Interview with Nature's Path Foods' Arjan Stephens
During last week's 3rd annual Veggie Fest, in Naperville, I had the pleasure to sit down with the Nature's Path Foods' VP of Marketing & Product Innovation, Arjan Stephens.
Nature's Path is a family run organic-based company founded in 1985 by Arran and Ratana Stephens in British Columbia, Canada. Since then, the Stephens family has expanded as well as the Nature Path's family of foods.
In 1989, Nature's Path introduced their first gluten-free cereal, gluten-free corn flakes, when gluten-free was a virtually unknown term to most people. They developed theEnviroKidz brand in 2000, which is completely gluten-free and focuses on children's cereals, cookies, waffles and cereal bars. Since then, business has been booming, and gluten-free households around the world have been singing their praises.
Arran's son, Arjan, was able to give me some more insight into their company and future plans.
I asked Arjan how he felt about large conventional companies such as General Mills entering the gluten-free market, and he responded that they find it a good challenge, and motivates them to focus on what is important. The Nature Path family is committed to working with organic, non-GMO ingredients, and green farming practices, which is something that larger companies are unable to do.
He continues by stating that Nature's Path currently produces 27 gluten-free items, with two new gluten-free cereals to be introduced in mid-September, Crunchy Vanilla Sunrise and Crunchy Maple Sunrise, which will be full of fiber and healthy omega-3.
I asked how parents have responded to their children's line, EnviroKidz, and Arjan responded that kids "love it'" and the parents are so grateful and happy to have products free of synthetic pesticides, which are found in conventional foods. In addition, Arjan explains that 1% of EnviroKidz sales is donated to habitat conservation and environmental education.
When asked if the gluten-free items are produced in a dedicated gluten-free facility, Arjan responds that while they use shared facilities and lines, they have a very stringent cleaning routine and clean down and test every line before packaging product to serve to the public.
I asked Arjan what his personal favorites are, and he responded that he likes them all, but his favorites would have to be the Leapin' Lemur and Mesa Sunrise Flakes cereals.
In addition to their wonderful food products, Nature's Path also provides a robust library of recipes that are simple and combine their own products as ingredients, from pancakes to curried squash soup. These recipes have been created by award-winning cookbook author Lorna Sass.
Since many people who are gluten-intolerant are also intolerant to dairy and/or corn, below is a list of Nature's Path's gluten-free items that are also dairy-free and/or corn-free:
Gluten Free, Corn Free & Dairy Free
Nature’s Path Crispy Rice
Envirokidz Koala Crisp
Gluten Free & and Dairy Free
Envirokidz Crispy Rice bars Cheetah Berry (made on the same equipment that processes dairy ingredients)
Envirokidz Crispy Rice bars Panda Peanut Butter (made on the same equipment that processes dairy ingredients)
Envirokidz Crispy Rice bars Lemur Choco Drizzle (made on the same equipment that processes dairy ingredients)
Envirokidz Crispy Rice bars Penguin Fruity Burst (made on the same equipment that processes dairy ingredients)
Envirokidz Crispy Rice Lemur Peanut Choco Drizzle (made on the same equipment that processes dairy ingredients)
NEW! Nature’s Path Crunchy Maple Sunrise
NEW! Nature’s Path Crunchy Vanilla Sunrise
Nature’s Path Mesa Sunrise Flakes
Nature’s Path Fruit Juice Cornflakes
Nature’s Path Honey’d Cornflakes
Nature’s Path Whole O’s
Envirokidz Amazon Frosted Flakes
Envirokidz Peanut Butter Panda Puffs
Envirokidz Gorilla Munch
Envirokidz Leapin Lemurs
Nature’s Path Mesa Sunrise waffles
Nature’s Path Buckwheat Wildberry waffles
Nature’s Path Homestyle waffles
Envirokidz Vanilla Animal Cookies
* Please note the Envirokidz Crispy Rice bars Koala Chocolate DOES contain dairy.