Waterford SME Chia bia launch new range of ‘Free From’ Clever Chia Cookies

Chia bia, Ireland’s largest supplier of chia seeds, has launched their first range of gluten-free, wheat-free and dairy-free chia biscuits. One of Ireland’s fastest growing food sectors, the market for gluten-free goods in Ireland has grown substantially over the past few years. Figures from the UK suggest there are now over 12 million consumers, representing a growth of 120% in the past five years.*

Chia bia has seen demand for their products double year on year since the foundation of the company in 2009, co-founder of Chia bia Ray Owens explains “Over five percent of Irish children and three percent of Irish adults have food allergies and intolerances. The launch of our new range of clever cookies is a huge stepping stone for Chia bia that will bring ‘Free-From’ natural goodness to a more mainstream consumer audience.”

“Having identified the emerging gaps in this growing market and implemented new product development strategies, our Chia bia cookies will help meet changing consumer demands. This specialised sector is providing us with huge opportunities to develop new export markets and will provide lucrative retail contracts both at home and abroad. Our export markets are ever growing with the UK now accounting for almost half our business and 15 per cent of our sales from the Middle East and Eastern European.”

New research, conducted by Dr. Gideon Paul, a leading UK based cardiologist, found that two dessertspoonful’s of Chia seed contain twice as much Omega-3 as an 80g portion of salmon and that “as a topping on cereal or salad, it could help reduce and maintain cholesterol levels as part of a healthy diet”.

From launching in 100 health stores in February 2010, Chia bia now supplies to over 2,000 outlets across the UK and Ireland. In 2013, the company signed a new distribution deal which sees its range of products listed in Tesco’s 142 stores across Ireland. In the UK, Chia bia is available from Selfridges, Holland & Barrett and is listed with all major health distributors and an increasing number of independent health food stores. Chia bia supplies directly to customers in the Middle East and also to Sobeys – a major distributor throughout Canada.

Now employing a team of 14 people from its base in Tramore, Co Waterford, Chia bia source their Chia seeds through Dr. Wayne Coates, the world’s leading Chia expert. Chia bia’s cookies come in four different varieties, Blueberry, Chocolate Chip, Ginger and Lemon.
See www.chiabia.com