Original Chia was founded in 2009, following a succession of fortunate circumstances:
Martin Toft, the company founder, watched two separate TV programmes about chia seeds. The first time, he could not believe what he saw and heard: the properties attributed to chia seeds seemed too improbable. In the second programme, a nutritional scientist who is very well known in Denmark was speaking in a round-table discussion and was just as astoundingly positive about chia seeds, as the first programme had been.
This prompted Martin Toft to start researching chia seeds online for two hours. His conclusion: he was deeply convinced that he had encountered a particularly valuable food to which he would dedicate his future. Together with two friends, he founded the company Original Chia and obtained the very first import licence for chia seeds given in the EU.
It was a difficult start! In South America, chia seeds were not more well-known than in our country, i.e. almost entirely unknown. That is why finding a reliable supplier and getting the first containers loaded up and heading in the direction of Europe was a big challenge!
In 2009, chia seeds were only permitted as a 5% ingredient in bread. Naturally, we decided to focus on bakers. However, at this time, they were still reluctant to hear anything about the new ingredient, since its composition, baking properties and the resulting benefit to the bakery were still unknown. Why buy something so unknown, which there was no demand for and which was much more expensive than sesame or sunflower seeds?
Original Chia then spent a lot of time on fundamental education until the import licence for chia seeds was extended in January 2013! Since the end of January 2013, chia seeds are not only limited to a 5% ingredient in bread, but now all baked goods, fruit, seed and nut mixes and breakfast cereals are allowed to contain 10% chia seeds. In addition, chia seeds are now allowed to be sold as a mono-product, although each package contains the recommendation that the maximum daily consumption should not exceed 15g (EFSA).
Since chia seeds had already achieved lively online sales before this official permission, with pioneer consumers being extreme sport athletes such as marathon runners, triathletes, Ironman competitors etc., it did not take long before the demand multiplied. As the demand grew, we grew too.
Not only athletes appreciated the benefits of chia seeds, soon everyone was talking about them. Many comments we received emphasised the fact that people felt better and had more energy when they ate chia seeds.
The great wave of demand also reached the bakers and the first (large and small) bakeries began to produce chia bread and chia rolls. While we had been confronted with a lot of incomprehension at the iba Munich in 2012, in 2015 it was plain sailing: chia seeds were suddenly very popular, now even with the bakers!
In 2014, the German subsidiary was established to be able to respond to the growing interest in chia better and to serve the German-speaking market more directly.
Since then, chia seeds have become indispensable for many people in their daily diet, and Original Chia has established itself as a quality-conscious and reliable supplier in the international market.
Over the years, we have become one of the main importers of chia seeds to the EU and wholesalers for the seeds in the EU and beyond.
We are still delighted to expand and to spread the knowledge about chia and its properties so that as many people as possible can experience for themselves what this particularly valuable and complete food can do.