Local Success Story: “Taste of Nature” Organic Snack Bars (Markham) by Steph Chiu
Local Success Story: “Taste of Nature” Organic Snack Bars (Markham)
By Steph Chiu
This week I am introducing you to something different: a recent product discovery of mine that’s made locally in Markham, but has grown to become very successful in both Canada and the U.S.
What I’m talking about is a brand of organic snack bars called Taste of Nature. What I love about these is that they’re made of all-natural ingredients (nuts, dried fruits, etc.) without any artificial ingredients, simple sugars, or fillers. The nutritional profile is impressive: high fibre, healthy fats, and natural sugars. They’re also gluten free and certified non-GMO. I am an avid ingredients-list reader and generally stay away from pre-packaged products, but these bars fit perfectly into my health-conscious lifestyle as each one is jam-packed with real, quality ingredients that you can pronounce. The best part is that these bars taste sinfully sweet and delicious, and yet are completely guilt-free. You can enjoy them for breakfast, as a snack, or even as dessert!
Currently, Taste of Nature bars come in 13 different flavours. From looking at the ingredients lists, you can pretty accurately guess which ones you will like. For example, the Brazilian Nut Fiesta is made of: raisins, peanuts, agave nectar, sunflower seeds, almonds, Brazil nuts, brown rice syrup, walnuts, whole grain brown rice crisps, pumpkin seeds, sunflower oil, and agar. And it tasted exactly like it sounded – like a delicately-sweetened (from the agave nectar) mix of nutritious nuts and seeds, accompanied by a satisfying crunch in every bite from the rice crisps and the nuts. The transparent packaging also makes it very easy to see what you are about to enjoy, because there really is nothing to hide in these wholesome snack bars!
Therefore, while I’ve shared my thoughts with you below, keep in mind that they are my own personal preferences. I encourage you to check out the ingredients list for all the flavours to see which ones might appeal to you most.
My favourites were Brazilian Nut Fiesta, Niagara Apple Country, Himalayan Goji Summit, Mediterranean Pistachio Passion, and Canadian Maple Forest. Why? Because I love all kinds of nuts, apple pie, goji berries, pistachios, and maple syrup. I can definitely see myself substituting a Niagara Apple Country for apple crumble – it was just that good!
The ones I didn’t like were Caribbean Ginger Island and Argentina Peanut Plains. My reasons: I don’t like ginger (except when used to subtly flavour a dish as is common in Asian cuisine), and I found the latter to be a little too much peanut taste in one bar (although I do love peanuts and peanut butter).
As I mentioned at the beginning, Taste of Nature bars are manufactured locally by Shandiz Natural Foods right in their facility in Markham. With nearly 50,000 fans on Facebook and tons of press coverage recently, Taste of Nature is a great local success story that I was happy to discover. You can find Taste of Nature bars in many of your favourite retailers such as Loblaws, Bulk Barn, and Walmart (see their website for a full list). They usually retail for $1.99 per bar, but the cheapest I’ve seen them sold is at Costco, where they’re sold in a variety pack of 18 (Brazilian Nut Fiesta, Polynesian Coconut Breeze, and Quebec Cranberry Carnival) for just $18. That’s just $1 each!
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about this story as much as I’ve enjoyed sharing it with you. I look forward to discovering more local products like these to share to the YorkScene community in the future. Until next time, foodies!