New Era Nutrition
The banner on the home page of the New Era Nutrition website is almost science fiction
in flavour. It reads: "The Foods of Tomorrow
Today." When Edmonton entrepreneur Saul Katz founded the
company in 1992, that was exactly the corporate sentiment he wanted to project. Katz entered the business
of creating and marketing nutraceuticals and functional foods, a multi-billion dollar industry growing up
around foods and food ingredients that offer medical or health benefits.
The companys first product, developed as a joint venture with scientists and nutritionists
from the University of Alberta Hospital, was a balanced nutrition bar, an alternative to the Power Bar
then produced and marketed in the United States. The Balance Bar combined nutraceuticals, and the company
fine-tuned the product with the National Research Council and the Leduc Food Processing Centre.
Over the years, the company would develop "medicine that actually tasted good." There
would be the soy bars and protein mixes common to the industry, but also the Balance Bar Outdoor Line (an
all-natural meal replacement bar), the Childrens FruitSponge (an apple-based fruit bar available in six
and an equal number of vibrant colours) and the Prebiotic Bar designed to promote good
As the Atkins-generated low-carb food fad faded, in April 2005 New Era embarked upon
an approach that, for want of a better term, could be called "slow carb." The Solo GI Bar encourages a
slow digestion of carbohydrates, and prevents a quick spiking and then crashing of the bodys blood sugar
The bar appears to be a success, gaining the company entry into the United States where
the bulk of the nutraceutical business is found.
Katz projected 2005 sales of the Solo bar alone to be $2.5 million, but felt the figure
could double. Ever the optimist, he looks ahead to $500 million annually within the next five to seven
The bar might be low glycemic, but for this "food of tomorrow
today" the future could
not be more limitless.
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