South African Vital Health Foods evolves into healthy snacking
With 70 years in the health industry, the Western Cape-based company claims it is ideally positioned to play in the intersection between health supplements and food.
The snacks come in small portions and include vitamins that are often scarce in staple foods due to high turnaround in many crops to benefit financially.
Eating your vitamins
The Vital Bars and Bites are made from dried fruit, raw nuts and seeds and contain 12 vitamins (from A to E) at 100% Nutrient Reference Values (NRV), which is the daily recommended nutritional intake.
The bars are available in three flavors – Cashew & Coconut, Almond & Coca, and Seed, Almond & Cinnamon – and are free from added sugar, gluten, preservatives, colorants and flavorants.
Vital’s air-popped rice crisps are made from wholegrain brown and white rice and contain less than 400 kilojoules (96 kcal) per 20 g serving. They are free of gluten, trans fat, added MSG, preservatives and aspartame, available in three variants – Fruit Chutney, Sweet & Spicy Pepper Salsa, and Cream Cheese & Chives.
The popularity of snacking in South Africa
Claire Braithwaite, senior manager for the company’s foods category, told BakeryandSnacks the snacks are targeted at anyone with a busy lifestyle who is trying to follow a balanced diet, particularly in light of the fact that snacking makes up more than 50% of the South African consumer’s daily food and drink intake.
“People are far more informed about what they should be eating and are consciously making healthy decisions,” said Andrea du Plessis, Vital Health Foods’ nutrition expert.
“Many snacks contain large quantities of hidden sugars, fats and salt, and have little nutritional value in terms of vitamins and fibre. Vital realised that there was a need to develop snacks that contribute to nutritional intake and are also delicious,” she says.
Vital Health Foods has a team of inhouse nutritional experts who develop and test products under the scrutiny of a quality assurance and regulatory team, and all its food products meet the British Retail Consortium (BRC) quality standard.
The Vital Bars and Bites retail for R18.99 ($1.38) per 40 g bar, while Vital Crisps sells for R6.99 (0.50c) for the 20 g pack; R16.99 ($1.23) for the 85 g sharing packs; and R14.99 ($1.09) for the strip of four 15 g packs.
They are sold online, as well as through several major retailers in South Africa.