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Women-Led Start-Up Makes It Easier to Eat Healthy

INSTA Foods produces a range of air-dried and plant-based natural food products to cater to a growing demand for healthier food options.

INSTA Foods is a food production company that specializes in natural dehydrated food products. Through an innovative Airdrying technology, the company produces a wide range of food powders, healthy snacks, and ingredients wholly sourced from vegetables, fruits, herbs, and spices. These powders are organic and free from any preservatives, additives, or artificial ingredients.  INSTA Foods is one of several start-ups from TBDC’s SUV program that is looking to make a strong impact in the North American market.

According to Tehmina Asad, Director of INSTA Foods, changing consumer preferences and growing demand for healthier, sustainable, and socially responsible options were the key drivers behind the launch of the company. “We also wanted to address the alarming issue of high wastage happening in the fresh foods category by creating products that offer a longer shelf life”, said Tehmina. Originally launched in 2011 in Pakistan as a B2B Company, INSTA Foods started off its Retail Natural Brand in 2018 by only making food powders but have since developed and expanded their product line to include healthy snacking options and herbal teas. The company has a state-of-the-art facility in Pakistan where it processes all its raw materials that are sourced from trusted farms and are of the highest quality.

Under Tehmina’s leadership, INSTA Foods has already achieved numerous milestones and achievements. In its home country of Pakistan, the company was selected by Export Council of Australia for “Women Trading Globally” course, awarded the Best Foodpreneur in 2018 as well as the Laurel of Honors Award from the Women’s Chamber of Commerce in 2019. The company was also selected to participate in SIAL Canada’s annual exhibit in 2019 where it generated immense buzz and built solid leads within the North American market. However, for Tehmina, this is only the beginning of an ambitious journey. “Our mission is to become the first choice for customers in natural food products by 2025.”

Tehmina’s success in launching Pakistan’s first natural food brand has also had a significant impact for the women in the country. Through its factory as well as its Supplier Training Program, INSTA Foods has created immense employment opportunities for women in Pakistan. In a country where women entrepreneurs face massive obstacles, Tehmina has become a source of inspiration for other many other women entrepreneurs in the country.

For Tehmina, choosing TBDC as a partner for the company’s move to Toronto was an easy decision. “As someone who is a big advocate of gender inclusivity, I was immediately drawn to TBDC when I saw that it shared the same values and also had a woman leading the organization”, said Tehmina. “TBDC has been highly responsive and accommodating and their mentor network has helped me tremendously in learning more about the Canadian market”.