The Better-For-You Chips to Stock Today

For the average Australian, life is busy. Despite being known for our laid-back and relaxed attitude, life for many Aussies is bustling with work, family commitments and a hectic schedule. And it is this busy lifestyle that is fuelling demand for convenient snacks to eat on-the-go.

The humble packet of chips has been a long-time favourite, with recent Roy Morgan data showing they are the most popular snack food. In fact, almost 90% of Australians consume packaged snack food in a week, with ‘savoury’ topping the list as the most popular snack category (Roy Morgan).

According to Mintel, more and more time-pressed Australians are replacing traditional meals with frequent snacks, with 31% of Australian consumers sometimes eating snacks instead. 

However, it is not just convenience that consumers seek from their snacks. They want health benefits, or at the very minimum, a snack that they believe won’t hinder their health goals, all without compromising on flavour… the perfect fusion of taste and nutrition.

As a result, the Australian snacking industry has experienced a significant rise in consumer preference for ‘healthy’ snacks over the last decade. Roy Morgan research shows the ‘healthy snack’ category saw the largest growth of 3.2% across the last ten years, securing its position as the second most popular snack category. 

With so many consumers making the switch to healthy snack options when the craving calls, the demand inevitably grows for better-for-you alternatives to regular potato chips.

All that and a bag of chips

At Unique Health Products, we stock a wide selection of healthy chips that cater to the snack lovers who are snacking for pleasure and wellbeing.

Health Guru

Health Guru – Cauliflower Puffs

Made from 50% real cauliflower, Health Guru Cauliflower Puffs are a tasty new addition to the better-for-you-snack category. These moreish baked puffs are free from trans-fat and refined sugar and are available in five delicious flavours – Sea Salt, Salt & Vinegar (with Apple Cider), Just BBQ, Bangkok Sriracha and Vegan Cheddar. Packed with flavour, they are an indulgent way to get a daily dose of veggies!

  • Vegan
  • Natural
  • Gluten free

Vege Chips, Deli Crisps and Rice Crackers

For more than 30 years, Vege Chips has been producing delicious, better-for-you snacks. What started in 1990 as a local business selling gluten-free snacks at the markets is now a globally recognised and much-loved brand. 100% Australian-owned Vege Chips brand continues to innovate in the plant-based snack category. The entire range of Chips, Crisps and Crackers are:

  • Dairy free
  • Soy free
  • Non-GMO

The Good Crisp Company – Stackable Potato Crisps

For the team at The Good Crisp Company, good taste wasn’t enough. They wanted to combine great taste with good ingredients in a better-for-you alternative to regular stacked chips. Available in a range of crowd-pleasing flavours to cater to different tastes, the products meet the ongoing consumer demand for tastier snacks without the nasties regularly found in potato chips.

  • Certified gluten free
  • Non-GMO
  • No MSG

Banana Joe – Banana Chips

Tasting like a traditional potato chip, Banana Joe’s hand-crafted banana chips are made with the highest-grade, sustainably grown Hom Thong bananas. The first symbiotic chip on the market, they contain prebiotic fibre and probiotics, to help support digestive health, immune function and increase protein absorption. The range includes three tasty flavours, Hickory BBQ, Sea Salt and Thai Sweet Chili.

  • Gluten free
  • Vegan friendly
  • Non-GMO

Nudus Bites – Kale and Zucchini Chips

The ultimate natural chip, Nudus Bites’ range of Kale and Zucchini chips are the ideal blend of crunchy, tasty and nutritious. Made from real, all-natural Australian ingredients, these vegetable chips are slowly air-dried to ensure the vitamins, nutrients and enzymes are intact. Available in convenient packs for healthy snacking on-the-go, the range includes Cracking Sea Salt and Cheeky Cheesy Vegan flavours in both Kale and Zucchini Chip options.

  • Vegan
  • Gluten free
  • Keto friendly

Keto Naturals – Crispy Cauli Bites

These innovative snacks offer the ‘crunch’ of a regular chip with the health benefits of cauliflower. Convenient and delicious, Keto Naturals Crispy Cauli Bites are low carb and made with a simple list of clean ingredients, including a full head of cauliflower. Available in three mouth-watering, savoury flavours: Barbeque, Garlic & Herb and Sea Salted.

  • Gluten free
  • Vegan
  • Keto friendly

Keto Naturals – Cracker Thins

Air popped and super crispy, Keto Naturals’ Cracker Thins are the latest low-carb, savoury snack. Made from 100% natural and organic ingredients, they are also rich in protein and free from fillers, artificial flavours and preservatives. Extremely versatile, wholesome and convenient, Cracker Thins come in a range of flavours including, Sour Cream & Spring Onion, Salt & Vinegar and Teriyaki.

  • Gluten free
  • Keto friendly
  • Low carb

Extraordinary Foods – Kale Chips

Created to share the health benefits of clean eating, Extraordinary Foods Pure Kale Chips are a delicious, healthy, handmade snack. Founded in Byron Bay, NSW, these chips are made with local organic Australian kale, air-dried with no added oil, and are available in three delectable flavour combinations, Garlic and Spices, Dill and Onion, and Cashew Vegan Cheese.

  • Raw
  • Vegan
  • Gluten free

For these innovative snacks and the latest, trending brands in natural health, register for a wholesale account with us today!

Already have an account? Fantastic! Take advantage of consumer demand and stock your shelves with a healthy savoury snack collection to suit all tastes. You can place an order online 24/7 or give our friendly sales team a call on 1800 787 904.

Keto 101: What Retailers Need to Know

Rising global health awareness has continued to enhance the popularity of the ketogenic ‘keto’ diet as we soar through 2022 and with this comes an inevitable rise in demand for keto-friendly products.

Holding onto its #1 position as Google’s most searched diet since 2020, the global keto market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.5% to a value of AUD$20.1 billion by 2027. And according to Insight Market, the fastest growth is occurring in the Asia-Pacific region.

Put simply, the keto diet is a high-fat, low-carb eating plan that forces the body into a metabolic state known as ketosis, where it burns fat instead of carbohydrates for energy. 

Despite its recent surge in fame, the keto diet is not new. Having been historically used to help treat epilepsy in the 1920s and 30s, it is now recognised for its weight loss and health benefits. An attractive diet to a wide range of people, keto’s popularity can be derived from its easy accessibility and ability to continue eating popular, high-fat “naughty” foods whilst achieving health goals.

However, the diet requires a person to limit their intake of carbohydrates to only 20-50g per day to keep them in ketosis. This drastically shrinks their choice of foods. 

So a major challenge with doing the keto diet is having access to healthy, keto-friendly snacks and meals on-the-go. As a result, the popularity of the diet has skyrocketed demand for keto-friendly foods, paving the way for new, innovative and convenient on-the-go products. 

For this very reason, Unique Health Products’ keto-friendly range is wide, forever growing, and is sure to have your customers coming back for more.

Boostball keto snacks

Boostball

Boostball Burners – Keto Bites are an innovative and tasty snack for keto devotees. Each pack contains four Boostball Burners. With a maximum of 2.8g carbs per pack, they are low in sugar and made from 100% natural, organic and nutritious ingredients.

Keto Naturals keto-friendly snacks

Keto Naturals

An innovative offering of convenient snack choices that caters for both sweet and savoury tastes. Keto Naturalsrange of cauli bites, cookies and crackers are the perfect on-the-go snack for the ‘keto dieter’ and health enthusiasts. Full of flavour and made with a simple list of clean ingredients, they are not just keto friendly, but also gluten free and vegan.

Lakanto keto-friendly sweetener

Lakanto

Those with a sweet tooth don’t have to miss out with Lakantos innovative range of keto-friendly sugar replacements. A proprietary blend of high-purity monkfruit extract and erythritol, Monkfruit Sweetener is the ideal low-calorie product, with both a Golden and Classic variety to replace brown and white sugar in recipes for no-added-sugar baking. In addition to this, their monkfruit-sweetened Chocolate and Caramel Flavoured Toppings and Maple Flavoured Syrup are a delicious, sugar-free treat option.

Naked Keto snacks

Naked Keto

Looking for a wholesome sweet snack with no nasties? Look no further than Naked Paleo Keto Bars. Keto friendly and free from gluten, dairy and preservatives, these handy little treats are available in Choc Chip Cookie Dough, Peanut Butter Chocolate, Double Choc Brownie and Lemon Cheesecake. 

PBCo. low carb and keto friendly products

PBCo.

Fun food can still be keto friendly with PBCo’s convenient low carb crumbs, bread, pizza base, cookie, pancake and a range of other mixes. Low fat, protein packed and gluten free with no added sugar, this is the ultimate keto-friendly pantry staple range.

Keto bread in a mug

Get Ya Yum On

Convenient, well-priced and created with a clean ingredients list, the Keto Bread in a Mug and Keto Slice from Get Ya Yum On are versatile and delicious. The quick-and-easy keto mixes cook in just 90 seconds and are also plant based and gluten free.

The Broth Sisters keto-friendly products

The Broth Sisters

A keto-friendly snack or flavourful addition to any meal, The Broth Sisters’ Sipping Broth Bags and Stock Concentrates are jammed full of nourishment. Made with 100% natural ingredients, this keto-friendly range is also gluten free and vegan. There is a wide range of Vegetable Sipping Broth Bags on offer for a hearty snack, plus three stock concentrates varieties, Vegetable FODMAP Friendly, Asian Veggie with Turmeric and Superfood Mushroom with Lions Mane.

The Monday Food Co. keto products

The Monday Food Co.

For a quick and easy keto-friendly breakfast, The Monday Food Co.’s tasty Keto Gourmet Granola has only 4g of carbs per serve. Made from all-natural ingredients in beautiful Byron Bay, this convenient breaky is also gut friendly, nutrient rich, and is available in both 300g and 800g sizes.

Your customers can have their cake and eat it too with The Monday Food Co.’s Keto Cake Mix. Crafted with all-natural organic ingredients, and plenty of sweet flavours that tickle the taste buds and nourish the body.

Keto noodles

The Whole Foodies

Noodle lovers who enjoy a keto lifestyle can’t go past The Whole Foodies’ nutritious, mineral-rich Kelp Noodles. A healthy and wholesome pantry staple that is 100% Australian-owned, 100% delicious and 100% natural. Extremely versatile, raw and gluten free, they are the perfect addition to soups, salads and stir-fries.

Vitawerx keto chocolates and mayonaise

Vitawerx

Condiments complement a meal and Vitawerx’s Keto Mayos are no exception. These Australian-made, keto-friendly mayonnaises are also gluten, dairy and egg free and come in three delicious flavours: All Day Lay Classic, Smokin’ Aussie BBQ and Living on the Edge Turmeric, Ginger & Garlic.

But it doesn’t stop there! Vitawerx offers an innovative range of chocolate treats that are the ideal fusion of healthy and tasty. Fan favourites include Protein Milk and White Chocolate Bars and a selection of Protein Milk and White Chocolate Coated Snacks.

Cater to your keto customers

Discover the wide range of keto-friendly products on offer at Unique Health Products and stock your shelves up today. Order online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week or call our friendly sales team on 1800 787 904.

If you are new to Unique Health Products, register for an account here.

Trending in Health: Cauliflower

Riced, powdered, blended, roasted as a ‘steak’ or completely transformed into a vegan-friendly creamy sauce, grain-free pasta or crispy pizza base. Is there anything the humble cauliflower can’t do?! 

It seems that one of the most detested veggies of our childhoods has managed to sneak its way into practically everything and today’s health-conscious consumers are obsessed. 

Industry growth

The rise of cauliflower is coinciding with a shift towards healthier snacking. The way people eat is changing and now 64% of people say that they prefer to eat many small meals in a day rather than the traditional breakfast, lunch and dinner.*

Consumers are turning to cauliflower because of its low carbohydrate nutrient profile, mild flavour and versatility. Cauliflower-containing recipes have spread like crazy across social media, appearing in everything from muffins and cakes to gnocchi, pizza and “Mac N’ Cheese” inspired casseroles!

Consumers love cauliflower

Experts are attributing the rise in cauli-love to a broader increased interest in low carb, keto and paleo diets. As well as an increased awareness about the health benefits of vegetables and desire to eat more of them, especially those following flexitarian, vegan, gluten-free and plant-based diets. 

Clever manufacturers are capitalising on the popularity and adding the element of convenience for a winning combination that pleases a wide range of consumers. 

The increased innovation in packaged cauliflower products also provides exciting new options for parents in the never-ending battle to get their kids to eat more vegetables!

Cauliflower – a game changing snack

Health Guru Cauliflower Puffs are a guilt-free indulgence with 50% freeze-dried cauliflower. Vegan and gluten free, the baked snacks are free from trans fat and refined sugar. The Cauliflower Puffs are available in five delicious flavours:

  • Sea Salt
  • Salt & Vinegar with Apple Cider
  • Just BBQ
  • Bangkok Sriracha
  • Vegan Cheddar

With quality ingredients and a strong brand identity, these are a standout on shelves.

Right on trend, Keto Naturals has a range of Crispy Cauli Bites that are keto and paleo friendly, gluten free and vegan. They’re non-GMO, have 5g net carbs and come in 8-pack, shelf-ready CDUs. Flavours include:

  • Barbecue
  • Garlic & Herb
  • Sea Salted

Each pack contains a full head of cauliflower and is slow cooked using a simple list of clean ingredients without any fillers or artificial flavours.

Capitalise on cauli

With the cauliflower trend on the rise, these products, along with many more healthy snack brands, are available to order wholesale via our online store or by giving our friendly sales team a call on 1800 787 904. Not yet registered with us? You can sign up here

Source: Mondelez, 2021.

Snackification. The Changing Face of Australian Mealtimes

Consumers’ eating patterns have undergone fundamental changes. Instead of a traditional format of three meals at predetermined times each day, many consumers are moving towards a much more flexible pattern of snacking and grazing, eating at any time that is convenient.

Say hello to the health-conscious snackification movement!

What is snackification?

Research from Roy Morgan reveals that nearly 90% of Australian adults consume packaged snack food in an average week. While the healthy snack category, including items such as muesli bars, breakfast bars and rice crackers, is on the rise, the popularity of the sweet biscuits category has seen the biggest decline.

The snackification trend was originally driven by convenience food in general. Consumers demanded quick and easy food and drink to support their chaotically-busy lives. Fast-forward to today, and the interest in health and nutrition has spun the convenience industry on its head. Convenient food options no longer need to simply taste good, they also need to help consumers meet their nutritional goals.

Snacks are now so much more than a gap-filler between wholesome meals. They are replacing those meals.

There are no hard and fast rules for snackification. The same food may be an in-between meal snack one day, a lunch the next and an afternoon treat another day.

In essence, the definition of what a snack is has changed. The snack landscape is rapidly changing and now includes wholesome meal replacements, single-serve mini-meals, healthy snack bars, as well as heat & eat options, both savoury and sweet.

According to Euromonitor, the global health and wellness snacks market is forecast to reach $98 billion by 2025, growing at a rate of CAGR 5.8% between 2020 and 2025. The health and wellness sector is on the rise and is set to continue growing as attitudes towards snacks and health change.

Taste, nutrition and convenience are the three most important factors in choosing a snack. With this in mind, we’re seeing an industry-wide conscious effort to reduce sugar content; an increase in functional ingredients such as turmeric, hemp and ginger; lower carbohydrate options; plant-based mini-meals, protein-packed snacks and products designed to support a healthy gut.

Top-selling snacks

Top-selling snacks

Make sure you’re making the most of the snackification trend by stocking up on these top-selling snacks:

  • CLIF Bar – The CLIF Bar range is plant-based, on-trend and made with organic ingredients, making it the perfect grab n’ go energy bar.
  • Vege Chips – A globally recognised and much-loved brand that produces delicious, gluten-free, better-for-you snacks.
  • gimMe – With massive consumer demand for low calorie, nutrient-rich snacks, gimMe answers the call with high quality, irresistible healthy seaweed snacks.
  • Keto Naturals – The innovative snacks from Keto Naturals provide convenience and choice, with simple, clean ingredients. They’re vegan, low carb and gluten free, offering the ‘keto dieter’ and health enthusiasts a snack option for both sweet or savoury tastes
  • Upton’s Real Meal Kits – Ready in one minute, Upton’s Real Meal Kits are vegan friendly, made with real, recognisable ingredients and are available in two classic meals.
  • East Bali Cashews – This sustainable company produces a range of mouth-watering, plant-based nutty snacks in attractive packaging with a great price point!
  • Botanika Blends – From their range of deliciously flavoured Plant Proteins to the high-protein, probiotic porridge range, Botanika Blends has meal-time convenience covered.
  • Noble Jerky Vegan Jerky – These high protein eats are made from premium marinated and seasoned tempeh for an all natural, non-GMO, plant-based snack.

Make the most of the snackification trend

We stock these leading brands and hundreds more to help you stay ahead of the trends. Simply order online anytime! You can view our entire range of snack items by selecting ‘Snacks’ in the categories menu. Not yet registered with us? Sign up here!

Sources: Roy Morgan, 2020, Euromonitor International, 2021

The Current Take On Healthy Eating vs Cost

Considering that 7% of Australia’s disease burden is caused by poor diet1, the cost of healthy eating is naturally something that governments take a keen interest in. Over the years, it’s been a subject at the centre of debates and research. Is the cost of eating a nutritionally balanced diet out of reach for today’s consumers?

Research on the cost of healthy eating

In 2013, Harvard researchers found that an average family of four would need to spend an extra $2,000 a year to eat ‘healthy’.2 

Thankfully that’s not the case today. Australia’s Food Environment Dashboard shows that the cost of a diet consistent with the Australian Dietary Guidelines is the same as or less than the diet they currently eat. This is calculated based on a family of two adults and two children. It also holds for high socioeconomic areas, low socioeconomic areas as well as very remote areas. 

However, the Dashboard also reveals that eating a healthy diet can cost anywhere from 18% to 39% of the median household income. For low-income groups in rural and very remote areas, this figure is much more pronounced impacting on the overall affordability of healthy eating.

Recent research also shows that for Queensland families, it costs 20% less to eat a healthy diet that follows the Australian Dietary Guidelines. Surprisingly, households spend around 60% of their total food budget on discretionary choices. These are foods that are high in saturated fat and with added sugar/salt.2

Food choice drivers

Globally, food prices haven’t been as high as they are now since June 2011.3 Australia is no exception. While affordability is certainly one piece of the puzzle in increasing the uptake of healthy eating, there’s much more to the story. 

Research consistently shows that health is front of mind for a large segment of consumers. They’re looking for premium, functional products that support physical and emotional wellbeing, particularly products with health benefits beyond their nutritional value.3

3 in 5 people avoid unhealthy foods. Compared to 5 years ago, more people are opting for nutritious snacks, rising from 31% to 36%.5 You may have even noticed these trends playing out in real time in your sales data.

However, combined with cost and health benefits are other consumer considerations including taste, convenience and availability.2 Products that hit more than one of these drivers are likely to appeal to consumers trying to balance their household budget and busy lifestyle with health concerns.

So does price matter as much as we think? Maybe value is what we should be assessing? And isn’t there more value in eating healthier?

Appealing to the cost-conscious healthy consumer

Each individual will be guided by their own values in the food choices they make. For those consumers where it is a question of healthy eating vs cost, what can you do to show value in your range?

One simple way is to integrate your healthy products alongside other brands, rather than having a traditional health food section. This gives consumers greater choice and the ability to easily weigh up their own considerations in a direct comparison of product against product.

In practice this means showcasing brands like Mingle seasonings in the spice section or Vege Chips and Keto Naturals in the snack aisle. Including brands like Natural Evolution or PBCo. in your baking aisle may introduce consumers to new products. This same rationale can apply to any grocery segment in your store. 

Healthy shelves, healthy sales

At Unique Health Products, we make it easier for you to do business and stay ahead of industry trends. We stock many leading natural health brands and offer a huge selection of healthy grocery products. You can purchase our range online 24/7, or call our friendly sales team on 1800 787 904. Don’t yet have a wholesale account with us? You can register for one here.

Sources:

1. Australian Government Department of Health, 2021.

2. BMJ Open, 2013.

3. International Journal for Equity in Health, 2021.

4. Australian Government Australian Trade and Investment Commission, 2022.

5. IRi, 2022.

6. Nielsen, 2021.

Macro Mike: From Personal Food Intolerance to Protein-powered Domination

Macro Mike is a 100% Australian owned company that’s turning plant-based healthy treats and protein on its head. But it all started with one man’s struggle with food intolerances…

Owner and Founder, Mike Kellett, had battled both gluten and dairy intolerances for many years before he decided to start baking gluten-free, macro and vegan-friendly treats. Frustrated with the lack of options available, Mike took the best quality wholefoods from every corner of the world and relentlessly experimented to create healthy treats.

Mike began sharing his recipes with his online community and the response was incredibly positive. It was then that he realised there was a major gap in the market. Fuelled by an enormous passion for all things natural and tasty, Mike launched Macro Mike in 2016 with one mission in mind:

“…to give back to anyone who feels they have ever had to restrict themselves from food; the most glorious natural resource we have on this planet.”

Macro Mike

At the time, the market was saturated with brands replicating each other, selling almost identical products and fighting for shelf space. It was considered crazy to even attempt something in the health and fitness industry, but Mike trusted his vision, found his tribe and had faith that the product would speak for itself.

Feedback from consumers of existing plant-based/vegan proteins was less than positive with many commenting that they were chalky, sandy and bland. So, Mike took it upon himself to create the smoothest, great-tasting, plant-based protein available.

And if his raving fans are anything to go by, we’d say he did it! The peanut-powered protein powders come in wickedly tempting flavours and have a cult following from people across all walks of life.

But that wasn’t enough for Mike. In staying true to his mission, Mike also produces high-protein, plant-based baking mixes, powdered peanut butters, protein bars, and health and wellness supplements.

And it doesn’t stop there! Never willing to be outdone, the Macro Mike team are continuously innovating and released Australia’s only premium almond protein powder range, almond protein-based baking mixes, and flavoured, powdered almond butters.

Made from Californian almonds, it is the ultimate in smooth, creamy protein with no nutty aftertaste. It’s so neutral in taste that they’ve even created a high protein ‘Nice Cream’, a healthy ice cream alternative that simply requires frozen banana and milk of your choice!

In the first three years of business, Mike transformed his small brownie business that existed in the spare room of his tiny apartment into a fully-fledged food company with a state-of-the-art production facility, onsite storage and shipping warehouse in the heart of the Gold Coast.

His products are now in over 1,000 stores across Australia and the company has an incredibly loyal online following of more than 96K Instagram fans with whom they share endless recipe inspiration and free inspiring content.

We never quite know what will come next from Mike, but one thing is for sure… Mike’s a man on a mission and he’s only just getting started!

Stock Macro Mike for your customers

Explore the Macro Mike range on our online store 24/7. Or give our friendly sales team a call on 1800 787 904. Don’t have a wholesale account with us yet? Register for one here.

THE PULL OF NOSTALGIA PUSHING CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR

Never underestimate the power of nostalgia.

According to research published in the Journal of Consumer Marketing, when a shopper is feeling nostalgic, that sentimental longing can do more than make a person feel warm inside. It regularly leads to purchases too.

It’s common for many of us in times of uncertainty, loneliness, as well as happy and joyful moments, to turn to the familiar. We seek comfort, emotional safety and connection in products that evoke positive memories from the past.

Today’s consumers are no different.

While some consumers would return directly to the original product, there is an ever-growing market of health-conscious shoppers looking for a healthy twist on their old favourites.

A report from FONA International reveals playing on consumers’ memories and emotional connections to nostalgic flavours and products can spell success for food manufacturers.

The report states that “although food and beverage nostalgia differs from person to person, there’s science behind our strong emotional ties to food and it’s a common theme that food and beverage developers can leverage to innovate and expand their brand.”

Indulgent nostalgia evokes those warm and fuzzy feelings most often through high-calorie, high-sugar comfort foods. Meanwhile, next-gen indulgence takes a healthier, more “adult” spin on those comforting, retro flavours and products. “Whether relaunching a retro product, revamping an old one or simply drawing inspiration from the past, we can see that nostalgia sells,” FONA wrote.

nostalgic-health-food-choices

“While most nostalgic products lean toward indulgence, next-gen nostalgia might lie in offering products that remind consumers of their childhood with a more health-focused mindset. The key is understanding the consumer, their experiences and the feelings that evoked that drive for them to purchase.”

No matter which way product manufacturers go, anything that makes consumers feel happy and comforted is sure to please. Think healthy versions of comfort foods, nostalgic food pairings and gourmet ready meals with a natural spin.

Cup soups and hearty porridge, decadent chocolate cake and a familiar breakfast spread are just some of the nostalgic favourites that can take memories and convert them into sales.

Nostalgic flavours and innovative creations, Unique Health Products is home to many of the world’s biggest health and wellness brands. With more than 3,900 products in our warehouse, you can rest assured, if it’s trending, a top seller, or a product simply worth stocking on your shelves – we’ll have it!

Ready to place an order? You can shop online with us 24/7 here, or call our friendly sales team on 1800 787 904. If you don’t have a wholesale account with us yet, you can register for one here.

BECOMING UNIQUE – LOOKING BACK ON 25 YEARS

Proudly Australian run and family-owned, Unique Health Products continues to stand the test of time and maintain its position as the most trusted nationwide natural health product distributor in Australia. 

For most of us, we’re always striving for a goal post far into the future without acknowledging the milestones and journey that we’ve conquered to get us to where we are today. 

So to celebrate the incredible achievement of reaching 25 years in business, our Founder, Dale Parkes, has taken a moment to reflect and offer you an insider view of the previous 25 years, revealing humble beginnings, the guarana-powered kickstart and a glimpse at just some of the wonderful people that have helped shape the enviable culture that makes Unique the thriving business it is today…

HOW IT ALL BEGAN

It was January 1996…

Spice Girls were number 1 on the charts with ‘Wannabe’, Independence Day was the top movie, Oprah started her famous book club, and a ‘twitter’ was the little chirping sound a bird would make. A search tool called Google started indexing the web and we all still hired new release movies from Blockbuster. 

My eldest daughter Harmony was 11, while Bhima and Sage were both 9. As yet, there was no Catherine in my life and, as such, no Melanie. Although the previous ten years had been spent opening and then managing Organic Oasis (now Kunara), January 1996 saw me as an out of work 36-year-old, struggling to support a family of 5 on government benefits.

dale and the kids
Dale and his children.

“Sensational Food Distributors”

Randomly, I called a buddy from Sydney who worked in a health food store, asking if he knew of any new products he could see emerging into the market down there. He said there was this liquid guarana product that was selling like crazy on the counter. All-night rage dance parties were the go in the mid-90’s and word had got around that guarana was a natural stimulant which basically kept you awake. 

Knowing it was not yet for sale in Queensland, I called the producer of Rage 2000, Benjamin Duncan, and he agreed to sell me the first order. Awesome!!! Small problem though. We lived from week to week and I didn’t have any money to pay for it. 

Enter my friend Michael, a truly generous soul, who lent me $2000 to get started. I somehow also convinced ANZ to lend me money to buy an old Mitsubishi van. I bought an invoice book (the one with a piece of carbon between the pages) and “Sensational Food Distributors” was born.

“The Guarana Man”

“The Guarana Man”

Over the next month, I drove from Cairns to the Gold Coast, selling a box of 12 guarana shots to almost every health food store I visited. I put all the takings back into the business and we continued to live as frugally as we had. Because the stores all paid me cash up front (or cheque), funds accumulated quickly enough to afford the next PO. And just like that, we were away. 

The table tennis shed was converted to a storage room for the guarana shots and I paid for a PO box at Woombye Post Office for the postal orders (yes, postal orders). The “business” phone number was our home landline and the kids would often answer calls from health store customers. It went a bit like this…. “Hello. Oh ok, I’ll go get Dad. D-A-A-A-A-D, PHONE”. 

Our customer service has clearly come a long way since those fun times. After a few months, I changed the business name to “The Guarana Man” since it was all I sold. By the time Michael was paid back (within 12 months), I had added 4 or 5 more products to the range that Benjamin produced (Smilax Sarsaparilla and Gay Nun cordials) plus a guarana capsule called Guarana 2000.

dale
Dale when he was known as The Guarana Man

Specialising in “Unique Health Products”

Over the course of the next 3 years, I approached several more suppliers who agreed to use this enthusiastic new Queensland company to distribute their products. These included industry leaders like Kosmea Rosehip Oil, Swisse Vitamins plus some fledgling start-ups like Byron Chai and Alchemy Sodas.

By that time, I was so flat out and needed some help to answer phones and pack orders while I was out delivering, so I employed an old friend called Annie. We bought a fax machine which was linked to the home phone (so you’d hear the “fax sound” when you picked up to answer the phone and have to push OK for it to come through). Annie’s daughter Susie and hubby Russell eventually joined the team and I was actually able to take a holiday after 3 years of working 90+ hours, 7 days a week. 

Truth be known, guarana now formed only a small part of what we sold so there was a need for a name change. But to what? With such a diverse range, I use to tell retailers we actually “specialise in unique health products”. There it was. And so, in late 1999, Unique Health Products was born.         

The iconic Unique catalogue

In subsequent years to follow, I continued to drive to Brisbane, Gold Coast and Byron every week, using the big heavy album displaying photos of all our products to take orders from the stores. I’d often ask the retailer if it was ok to fax the order through to the office while I was in store to speed up delivery.

The Unique Product Catalogue and Photo Album (2005)

As Unique got bigger, I was sometimes getting home from the Byron run at midnight and had a few scary moments closing my eyes at the wheel that made me realise I was pushing it to the limit. We started using Fastway and I employed a sales rep to do the Byron run and another to help with Brisbane. 

Same formula – show the products in their photo album, taste and try samples, write down product codes, fax the order through.

One day a retailer, as they were flicking through the photo album placing an order with me, said “Can you leave this behind one day? I always forget what I buy from you”. So circa 2007, the idea to produce a catalogue with product photos was born!

One of the original Unique Catalogues with product photos (2008)
One of the original Unique Catalogues with product photos (2008)

Building the Unique culture

Fast forward to 2021 and we are still seen in that same way. 

We are regarded by retailers in the industry as the company with:

  • the best customer service, 
  • the easiest webshop to place orders, 
  • the highest in-stock level (currently a phenomenal 96% across 3,800 products) 
  • and deliveries with virtually no mistakes or damage. 

These days, leading brand suppliers actually approach us to partner with them and represent their brands to our national retailer base. Such is the strength of our reputation and standing within the industry.

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The Unique team continues to grow and thrive with more than 180 Uniquers on the team today! Note: This photo was taken pre-social distancing regulations.

Unique is the biggest importer of natural products from the USA and widely considered Australia’s best (and probably biggest) independent wholesale distributor in the health food channel.

Over the past 25 years, many wonderful souls have worked beside me along this amazing journey. One that I never would have possibly envisioned back in 1996. And when it comes to celebrating our people, we make sure we go all out!

One of our most iconic examples of Unique culture is when we farewelled one of our Uniquers, Pavel. He loved break dancing! So the entire team secretly practiced a flash mob routine to surprise him on his last day. This is what happened…

I am forever grateful to each and every one of those special people, all of whom have imparted their unique gifts and thrown absolute everything into building this very special business into what it is today.

Friends of Unique

Over the years the Unique team has had the pleasure of meeting a wide range of incredibly talented and aspirational people. From athletes and academics to musicians and pioneers in health. Here is just a handful of the wonderful friends of Unique…

From the bottom of my extremely grateful heart, thank you for the vital part you played.

~ Dale Parkes.

NATURALLY CALMING PRODUCTS PROVE SLEEP SELLS

Even before the heightened uncertainty of the past year, Australians weren’t getting enough sleep. More than a third of them to be precise. 

At the same time, we’re also a nation feeling the increased pressure of stress and anxiety. 

It’s an unbreakable cycle of lack of sleep and stress, stress and lack of sleep.

But Australians also have an insatiable appetite for natural calming products and remedies… and it’s driving demand for products to reduce stress, anxiety and improve sleep.

The pursuit of calm

At Unique Health Products we are ahead of the curve, with a large range of products that are designed to relax and calm the mind, naturally.

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Botanika Blends

Botanika Blends Dreamy Jelly – available in two flavours, Grape Bubblegum and Berry Good – is the perfect pre-bed treat for sweet dreams. 

The jelly is vegan and cane sugar free. It has ingredients like tryptophan, an amino acid that converts to serotonin in the brain as well as magnesium, which may encourage sleep and relaxation.

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The Goodnight Co. 

The name probably gives it away, but The Goodnight Co. is all about products that induce and enhance sleep. 

There are three key Essentials Oils in the range – the uplifting Ritual Blend, the refreshing Goodnight Blend and the rejuvenating Calm Blend. The Essential Oils can be paired with a stylish Ceramic Diffuser or alternatively they come in a Roll On Bottle. 

In addition to a Sleep Mist that contains geranium for reducing stress, sweet orange for calming and lavender for relaxation, The Goodnight Co. also has a selection of homeopathic drops. 

The Deep Sleep Drops are formulated to support optimal sleep with calming coffee cruda and passiflora incarnata which may help with insomnia and anxiety. The Calm Drops include ingredients like hypericum, anacardium and zinc, which together may reduce anxiety, relax the body and calm the nerves.

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Epzen 

Magnesium is a mineral that has had more time in the spotlight recently. It is an important mineral that may assist with mood, sleep quality and relaxation.

In the Epzen range of Magnesium Bath Crystals, Magnesium Body Lotion and Magnesium Body Spray, the magnesium is infused with essential oils across two lines – Relax and Sleep.

Relax uses rosewood, ylang ylang, geranium, frankincense and may chang essential oils to re-energise the body and mind. Sleep uses lavender, mandarin, cedarwood, bergamot and Roman chamomile to help unwind and find restful sleep.

Amazing Oils 

Amazing Oils is another brand that harnesses the power of magnesium for promoting restful sleep.

The Magnesium Pro Sleep Lotion combines magnesium with lavender and chamomile for a powerful formulation that may assist with relaxation and induce sleep while also relieving sleeplessness.

Amazing Oils also has a solution for tired parents seeking a solution to baby sleep challenges. There are two products – Magnesium Baby Sleepy Toes Towelettes and Baby Calm Gel Roll-On. Both use a gentle formulation of magnesium chloride for infants from three months old.

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Wheatbags Love 

For those who want to give the gift of sleep, Wheatbags Love has a range of Sleep Gift Packs.

Each pack includes a handmade Eye Pillow, Earplugs and Sleep Balm. The Eye Pillow can be chilled in the freezer or warmed in the microwave and is helpful for tired eyes and headaches. The Sleep Balm contains lavender, rosewood and vanilla essential oils for adding to them temples and pulse points.

The gift packs are available in a range of designs – Banksia Sky, Grevillea, Heart Gum and Wattle.

rescue-remedy

RESCUE REMEDY

Rescue Remedy is based on a formulation of five flower essences which were first identified by Dr Edward Bach in the 1930s.

The Rescue Remedy Pastilles – available in Original. Blackcurrant and Cranberry flavours – come in a handy tin for stress relief on the run. The Rescue Remedy Drops and Spray can be used on the tongue as often as required. 

The Rescue Sleep Drops and Sleep Spray are an extension of the Rescue Remedy range that combines the original flower essences with white chestnut to help relieve sleeplessness.

mt-retour

Mt Retour 

Mt Retour offers two essential oil blends – one for sleep, and one for stress – in a convenient roll-on format.

The Cosy Sleep Blend includes a relaxing blend of camellia, almond, lavender, marjoram, patchouli and orange essential oils. The Stress Soother blend includes a similar formulation with the additional of ylang ylang and bergamot for their calming benefits.

evolution-botanicals

Evolution Botanicals 

Rhodiola rosea is an adaptogen that may improve energy levels and mood… particularly during times of high stress.

The Evolution Botanicals Rhodiola Rosea Extract is a powder that can be added to water or smoothies as part of a daily routine.

Each of these dreamy products are available for wholesale order in the Unique Health Products online store. If you are ready to purchase you can order 24/7 or contact our friendly sales team on 1800 787 904. If you aren’t yet registered for a wholesale account with us, you can register your account here