It’s been a while since we’ve heard from Wheat-Free Market’s founder, Gary Miller. Because they launched their new Virtue Prebiotic Mixes just a few days ago, I thought it would be a great time to get an update.
WD: It’s clear that the Wheat Belly community was excited to see your recent launch of Virtue Prebiotic mixes. Tell us more about this new product for Wheat-Free Market.
GM: Yes, it is really more of a functional food than what I consider a grain-free replacement food. When we started the company, the focus was on providing answers to questions like, “How can I have a muffin or cookie” or “Is there a Wheat Belly-compliant cereal available for breakfast?” But as we Wheat Bellyers continue on this journey, we realize there is so much more we can do for our health, such as supplementation and being sure we get adequate amounts of prebiotic fibers. I also know that you advocate a vigorous program of prebiotic fibers in the new Wheat Belly 10-Day Grain Detox book, and I thought this would be a great time to introduce these Prebiotic Mixes as a convenient option.
WD: What made you decide to come up with a mix?
GM: Well, personally I was struggling to get my own prebiotic fiber intake where I wanted it. I’m busy, and dealing with blenders, green bananas, and raw potatoes just got a little old. And I guess I realized that since our mission is to provide products for convenience to help make this lifestyle easier for people, why not come up with a way to make getting prebiotics easier as well? I wanted something easily measurable that you could just pop in some almond milk, coconut milk, yogurt, kefir, or other liquid and be on your way.
WD: I’ve tasted them and they are delicious. Was it an easy process to formulate them?
GM: Actually, it was more challenging than I thought it was going to be. We wanted as few ingredients as possible, we wanted them to taste great, and we wanted to be able to get all of this into one simple measurement. We were able to pull it off and have everything work in a level tablespoon.
WD: There are 5 grams of prebiotic fibers in each serving, is that right?
GM: Yes. I know you recommend we get up to 20 grams a day, but I am sure you know that many of us have learned the hard way that you need to build up to that. Five grams seemed be a nice and tolerable starting point. People can double up as it suits them over time, and of course people should seek prebiotic fiber from different sources. Speaking of which, we use inulin from the chicory root plant as a prebiotic source in our mixes since, as you know, the scientific data are strongest for this form of prebiotic.
Another nice thing about inulin is it is heat stable, except in very acidic preparations like tomato sauce.
Yes, so I am excited to try adding our mix not just into drinks or yogurt, but perhaps into the batter of our muffin makers or even brownies and see how it does. I will definitely be reporting back on that.
WD: So what’s next for Wheat-Free Market?
GM: Well, we have a lot going on. We are trying to find new production space and consolidate our operations under one roof. We also feel we are at a level as a company where we should have more “store-ready” packaging such as pre-printed bags. We still label all of our pouches by hand! It really takes a fair amount of money to move in that direction, especially because we have so many products. We are hoping to bring in investors to help transition to the next level. At that point, we hope big things will come. With some additional equipment and packaging upgrades and being under one roof, we’d be in a position to scale a larger launch into stores as well has have the time and resources to work on new products.
WD: Speaking of new products, what else is planned?
GM: Well, we are anxious to see how the Prebiotic Mixes are received. We’d like to add a fruit flavor to the line. Dried pure fruit powders without maltodextrin are tough to come by, plus they are very expensive. We have a strawberry-banana flavor, but cannot source a dependable supply of the strawberry at the moment. We’d also really like to add another flavor of either the Granola or Slow-Toasted Flakes. Honestly, there is so much we could do. But we are still a fairly small company, and like most early-stage companies resources and capital have to be managed carefully. I never thought I’d be in the food business and I consider it a “labor of love,” meaning it is a lot of work but also a lot of fun, and extremely rewarding knowing that you are making a difference for people.
WD: Thanks, Gary. Keep up the terrific work in supporting our Wheat Belly community with your healthy, convenient products!