14 Sep 21 Meet the team behind Banting Blvd and Happy Being Co
You can’t keep a good food innovator down – and here’s an update on the entrepreneurship of Gail van Niekerk that has put user-friendly banting and low carb products in easy consumer reach.
By way of background, your editor first interviewed Van Niekerk some 20 years ago (!) as a prime figure in the success of The Dairy Connection, one of South Africa’s most innovative dairy producers and a key supplier to Woolworths.
Any fan of the dairy fridges at Woolies will know there’s little to beat the quality and range of its yoghurts and dairy desserts, all of which are supplied on a national basis from its Killarney Gardens, Cape Town, factory.
Prior to the Dairy Connection, a subsidiary of Fair Cape, Van Niekerk honed her food marketing talents for several years as a well-respected dairy selector at Woolies, and was instrumental in the project to add value to its milk through branding and ‘de-commodifying’ this commodity product – via developing the premium positioning of its famed Ayrshire milk.
When the Banting and low carb/high fat eating moved into the SA dietary mindset around 2013, Van Niekerk set up Banting Boulevard – and she features here in “Our Seeds of Change“, part of Food Lover’s Market Supplier Development Partnership programme.
This is a focus on its suppliers, to tell the story of their journey and to hopefully aid other local suppliers on their growth path.
The article and video tells the story of the Van Niekerk team, Gail and her two daughters, who created Banting Blvd, HEBA, and The Happy Being Co, supplying a range of health food products from low carb, gluten-free, vegan, and collagen to Food Lover’s Market, at affordable prices for its customers.
Banting Blvd met with Food Lover’s Market in July 2016 and their business has grown substantiallly since then. It started with low-carb premixes for the banting community, but the golden child has been the HEBA pap (now known as HEBA).
HEBA stands for HEalthy BAnting, and was named ‘the food of the revolution’. HEBA is a low-carb flour alternative that is used as pap, porridge, low-carb flour substitute in baking.
Watch the interview here…. Caption pic top: Gabi Van Niekerk (Communications), Gail Van Niekerk (owner), Lizanne Van Niekerk (Brand & Financial Manager).