Three years ago dietitian Hayley Blieden launched The Australian Superfood Co. (TASC), using indigenous superfoods to create a range of snackfoods, cereals, dehydrated fruits and raw powders.
Her idea for the company began while working with professional athletes who were trying to gain an edge from their nutrition using imported superfoods.
Research into bush tucker showed her Australian superfoods have exceptional nutritional qualities. Blieden cites Kakadu Plum, for instance, as having 100 times the vitamin C content of an orange.
Blieden travelled through outback Australia, visiting and connecting with indigenous communities to buy ongoing supplies of native superfoods.
“We’ve been developing relationships with indigenous communities and growers over the past five-and-a-half years. Firstly, you need to develop trust within communities; and, secondly, you need to find the supply,” Blieden says.
TASC draws produce from all over Australia, while manufacturing is split over two states with bars manufactured in NSW and granolas made in Victoria.
The range has no artificial ingredients, and is gluten- and dairy-free.
“Native Australian ingredients are unique and quite rare on the retail shelves,” she says. “Most Australians have never tasted Australian bushfood and aren’t familiar with the flavours.”
The initial snack products went well and drew interest, but people were more interested in the ingredients, so Blieden added a range of three paleo granolas, five native fruit powders, seven native herb and spice powders, and three dehydrated fruits.
Retail comprises 30 per cent of the business, with five per cent of that online. TASC is now stocked in nearly 500 stores Australia-wide.