Almost two years after its launch at Germany’s Anuga fair in 2013, Canadian organic snack bar brand MadeGood™ is growing in breathtaking volume and value and winning consumers seeking much healthier alternatives with “free-from” attributes.
MadeGood™’s certified organic snacks are gaining rapid acceptance globally. The line is effectively responding to the growing demand for natural and organic snack bars fulfilling more consumers’ dietary and convenience needs.
Recent US research from Mintel said that Americans claim a preference for healthier snacking. And 33 percent said they are snacking on healthier foods this year compared to last year, specifically those with simple ingredients and low-calorie counts. Nearly one-third (30 percent) of parents are serving healthier snacks to their children.
The US organic snack food sector jumped 15 percent to $1.7 billion in 2013 (OTA survey), compared with global and US figures showing growth of around three to six percent in total snack foods.
MadeGood™ is a young and dynamic brand of Riverside Natural Foods, a family business based in Vaughan, Ontario, Canada. Founder and president Nima Fotovat brings a rich experience obtained at Shandiz, a previous family enterprise and leader in the development of natural and organic certified energy bars under private label. Shandiz also introduced its brand Taste of Nature, a line of snack bars containing nutrient-rich, minimally processed and certified organic ingredients. When the Fotovat family sold its share at Shandiz to its partners, Nima, his wife Ladan and sister Sama decided to launch MadeGood™ with other colleagues.
The line initially offered two lines of raw fruit and nut bars and school safe, peanut free granola minis in four flavours that were organic and gluten free, providing a low glycemic index and no added sugar.
The experience from the previous business helped MadeGood™ founder Nima Fotovat and his team in their quite substantial achievement.
Riverside Natural Foods Vice President, Sales Peter Mulherin said that it had been less than two years since MadeGood™’s initial launch and the response has been excellent. “Our quality and point of difference are getting attention in many markets,” he said.
“We learned from our mistakes and improved in several areas,” Mr Mulherin said. “We also spent a great deal of time evaluating the market looking for a point of difference. We didn’t want to be just another fruit and nut or granola bar. And our partners around the world have been very supportive and we are extremely pleased with our growth to date.”
Evidently, there are a lot of snack bars and granola bars in supermarkets and natural health food stores, but not that many offer the attributes of being delicious, nutritious, certified organic, non-GMO, allergy-free and sustainably produced.
However, MadeGood™ believes it has a clear point of difference that allows the products to be differentiated in the market by consumers and retailers, Mr Mulherin said.
MadeGood™Granola products are one of the very few snack items that can claim certified organic, gluten free, peanut free and with an added serving of vegetables,” he said.
“These are school-safe items and any Canadian Mom will tell you how hard it is to find healthy snacks that you can send to school. Similarly, our Fruit & Nut bars are unique in that we have developed a process to produced them without sugars, honey or syrups of any kind – thus giving us the no added sugar claim.”
The attractive MadeGood™ product range includes Raw Fruit & Nut Bars, Sprouted Bars, Granola Bars and Granola Mini Bars, with consumer acceptance in the last 12 months above expectations, especially the way the Granola products have taken off.
The latest product in the range is the Chocolate Chip granola bars that come in five 24gm bars in a larger pack and a mini-pack that have received great acceptance.
“In Canada and many US states, peanuts are banned so MadeGood™ provides Mom with a healthy snack alternative that they can send in their child’s lunch,” Mr Mulherin said.
The company is very pleased with its export market sales growth over the last 12 months. To date, the strongest markets for MadeGood™ are The Netherlands, Japan, Hong Kong and France, while several new markets are about to come on board.
The peanut-free and main allergen-free snack is getting prominent visibility at top retailers such as Whole Foods Market. It is also now available on the menu of Air Canada.
“The gluten-free market is also being addressed. Consumers are thankful that they can find a healthy snack that they can eat that is delicious,” said Mr. Mulherin.
“On the go, healthy snacking represents a big opportunity, so we are developing display units to accommodate this area.”
For the future, Riverside Natural Foods said it would continue to look at new MadeGood™ categories and flavours as the business grows and evolves.
And Riverside Natural Foods is building up a strong reputation as a reliable supplier with an efficient supply chain in place.
“We work with our partners around the world to find the fastest and most economical route possible. In Europe, we have a distribution center that services all countries in the continent,” Mr. Mulherin added
Sustainability is important to Riverside Natural Foods, which has a commitment to the planet that it said begins by supporting organic farmers, and it extends this throughout all MadeGood™ operations and manufacturing processes. “We are working hard and continuously minimizing our environmental footprint,” the company said.