Everything you need to know about the history of Mulebar

Are you wondering who is behind Mulebar?
How long has the company been around?
Why Mules? How was the idea born?
Is the brand French?
Is an Olympic champion really at the head of this company?
We tell you everything without taboo!

The story of MuleBar begins in 2002, on the edge of the Andes on the slopes of Acongagua (6962m), the highest point in South America. Alex and Jimmy, two sports and adventure enthusiasts, missed their climb due to digestive problems linked to their diet containing preservatives and additives.

On their return to England, they began formulating of bars with cereals, seeds and fruits for their personal needs and those of their cycling friends. The growing demand over the years pushed them to give up their jobs to set up their company "Fuel for Adventure" at the end of 2007. When it was necessary to find a brand name and a logo, they naturally chose the mule, a very enduring animal, but also in homage to the "Plaza de Mulas", the name of base camp No. 1 on Aconcagua because the porters all use mules to accompany the expeditions.

In 2009, Grégoire Dandres , then commercial director of Redbull, met Alex through a mutual friend and they decided to launch the distribution of Mulebar in France. At that time the sports nutrition market was dormant, most brands belonged to pharmaceutical laboratories, very few were 100% natural and good in taste, the only priority being profit and performance. The success of Mulebar was immediate with its offbeat approach highlighting naturalness, pleasure and taste with truly innovative recipes. Today all brands highlight naturalness and pleasure, many have also copied our recipes and concepts (ecorefills, energy compotes, dilutable gels, etc.) a great recognition for Mulebar more than 10 years later!

In 2014 in Marseille, Grégoire met Denis Gargaud, professional canoe slalom athlete, who was looking for a distributor for Duo Tonic, his young brand of 2 in 1 drink/gel in eco-refills, a revolutionary concept for the time!. In 2015, they bought Mulebar together from Alex and Jimmy who each had other projects.

At the end of 2016, Denis and Grégoire raised funds to develop the brand:

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  • New logo highlighting the mule
  • New, more gourmet packaging
  • New bar recipes
  • More organic and vegan references
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  • Creation of the range of energy compotes

    New energy gels packaged in tubes with a resealable cap and reusable)

    Duo Tonic goes under the Mulebar brand to create the category of energy gels ecorefill bottles.

    Also in 2016 Denis becomes Olympic champion in Rio ( see the race here) sales are accelerating, the brand is opening up internationally and the team is growing to include up to 7 people.

    In 2018, Mulebar launched a range of Muesli which was very successful but the minimum production quantities were far too large compared to the too short expiration date; the range was discontinued at the end of 2019.
    In 2019, Denis decides to devote himself 100% to Canoeing to hope to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics. He is retiring from operations but remains a partner involved in the design of new products with his friends, all professional athletes. Luxury testers!

    2020 marks a dark year for Mulebar with the Covid crisis and the cessation of all competitions for very long months, several confinements and the closure of stores and sports halls around the world. The brand is in great danger. The decision is made to part ways with the team in the hope of continuing the adventure. Grégoire remains alone on board to try to save the Mule.

    March 2021 marks the rather extraordinary resumption of internet sales, with great success for our eco-gel refills linked to the #noplastic movement, then the return competitions and the reopening of stores in France and abroad. Many of them have unfortunately decided to ignore nutrition or significantly reduced the offer, Mulebar is losing many customers and almost all major exports. Denis missed the qualifier for Tokyo but won the French championships, the European championships, the World Cup and finished 5th at the World Championships. His sporting career is relaunched.

    2022 is once again an "annus horibilis" because from the month of May, the bank, which had lent us a large sum of money as part of the 2016 fundraising and which Covid had prevented us from reimburse, sue us. Our lawyers do not obtain debt rescheduling. The company is placed in receivership.

    June 2023, the company is liquidated then bought by a private investor who leaves Grégoire with the keys to relaunch the brand. Denis is leaving the game but remains attached to the brand, particularly to test new products.

    2024 marks Mulebar's big return to the market with a new high-performance website and new products.

    Energy drinks with red berries and citrus flavors

    Electrolyte drinks with red berries and citrus flavors

    Energy compote with chestnut

    Spirulina and a small range of food supplements planned for the start of the school year.

    Here is 15 years of roller coaster with its joys and sorrows summarized in some lines. What is certain is that Grégoire is firmly convinced that Mulebar has enormous potential, his little mules (the sports fans of Mulebar), tell him so every day. Alone it's harder but with extraordinary motivation, Mulebar gets up slowly but surely.

    The most beautiful pages of the brand remain to be written with and thanks to you!

    We never give up my little Mules ... ever!