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Hardbite: B.C.’s Global Natural Food Success

Company Origins and Evolution

Recognized globally under their chips brand Hardbite, Naturally Homegrown Foods Ltd. has come a long way since being founded 25 years ago. Based in Surrey, British Columbia (B.C.), the company underwent a shift in ownership in 2011, and this marked the beginning of a new era of continuous growth and innovation.

Being 100 percent natural, Naturally Homegrown Foods Ltd. aligns seamlessly with the growing demand for healthier food options. The company oversees every aspect of its production process, including sourcing local ingredients from the bountiful regions of B.C., championing local produce and sustainability and manufacturing.

Approximately 85 employees strong, Naturally Homegrown Foods Ltd. boasts impressive production output, especially in the realm of small-batch kettle cooked chips. The company produces a staggering array of 28 chip flavours, offering a diverse range of products (potato and root vegetable chips) to cater to various consumer preferences. Additionally, they release limited-edition seasonal flavours, such as the unique Turkey Stuffing flavour for Thanksgiving, and a red and white chip called True North Spuds for Canada Day.

Global Expansion and Market Presence

Naturally Homegrown Foods Ltd. has successfully expanded its reach beyond Canada, making its presence felt in retailers across the country and around the world. One key aspect that sets them apart is their ability to source and provide natural products, meeting the increasing global demand for healthier snack alternatives.

Three men dressed in suits holding potato chips standing in a chip aisle of a store.
From left to right, Trent Russell, Hardbite, Business Development Manager, Ken Theriault, Head of Costco Japan, and Kirk Homenick, Naturally Homegrown Foods Ltd, President.

The company’s international success story is exemplified by its eight-year presence in Costco Japan. The breakthrough into the Japanese market occurred during a trade mission when Kirk Homenick, the company president, connected with Costco representatives. Since then, Naturally Homegrown Foods Ltd. has secured shelf space in Costco locations in the United States, South Korea, Taiwan and Australia. To accommodate the diverse tastes of global consumers, they collaborate with Costco to create special flavours tailored to each market’s preferences. In addition to the international Costco locations, their distribution includes other location retailers in Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore.

Entering new markets has not been without its challenges, as each country has its unique regulations. However, Naturally Homegrown Foods Ltd. has navigated these hurdles by establishing strong connections with importers and exporters in various countries with the help of Trade and Invest BC. Their recent foray into the Mexican market, a process that spanned close to four years, culminated in the first shipment of their products to Mexico last September.

Participating in trade missions and international expos remains a crucial part of the company’s strategy. Recently, Naturally Homegrown Foods Ltd. engaged in a trade mission in Japan, where they interacted with trade and investment representatives, further solidifying their global presence. Additionally, they are regular participants in the Natural Products Expo West trade show in Anaheim, California, held annually in March.

Two men in suits standing in front of a wall of chips inside a store.

As an independently-owned company, they are agile and adapt quickly to market trends and consumer preferences. Their innovations in flavour and product categories ensure that consumers can always expect something new and exciting from Naturally Homegrown Foods Ltd.. With high standards for good quality and a proudly Canadian identity, the company continues to carve its niche in the global natural food industry.

Awards and Recognition: Celebrating Excellence

Naturally Homegrown Foods Ltd. secured its position as an industry leader by being awarded a  BC Export Award in 2022. These awards pay tribute to the success and innovative approaches of B.C. export companies. The recognition is a testament to the company’s contribution to both the provincial and national economy.

The BC Export Awards, established in 1982 are a celebration of the growth and diversity of B.C.’s economy over the past 40 years. Recognizing over 300 companies to date, the program highlights the crucial role exporters play in shaping the economic landscape. The most recent event, in 2023, took place last week, further acknowledging the achievements of standout companies like Naturally Homegrown Foods Ltd..

Do you want to learn more about exporting or buying products like Hardbite? Contact Trade and Invest BC.

We Can Help

Trade and Invest BC helps facilitate foreign direct investment and has Trade and Investment Representatives in markets around the world. Contact the representative nearest you for support in investing in British Columbia.