • Max Sport is a local company with Slovak founders and domestic capital, but despite this we don’t hear much about it.
  • Today, the brand sells in 40 countries worldwide.
  • Slovak bars and snacks can even be found on the supermarket shelves in Saudi Arabia and Iran.

The company founder’s goal was to create domestic competition, standing up to the large companies selling protein bars. After 2010, the company’s sales revenue skyrocketed. The company’s results on the Finstat financial portal testify to this success as well.

In 2017, the sales revenue of the Max Sport company increased by 13% to €9.180 million. Abroad, the products of the skilled Slovaks are appreciated not only by regular customers, but also by the expert community. The Max Sport company has 5 awards to its name, won at the world’s most prestigious food innovation exhibitions, SIAL Paris or at the Dubai Gulfood Awards food trade show.

Success thanks to fast adaptation

The owners of the company are well aware of the increasing popularity of the “raw food” category among customers suffering from food allergies, as well as those focusing on vegetarian or vegan diets. Yet in the beginning, they hadn’t anticipated their production of this type of product at all. Today, every tenth customer buys their raw bars. If somebody had told me in the past that one day I would enjoy eating a bar made without gluten, milk, added sugar or chocolate, I probably wouldn’t have believed them,” says one of the company’s owners.

Expansion thanks to a generous capital acquisition

In 2015, this Slovak producer of protein bars received a capital injection from the Janom company, active mostly in the power industry, as well as from the Jeremie investment fund. For their small fortune of €850,000, the investors acquired a minority stake in the company.

“We were intrigued by the fact that the Max Sport company prefers to use organically-sourced ingredients in its products, and that it minimises, or even excludes the use of white sugar, preservatives and various chemical additives. Investing in this company allowed us to expand our activities in line with the comprehensive conceptual approach of the Janom group, which focuses on manufacturing ‘green energy’ from renewable resources through electromobility,” says Katarína Miškovská, the executive director of the Janom company for the Trend weekly.

The results and numbers the company have managed to achieve say a lot about its success as well.

In the last year, the Max Sport company sold as much as 1 million kilograms of healthy snacks in Slovakia, Czech, and 38 other countries worldwide. As for Slovakia, the company sold approximately 300,000kg of healthy food products here. Today, protein bars make up 40% of the company’s worldwide sales. In 2017, we sold as much as 400,000kg of protein bars. If you imagine that this number amounts to the weight of 80 elephants standing side by side, it’s unbelievable,” states Peter Kulich, one of the owners of the Max Sport company, assessing its results.

According to the owners, the classic vanilla flavour followed by chocolate continues to dominate the popularity contest. However, they believe that the new hit for the year 2018 will be caramel. The company also plans to introduce several new products, as well as break into a completely new savoury snack category.

Peter Kulich, the executive director of the company, revealed the secrets behind the Max Sport success: “From the very beginning Martin Poledna and I were both literally following our hearts. During the first couple of years of building our business, we didn’t have any sophisticated plans. Instead, we worked hard and gave it our best every single day.”

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