Too much sugar, too little fiber. It’s a problem for millions of Canadians. Today, VitaFiber, Canada’s newest, healthy alternative to sugar was launched in Toronto at the country’s top health food show. It’s targeted at two of the world’s major health problems - bulging waistlines and digestive problems like irregularity. As part of its national retail launch, VitaFiber is scheduled to be on the shelves of select natural health food stores in Canada in six weeks. A mass grocery rollout is planned for the future.
The name, VitaFiber, is partly in recognition of the product’s fiber content and comes from Edmonton based life sciences company BioNeutra. VitaFiber is made from the starch of natural plants such as pea or tapioca into a syrup or powder using a patented process. It is certified halal, kosher, vegan and comes in both natural and organic format. BioNeutra has been described by the media as a rising star in life sciences and the Canadian Government has named it a leader among Canada’s 750 natural health and functional food companies.
BioNeutra’s CEO, Dr. Jianhua Zhu says, “Health Experts estimate that up to 14 million Canadian adults are over-weight and 9 million Canadians experience some form of digestive problems including irregularity and constipation. Both cost the country’s health care system tens of millions of dollars in treatment costs annually and lost productivity. Canadians are looking to the natural health industry for some help. We worked hard to come up with a natural, plant-based alternative to sugar that’s healthy. That’s what VitaFiber is.”
According to Health Canada the recommended daily intake of fiber for women is 25 grams and 38 grams for men and Canadians consume roughly half that amount. BioNeutra says one tablespoon of VitaFiber provides 11% of the recommended daily fiber intake - about the same amount as you get from two raw carrots.
Up until now, VitaFiber has been sold as a functional food ingredient to about 200 international (Europe, U.S.) makers of protein bars, yogurts, beverages, ice cream and confectionaries as a B2B product. Cumulative sales in the past six years have exceeded a total of more than $140 million. VitaFiber is also sold online through Amazon and Shopify and has garnered rave reviews from online retail shoppers who say it’s great for baking and call it “awesome” and “amazing” “perfect for making Quest bars or Special K bars”. Following its successful online launch, it will now be available to average consumers at retail outlets.
BioNeutra North America, winner of top science awards and ranked one of Canada’s fastest growing companies by Canadian Business magazine and Macleans, developed the natural sweetener through a multi-million dollar research program that involved R & D at universities in three countries and the National Research Council. VitaFiber was approved for sale in 30 countries following the review of scientific studies and a clinical trial submitted by the Company to the world’s top three health regulatory bodies - the U.S. FDA, Health Canada and the European Food Safety Authority.
The health food show at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre runs from Sept 13-15 and is sponsored by the Canadian Health Food Association. Closed to the public, it attracts several thousand retailers who operate natural health food stores as well as the nation’s major grocery chains. More details about VitaFiber can be found at www.vitafiber.com.