With easy access to fresh ingredients, fully serviced industrial lands, a talented workforce, and an abundance of goods and services providers, London is a prime location for both new and established agrifood businesses alike. Recently, this city in southwestern Ontario has seen a surge in health food companies, which begs the question: is London becoming a healthy hotspot?
Health Food Companies Making London Home
London already plays host to large food and beverage companies like Maple Leaf, Dr. Oetker, Labatt, Nestlé, and McCormick. Businesses in the health food sub-sector have taken notice of the success achieved by these big players. Companies like Booch Organic Kombucha, Plantworthy Food, Rebel Remedy Health Bar, Pulp & Press Juice Co., and Kosuma Foods are just some of the health-focused companies to settle in the area. Among more recent additions of innovative health food brands are Aspire Food Group, Forest City Microgreens, and Nuts for Cheese.
Aspire Food Group—Working to Alleviate Food Insecurity
Aspire Food Group (Aspire) is pioneering sustainable insect agriculture to address food insecurity by bringing a protein alternative to market. Their solution provides nutrition to people and pets and offers a way to stimulate plant fortitude without the use of conventional pesticides. For Aspire, establishing their operations in London was an easy decision.
“London checks many boxes that any growing company will find hard to match elsewhere in southwest Ontario: great talent, excellent research institutions, an entrepreneurial city hall and development office, great amenities, recreation for young families, and dynamic access to international markets. Aspire is thrilled to have chosen London as the home of our commercial production facility and headquarters,” says co-founder and CEO, Mohammed Ashour.
Forest City Microgreens —Super Versatile Superfoods
Forest City Microgreens offers healthy, local, and fresh microgreens, growing kits, seeds, and other supplies to serve health-focused commercial and residential establishments. Their nutritious products are popular among restaurants and consumers who are looking to add power greens to their menus. For Forest City Microgreens, the supportive community of London has provided significant opportunities for growth.
“Consumers and businesses in London have been very receptive. We have been able to sell our products through our online subscription program, at local restaurants, retirement homes, farmers markets, and independent grocers. We look forward to continuing to expand in the region with the great support of the London community,” says operations manager, Santiago Ramirez.
Nuts for Cheese —Say “Cheese” with Ease!
Nuts for Cheese produces 100% dairy-free plant-based cheese for artisan cheese lovers. What started with one ambitious chef in the back of a vegan kitchen has grown to a team of 25 employees in a 25,000 square foot manufacturing facility in London. The company has benefited from access to the skilled and diverse workforce in the region.
“London has been a rewarding place to do business. We’ve benefited from the incredibly supportive community and a range of accelerator programs, as well as easy access to the Canadian and US markets,” says founder and CEO, Margaret Coons.
Establishing Roots in London
90+ companies employing more than 7,000 people have found that London has all the right ingredients for starting or expanding their food and beverage operations. Businesses seeking to establish deep roots can take advantage of local produce, shovel-ready land, key service providers, world-class talent, robust transportation infrastructure, and agri-food focused support. The Grove in London offers new and established business access to shared space, resources, and programming to promote innovation, education, and growth.
“London is attracting significant investment, growth and success in our health and agri-food sectors as they continue to be key drivers in London’s economy, said Kapil Lakhotia, President & CEO London Economic Development Corporation. “It only makes sense that these two sectors have come together to put London on the map for healthy solutions made right here.”