U-Be-Livin-Smart is a company that’s compressing 10 pounds of fruits or vegetables into one pound of nutrient-dense products that require no additives or preservatives.
It’s the brain child of veterans at Campbell Soup Co. and Kraft plus two others who began work on their product four years ago.
They are selling muffins, vitamins and healthy snacks across North America now; 92 per cent of their sales are exports to the United States.
Tim Sinclair, who used to work for Campbell Soup, also boasts that their products are GMO free and gluten free.
He said big companies – eight of them account for 85 per cent of global processed-food sales – aren’t interested in radical innovation because they’re comfortable doing business as usual.
It’s small startups, such as theirs, that are the innovators, he said.
He praised Ontario Agri-Food Technologies for helping the company launch, including into export markets.
And he said “there’s no way we could have done this” without support from the federal government’s Agri-Innovations program.
Andrew Stewart told how he and Jerry Chizick founded Amazing Grains that markets grains sprouted by Spring Farms at the former Seaforth Dairy plant at Seaforth.
It’s products are sold mainly as ingredients to food manufacturers.
As with U-Be-Livin-Smart, it advertises its products as GMO free, allergy free because they contain no dairy, soy or nuts and grown to organic standards.
Most of its sales are also to clients in the United States.
Trader Joe’s, a high-scale grocery chain, was one of its first customers. Others use its ingredients to produce smoothies, pastries, snack mixes, bars and loaf cakes.
A school board in New York buys bars. The company has other customers in the Middle East and China.
Loblaws is the only company that markets its products under the Amazing Grains label.
It markets healthy products that contain Foxtail millet, which reduces blood sugar and cholesterol, flax, buckwheat, quinoa, chia and mushrooms.
Jamie Draves of Katan Kitchens told he was told that his quinoa business would capture only a small niche market, but has exploded into the mainstream.
He has set out to exploit a global market for high-protein, high-quality food. Last year local growers harvested 20,000 pounds; this year they’re aiming to grow five times as much.
He has already gained clients in the retail, foodservice and food processing markets.
The University of Guelph helped to develop varieties suited to Ontario and are continuing that plant-breeding effort. A three-year plant-breeding program for Western Canada has begun.
“I hope to replicate this success with other high-protein crops,” said Draves
Although quinoa will supply about 60 per cent of daily requirements for iron and about 40 per cent for magnesium and provides calcium so far Draves has not gained approval from the federal government to make any health claims.
B. Keith Harris, who started Troll Bridge Creek Co. to market Maple Sweet Water, said it’s the first to market sap instead of syrup.
Now there are 18 competitors.
He has had help from the University of Guelph, Innovation Guelph, Enterprise Guelph as well as Ontario Agri-Food Technologies and is exporting to the United States, the European Union, Australia. Taiwan and Korea and hopes to soon sell to Japan, China and New Zealand.
His sap comes from McLachlan Family Maple Syrup and Pancake House at Komoka and is processed In Mississauga.