Selling noodles to China: Low-GI food firm to ship US$11.5m of product with double predicted next year
In the agreement between Holista Foods Inc. and Express Trading Canada, sales will commence in October 2018, with a target of US$11.55m worth of noodles in the first year, and is expected to double to C$30m in the following year.
China is the world’s largest noodle consumer.
“There’s a significant population in China that prefers foreign-made products and would want low-GI noodles made in Canada,” Dr Rajen Manicka, founder and CEO of Holista CollTech told FoodNavigator-Asia.
According to the firm, upper-class Chinese consumers, numbering about 150 million, increasingly prefer imported food products following the recent food scandals in the country.
The first C$3m of sales has been committed for the three months ending December 31, 2018.
Targeting supermarkets and restaurants
This new agreement marks the second major international order for Holista Foods’ low-GI noodles.
A few months ago, Dr Rajen told us about Holista Foods’ maiden order to Wing’s Food Products in Canada. It also had an agreement to sell up to US$6m worth of noodles to Wing’s Food in 2018, which is expected to rise to US$25m by 2020.
Express, which specialises in exporting Canadian consumer foods and agricultural products to China, has committed to achieving sales of US$23m by the second year as a condition for securing exclusive distribution rights for Holista CollTech’s low-GI noodles to the whole country.
Express will sell the low-GI noodles in cities across the provinces of Guangdong, Sichuan and Shanxi, as well as in Shanghai, Beijing and Tianjin.
“We are exploring various channels — online and offline as well as food services and restaurants,” Dr Rajen told us.
“We will also be on a Chinese show in November 2018, about imports into China.”
Said Nadja Piatka, CEO of Holista Foods, “Express is a long and trusted partner of Holista Foods. Their strong track record and extensive network will facilitate rapid adoption of low-GI noodles in China, the world’s most populous country and largest consumer of noodles.”
Low-GI adoption in China
According to information from the American Medical Association, one in two Chinese adults is pre-diabetic.
Holista CollTech stated that the debut of the low-GI noodles in China represents the first compelling and healthy option available for Chinese consumers.
“Our agreement with Holista Foods represents a huge opportunity in an industry where there has been no major health innovation in decades. Holista Foods’ low-GI noodles will disrupt the industry,” said Yan Zhou, CEO of Express.
“With the endorsement of Diabetes Canada, I am confident that discerning Chinese consumers will welcome our healthy take on this staple food.
“We are elated by this major agreement, which will spur growth for the healthy food market in China and the rest of the world. China needs a low-GI version of this staple food,” said Dr Rajen.
“The alarming rise of diabetes in China further strengthens our value proposition for the country’s emerging upper-class population.”
The low-GI noodles developed by Holista, and endorsed by Diabetes Canada, have a GI reading of 38. The global average for noodles is 60.
Dr Rajen said that the dry noodles had a shelf life of up to two years.
He added that the order, shipped out from Canada, has Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and kosher certification.
Low-GI Innovation for the future
Holista CollTech said it continues to develop low-GI versions of muffin, pancakes and bread.
The firm has two other innovations, low-GI sugar, for which Dr Rajen previously told us a prototype should be ready very soon, and low sodium salt, for which it already has a prototype.
“We are now working on instant low-GI noodles,” Dr Rajen revealed.
“We are also in the midst of cracking low-GI clean label white bread, with a commercial customer expected by the end of the year.”
Holista CollTech is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).