October 20, 2010
by Andrew Joseph, Features Editor
Healthy new lifestyle habits seem to be much easier to swallow when there’s good company around. And with a company such as Nutrisoya Foods, switching from milk to non-dairy, soy-based alternatives has never been easier for Canadian consumers who, for one reason or another, are unable or reluctant to consume everyday milk products.
Formed in 1992 in St-Hyacinthe, Que., Nutrisoya originally started out as a processor of pasteurized tofu, according to company president Nick Feldman, before becoming aware of the much more lucrative opportunities in the fledgling hot new markets for non-dairy beverages at the turn of the century.
“We sold our tofu division in 2002 to focus our attention on the growing soy beverage market,” Feldman told Canadian Packaging magazine in a recent interview.
“We wanted to examine new ways to bring the healthy benefits of non-dairy beverages to the consumers, and it wasn’t too big of a step for us to move into the beverage industry.”
Since making a big marketplace splash with its 2001 launch of the natur-a brand of refrigerated soy beverages—now retailing in Canada at Sobeys, Loblaws, Metro and Costco outlets, along through countless independent grocers and health-food stores—Nutrisoya has gone from strength to strength, relates Feldman, citing ongoing diversification of the company’s growing product portfolio that now also includes rice beverages and soy-based ‘ice-cream’ alternatives.
“In 2001 Nutrisoya and our industry as a whole enjoyed a major victory when the Canadian government began promoting enriched soy beverages at the same level as milk,” explains Ignace Daher, Nutrisoya’s vice-president of sales and marketing.