The History of Alfafoods
Our healthy milk alternative came from humble beginnings.
It all began in 1960 when by a lucky mistake a cheese manufacturer in Utah combined a beaker of whey with a non-dairy drink. Meaning to dispose of the accidental mix of two poor tasting products, something told Roy Brog to try it first. As fortune had it the result tasted great and Meadow Fresh was born.
By 1984 the American producers having achieved success in America and Australia sought to continue their business into the New Zealand market.
Having heard of the husband wife duo that was Barry and Lee, and their success in business, the Meadow Fresh distributers began to court them as the New Zealand developers of the brand. After several calls, messages and letters Johnathan Gibbs turned up on their doorstep with the meadowfresh milk alternative product in hand refusing to give up until ‘they had at least tried it’.
Having suffered from allergies to dairy in the past Lee decided it could be worth a shot, at least at worst they would finally go away! But once again by fortune Lee found that not only did the product taste great her symptoms disappeared and she found that she was converted. So their relationship with what became AlfaLite began.
They improved the formula and called it Pritikin Way and starting like all small businesses of the New Zealand 80’s, they set up an office in their garage and started going door to door and advertising in local papers around the country. However 6 months passed and business was slow. Barry was set to give up but Lee persisted that they give it a year. So they returned to their Auckland base and hosted a meeting to try and increase brand awareness. It was here they learned just how aware people were. Customers turned up in large numbers with stories of the amazing benefits they had experienced. Children with problems such as hyperactivity, rashes and asthma had all significantly improved. Families talked about how the product had changed the lives of not only those with obvious symptoms of allergy but most who used it.
People felt better, they finally had an answer to the ailments that at the time were not linked to the intolerances to dairy that have become so common today. It was this that inspired Barry and Lee to continue the business. A business that soon had a customer base of over 20,000 people.
Though it has undergone many stages of business development (including the integration of one of the first computer systems in the country), the alfa foods brand has always been driven by a love for its end users. With a commitment to service and loyalty unlike any other, many of the original consumers still remain today and have even stepped in at times to get involved in the company.
Today Alfa foods has entered yet a new chapter as Lee has been joined by the next generations of her family, her daughter Jacqui and her granddaughters Emma and Tessa. Having all three been raised with the alfa ‘milk’ they know and love the company and its products and hope to continue with the same dedication to health and happiness for all who use it.