Strawberry baobab fruit bites

Chia? So 2014. Quinoa? Now mainstream. The hot new health trend is baobab fruit.

Yes, those trees that The Little Prince has been tending to bear fruit that is reportedly higher in antioxidants than blueberries, pomegranates and cherries combined—and Pittsburgh-based Bloom Natural Foods is bringing it to the mass market.

Baobab Fruit. Image from Wikimedia Commons/Flickr user diasUndKompott
Baobab Fruit. Image from Wikimedia Commons/Flickr user diasUndKompott

Jeffrey Schwartz, mining a 30-year career in consumer products, has launched Bloom Natural Foods and has entered the market with Baobab Fruit Bites. According to Schwartz, it will be the first product that uses the nutrient-dense fruit in the fast growing health market.

Euromonitor estimates that the global functional, organic and health foods market will hit $1 trillion in 2017. And the market is constantly looking for the next new trend.

Schwartz, along with his partner Salim Rayes, are committed to introducing products that reflect their own values. “There is a lot of pseudo-healthy stuff in the market right now. We founded Bloom to take it to the next level,” says Schwartz.

The products aim to offer what Schwartz calls “a holistic look at the nutritional set”—that considers protein, fiber and probiotic content. “But taste will always be important,” he adds. Also set to launch are whole food bars.

The products, currently available at Giant Eagle, have also been picked up by UNFI, the nation’s largest natural food distributor.

The baobab tree—called the tree of life—is native to Africa and Bloom Natural Foods is focused on ensuring fair trade standards in every step of its supply chain. The company also works with 1% for the Planet to donate part of its profits to nonprofits focused on environmental stewardship.

Leah Lizarondo is a food advocate, writer and speaker. She is also the co-founder of 412 Food Rescue, an organization that seeks to eliminate food waste to make an impact on hunger and the environment. She is the Chief Veghacker, recipe creator and curator at The Brazen Kitchen, where she writes about food and food policy. She writes about the intersection of food, health, innovation and policy.