The US dietary supplement market is the largest in the world and the company aims to be a disruptor
BioHarvest Sciences Inc (CSE: BHSC) (OTCMKTS: CNVCF) (FRA: 8MV) CEO Ilan Sobel is confident that his Canadian company’s unique BioFarming technology will appeal to the American consumer.
In early June 2021, Sobel’s company entered the US market with its first nutraceutical product VINIA, derived from its unique technology – the first and only plant cell process on an industrial scale capable of producing active plant ingredients without having to need to grow the plant itself. .
VINIA is a supplement made from the skin of red grapes, containing a rich complex of polyphenols designed to increase the dilation of the arteries to improve blood circulation, physical energy and mental alertness.
The product, which also contains a key compound, pikeide resveratrol at levels in each 400 milligram (mg) capsule equivalent to an average bottle of red wine, is available online in the United States, the world’s largest marketplace for nutraceutical supplements worth about $ 53 billion. Almost 80% of American households use dietary supplements.
âI am very passionate about bringing our science to the American consumer,â Sobel said in an interview with Proactive. âNow it’s a very demanding industry. We really want to set the standard for how food supplement companies operate based on our revolutionary BioFarming technology and on bringing science and efficiency to the consumer. And we also want to educate the consumer on what the product does to them and actually help them understand the importance of taking VINIA.
To highlight the benefits of VINIA, shortly after arriving in the United States, the company announced that the flagship product is the only dietary supplement available in the country capable of supporting the body’s aging process.
BioHarvest stated that VINIA can both reduce the enzyme endothelin 1 (which causes hardening of the arteries) as well as stimulate nitric oxide molecules (which relaxes muscles) to increase the dilation of the arteries and thus improve blood flow. . In addition, the company is studying VINIA as an adjuvant therapy to treat patients with type 2 diabetes.
âIn our clinical trial, we were able to demonstrate that all people who used VINIA for 90 days were able to increase artery dilation by at least 70%,â said the boss of BioHarvest.
The company aims to be a disruptor in the U.S. supplement market, Sobel noted. âIt’s all about branding and effectiveness and communicating how we can change a consumer’s life with the power of our science,â he said when asked to differentiate BioHarvest’s products. competition.
Harnessing the power of e-commerce and social media
Sobel, who spent 18 years at Coca-Cola observing its marketing prowess, said BioHarvest does not sell VINIA in traditional retail stores, but uses the power of e-commerce and social media to connect with customers of very personal and focused way.
âWe want to go straight to the consumer and have an individual relationship and be able to nurture that indefinite loyalty that consumers have with the brand,â he said. âWhen you bring in the big box retailer, you lose that one-on-one relationship with your consumer. “
BioHarvest first launched VINIA in 2017 in Israel, where the product is made. The company is currently expanding its manufacturing facility from 2 tonnes per year to 20 tonnes per year.
In Israel, VINIA’s sales reach record levels after the launch in the fourth quarter of 2020 of its new direct-to-consumer e-commerce program.
For the first quarter ended March 31, 2021, the company recorded a sequential sales gain of 17% compared to the fourth quarter of 2020. The number of VINIA purchase orders in the first quarter increased by 45% compared to the previous quarter and the average dollar purchase amount for the first quarter. customers time was US $ 169. BioHarvest forecasts sales of US $ 1.4 to 1.5 million for total sales in 2021.
Asked about the global expansion of the Superfruit business, Sobel said that over the next 12 months, the VINIA division will only focus on the deployment of VINIA in the United States. After that, BioHarvest will move to the Canadian and European markets. The company is also eyeing Japan.
Entering the cannabis space
Meanwhile, BioHarvest has entered the cannabis space, applying its BioFarming technology to the industry. In June 2021, the company announced that it had taken important steps towards commercialization, all based on the fact that it can grow cannabis trichomes in a liquid medium without growing the cannabis plant itself. The trichome is the micro-factory that produces cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes, the beneficial compounds that attract humans to the plant.
Sobel said the company intends to develop cannabis products – using technology similar to that which produced VINIA in its bioreactors – for the pharmaceutical industry that are far superior to organically grown cannabis. The company plans its first product deployment in 2022.
âWe use the plant once,â Sobel explained. âThen we grow our cells in an aseptic environment. So there is no fertilizer. We don’t have to worry about heavy metals. Pesticides don’t exist. Mold does not exist. It is like the purest form you can get.
BioHarvest is also developing an olive oil product – again using its BioFarming technology – which it hopes to deliver by the end of 2022 in Israel, bringing the benefits of a Mediterranean diet without the hefty calories that come with olive oil. olive. In addition, the company plans to make health products from pomegranates.
Going forward, Sobel said BioHarvest’s “manic goal” is to penetrate deeper into the US market, start operations at its new 20-ton-per-year manufacturing facility, and research and develop products in the future. cannabis base. Later, as part of his growth strategy, the boss of BioHarvest does not rule out possible acquisitions and partnerships.
âWe are very aware of what we can do with the power of our BioFarming technology,â said Sobel. âWe have resources that are working on the future and will be ready to support us. This could probably require very unique business models based on working with other companies attracted to certain industries trying to solve problems that they can only solve with our help. “
Contact the author: [email protected]
Follow him on Twitter @PatrickMGraham