Health Sciences sets stage for re-brand with Kalahari deal

By Clarisse Douaud

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Nutrition

Health Sciences Group has sealed a deal to buy Kalahari specialty
tea and food company, thereby finalizing its first move into
branded finished products.

Previously geared towards ingredient development and manufacturing, the Californian group announced an about face in 2006. Over the past two years, the group bought a patented process for hydrocolloid sponges to use in functional food products, the technology behind an antioxidant powder from apple peel, and cholesterol-lowering Sequesterol from kelp.

The signing of a definitive agreement with Kalahari will set the tone for Health Sciences' new market-driven strategy to push an overall brand of "healthstyle" focusing on nutrition and wellness.

"This acquisition provides us with immediate access to over 5,000 national retail outlets and supports our platform strategy to build a strong brand experience that makes a passionate connection with consumers,"​ said Health Sciences CEO Stuart Gold.

According to Health Sciences, Kalahari offers healthy products including Kalahari teas, bottled iced teas and FruitTrekker 100 percent whole fruit energy bars - available in over 5,000 grocery, natural food and specialty stores in the United States.

The group has said it still plans to further develop and market ingredients and technology it previously acquired, but is simultaneously developing a range of branded products.

The intention to market a full range of products under one brand umbrella became apparent in 2006 when former CEO and Health Sciences founder Fred Tannous took a step back to become chief financial officer and let Gold, who has a marketing background, move into his role.

The company's step into the tea market is itself significant given Gold's previous position as CFO of The Republic of Tea.

"We are thrilled to join forces with Health Sciences Group, which we believe, under the new vision and leadership of Mr. Gold, will be a progressive company positioned for tremendous growth,"​ said Kalahari CEO Susan Abrahams. "We are excited about the prospect of building Kalahari into a leading specialty brand."

Health Sciences, which has changed its name three times since it was originally incorporated in 1996, looks set to undergo another re-brand under Gold who has sold himself as somewhat of a branding and motivational guru. On his website, Gold says he is "both imagineer and champion of imaginers"​, as well as a motivational speaker and author of many books including "Ping: a frog in search of a new pond"​.

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