Biotech company and food manufacturer Holista CollTech’s (ASX: HCT) has struck a chord with its consumer market base by signing its first commercial order for its patented “low-GI noodles”, an all natural and minimally processed variety of noodles that are particularly low in sugar.
Holista announced a deal with Ontario-based Wing’s Food Products, the leading noodle supplier in North America, for its first US$250,000 order of its low-GI noodles.
The deal is forecast to scale up over the next 3 years, eventually seeing Holista supply around US$25 million in total product sales through Wing’s Food Products.
According to Holista, the first order constitutes “a trial order for all parties concerned to develop the needed supply chains as the business is scaled up.”
Holista is due to ship the first portion of its maiden order from Malaysia by the end of February 2018 with subsequent shipments coming from Canada and India, with Holista saying that “this would be logistically and economically more viable.”
According to Holista, this initial order forms the foundation of a three-year relationship, as agreed through a MoU earlier this month, with orders expected to grow to US$6 million in 2018, US$12 million in 2019 and up to US$25 million in 2020.
Why low glycemic noodles and why now
Holista’s suite of ingredients, including okra, lentils, barley and fenugreek, combined with its patented technology has led to Holista formulating a bespoke low-GI (low glycemic index) products with drastically reduced sodium salt, low-fat fried foods and low calories sugar.
Holista says it is using sheep (ovine) collagen as its core differentiator, and applying patented extraction methods in order to develop its range of healthy food products.
Holista’s products have also been endorsed by the Glycemic Index Foundation which supports initiatives toward reducing diabetes and abnormally high blood sugar levels.
As part of its work towards developing its product range, Holista developed the now-recognised ‘Glycemic Index’, supported by Diabetes Canada which indicates Holista’s noodles score significantly lower on the GI index (38 against an industry average of 60).
The Glycemic Index (GI) is a relative ranking of carbohydrate in foods according to how they affect blood glucose levels.
Carbohydrates with a low GI value (55 or less) are more slowly digested, absorbed and metabolised and cause a lower and slower rise in blood glucose and, therefore usually, insulin levels.
Healthy food market entry
Holista’s first order marks its entry into the billion-dollar global noodle market.
According to Grand View Research, the global pasta and noodles market was valued at US$59.6 billion in 2016 and is expected to grow at a compounded annual rate of 3.6% for the foreseeable future.
Globally, around 97.5 billion of servings are consumed each year. Just in the US, the noodle market is worth around US$270 million annually, making it the world’s sixth-largest market for instant noodles.
Holista is hoping to enter the market in partnership with Wing’s Foods and is marketing its offering specifically as a healthy food option, and being endorsed by celebrity chef Nadja Piatka.
The company has developed an 85-gram serving of noodles that contains 11 grams of protein, 3 grams of fibre, and most importantly, zero sugar without compromising the taste or consumer appeal of a staple food consumed by billions of people each year.
“The order from Wing’s is the first step to global acceptance of a healthy version of noodles without compromising taste or texture. We are grateful to Wing’s for this partnership and we look forward to more partnerships in the near future,” said Nadja Piatka, CEO of Holista Foods.
In parallel, Ms Piatka also plans to introduce a healthy alternative brand of low-GI bread.
Neal Lee, President of Wing’s, said: “As a company that prides itself as a quality food supplier, Wing’s is proud to be the first major noodle manufacturer in the world to launch a dedicated low-GI noodle. We believe that this order is the first of many more breakthrough low-GI products and we look forward to a long-term partnership with Holista.”