Interview With Franck Oksen
Franck Oksenhendler launched his spiced rums Famille Oksen in 2013. With a French distribution network secured and a number of awards in the bag, Franck is now ready to accelerate Oksen’s growth and has chosen crowdfunding to raise the funds he needs to do so. We caught up with him to find out more about his strategy.
IdeaSquares (ISQ): Can you tell us a bit more about Oksen and how it came about?
Franck Oksenhendler (FO): My father started making spiced rum in 1973. Soon, his creations became the family’s tipple of choice and was going down well with our guests. Some 40 years later, I decided to experiment with the family recipes in larger volumes. I’d noticed that the ultra-premium spirits market was booming while there were no handmade spiced rums on the market.
We now sell three spiced rums on the French market: vanilla, cinnamon and banana. All our rums are made without additives; they are macerated with passion and patience. The natural maceration process takes time but it provides the palate with a truly authentic experience.
ISQ: What is your market?
FO: The spirit market is in flux. Consumers nowadays seem to favour quality and are ready to pay for the privilege. They are looking for handcrafted spirits with authentic ingredients rather than artificial flavourings.
In France, spiced rum is still relatively unknown, which means the market offers a great opportunity. In the UK and Germany, spiced rum is more popular, which is why we will be targeting these markets first after France.
ISQ: Why did you choose to go down the crowdfunding route?
FO: Crowdfunding isn’t as popular in France as in England. It’s a very anglo-saxon business model. But we liked the idea of it because crowdfunding doesn’t drain a company’s capital. And it’s also an excellent public relations tool.
ISQ: You are one of the first French companies ever to appear on Seedrs. Why did you choose Seedrs instead of a French platform?
FO: It was a strategic decision. The UK is a market with huge potential for us. By using an English platform, we kill two birds with one stone.
During our research, we came across Seedrs and we sent them samples. They were instantly hooked and here we are, right in the middle of a crowdfunding campaign.
ISQ: What are your projects for the future?
FO: On the one hand we want to grow our market share on our domestic market, then in Europe via the UK and Germany. Eventually, we’ll also aim to enter the American and Canadian market as they are large consumers of spiced rum.
On the other hand, we want to develop more handcrafted spirits. We’re convinced that creative artisan distillers are the future of the spirits market
If you’d like to view the Oksen Seedrs campaign, you can do so here.
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