Tolerant Foods poised to be top contender in legume pasta category

By Adi Menayang contact

- Last updated on GMT

Tolerant Foods poised to be top contender in legume pasta category
The seven-person company is making big strides in a young but rapidly growing category, establishing itself as one of the ‘Best for the World’ food items according to research company HowGood’s criteria.

There is more dried pasta made out of beans in the market than ever before, a response to the category’s decline. As Euromonitor found out, value sales of dried pasta fell by 6% in the US​ between 2009 and 2014, and double that in Western Europe (13%) for the same time period.

“Once, it was all about the content of high quality durum wheat which separated the good from the bad,”wrote​ Euromonitor blogger Simone Baroke. “Now the mere mention of wheat makes consumers feel twitchy.”

The industry’s answer is a plethora of new legume-derived pastas​. Montreal-based Tolerant Foods​ is just one company that wants in on the action.

“It grew out of a desire to make a difference in the lives of those who seek healthier lifestyles, have food intolerances or dietary restrictions, through naturally powerful, legume based foods,”​ Shawn Pinsky, VP of MXO Global, the company behind the Tolerant Foods brand, told FoodNavigator-USA.

How to stand out in the bean pasta crowd

In the rapidly growing young category, Tolerant Foods differentiated itself through specialty lines promoting its energy and protein content, and how these lines are formulated.

“In our Energy Legume Blend line, we do not extract proteins,” ​Pinksy said. “But rather use pea flour with green lentil, red lentil or black bean. These are blended natural proteins, not injected with pea protein.”

The small company has had a positive year—upwards of 50% increase for revenue, and a growing staff. “Since launching in 2013, we went from a company of two (founder Tom Friedman and myself, vice president) to now working with seven more employees,” ​Pinsky said. “We have also expanded in private labeling manufacturing, bulk sales, and selling ingredients for soups.”

Earning a top spot in How Good’s ‘Best Food’ roster

Company values is also one area where Tolerant Foods stands out. “We take pride in manufacturing here in the USA by way of our SQF-certified manufacturing facility in Chicago,” ​Pinsky said.

HowGood, Inc.​, an independent research organization established in 2007, named Tolerant Foods’ products as some of the ‘Best for the World’ in its Best Foods list for pasta​.

The organization advocates food system transparency, and partners with farmers and food scientists to collect data from over 350 sources—including USDA, Fair Trade USA, and the Non-GMO Project—to track down companies and brands it believes are contributing to positive changes in the food industry.

“Since our launch just three years ago, we've been recognized with a 2013 Nexty, 2016 Clean Eating Clean Choice Awards, Delicious Living 2016 Best Bites, and the 2016 Eat This, Not That! Food Awards - Lunch and Dinner,” ​Pinksy said. “HowGood, Inc.'s rating our product among the top 5% demonstrates we are a trusted brand that truly provides a healthy product.”

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