​From garage to global best seller: Q&A with Lifestream

Woman sits surrounded by nature and drinks a beverage

We caught up with the team at Lifestream to learn about their vision, values, and wellness tips for 2022. From their best selling Spirulina and Aloe Vera range, we hear what makes their products so unique.

How did Lifestream start? Tell us about Lifestream’s history from garage to global innovator

Like so many great businesses, Lifestream was born in a garage! Founder Michael Henrickson was convinced of the power of Spirulina as a superfood and wanted to be able to buy it for his own use, so he negotiated distribution rights for the leading Spirulina in the world, for both NZ and Australia, in 1980. He purchased a tableting machine and got to work in his garage in Otara, Auckland. He created our very first Spirulina tablets and powder products there, and to this day they continue to be our best sellers.

What values have been at the heart of Lifestream since day one?

Since pioneering Spirulina and Aloe Vera in Australasia (back in 1980, before plant-based was even a thing) we've grown our range to continue to bring you clean plant-based and wholefood products that deliver results. From helping you with a good night's sleep to sore joints after a triathlon, we're here for it all. All this while staying in mother nature's good books.

We keep it simple. No fuss, fluff, or unnecessary ingredients. Just pure, organic (where possible), sustainably sourced, GMO free, with no artificial colours, flavours and sweeteners.

Because we love wholefoods, we’re more obsessed about what is not in our products than what is.

A lot has changed in the last 40 years, but Lifestream’s mission remains the same.

Our mission is to support a healthier everyday life for you, by providing the most innovative, sustainable, and powerful plant-based vitamins and supplements.

What are your favourite ingredients to formulate?

From the beginning, our Spirulina and Aloe Vera have been our hero ingredients, and for good reason. We’ve gone to great lengths to make sure we source only the best.

Our Spirulina is remotely grown by world experts, far away from environmental pollutants in natural sunlight and clean water to ensure the highest potency and purity. Spirulina is rich in phytonutrients and is a naturally powerful wholefood multi-vit and mineral that has been helping to keep people healthy and full of energy for the last 40yrs. We know it works!

Aloe Vera use dates back centuries. It naturally contains nutrients and antioxidants to help nourish your cells on the inside and the outside, and we’ve got products for both.

Our Aloe Vera is 99.7% pure inner leaf, organically grown, and sustainably hand harvested. It gets gently processed to ensure nothing is lost and all its health supporting properties are retained. That’s why our Aloe Vera products have maintained a long-standing reputation for quality, purity and for getting results.

Tell us about your new eco packaging?

Our rebrand process took almost two years. From the get-go we wanted to reduce our environmental impact and looking at how we could improve our packaging was a no brainer. What was the most complicated was finding packaging options that minimised our impact on the planet but are also shelf stable and shipping friendly. We explored several packaging options (like glass or recycled plastic) but sugar cane plastic felt right for us, as leader in plant-based heath.

We believe in a better world. We choose to shift all our packaging to a more renewable source and moving to a plant-based plastic just made sense. Sugar cane plastics come from a renewable source (sugar cane), just like trees, as sugarcane grows it takes carbon out of the atmosphere.

Our sugar plastic bottles are also 100% recyclable through kerbside collection in NZ, so they can be remade into new bottles.

All our labels have also shifted to a paper-based label (except for Aloe Vera). 

Tell us about your sustainability commitments?

Moving to sugar cane plastic with paper-based labels is only a start in our sustainability journey. We want to anchor sustainability at the core of our business and will be working towards becoming a Carbon Zero company in the near future.

We are also looking after our people and are now proudly a certified Living Wage company.

What does it mean to be recognised as a Mindful Brand?

We are extremely proud of being recognised as a Mindful Brand. We are a small and nimble NZ owned-company and for over 40 years we have believed in the power of nature.

We love your new look! How have you made it easier for customers to shop your range?

Before embarking on our new look we spoke to our customers. The findings were clear, consumers are looking for solutions to their health-related issues and the current category is overwhelming.

With our new look we simplified our range. We added a clear benefit statement to each label, and colour-coded our range into key categories. We want to make it easier for consumers to find what they need whether on shelf or digital shelf. Each category (digestion, energy, immune) now has its own colour inspired by Nature.

What’s one thing you’re looking forward to in 2022?

In 2022, we are really looking forward to rolling out our new plant-based packaging, reaching more mindful customers and ultimately reducing our impact on the planet.

What three wellness tips would you love to share with our HealthPost community?

1. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables

A good starting place to eating a wholefood, plant-based diet is to make sure your diet is rich in vegetables – including root vegetables, fruit of all types, legumes and pulses, grains and cereals in their natural whole form.

If the idea seems overwhelming, then start small with some easy to implement changes. You could commit to using whole grains like oats for breakfast, and whole grain breads instead of the processed white variety. You can also start with a few meat-free meals throughout the week.

2. Get some rest and sleep

Sleep plays an integral role in your health, and a lack of sleep contributes to the risk of developing a number of health complaints including feelings of stress. Tiredness and fatigue quickly burden the body and mind, which is why getting good amounts of sleep helps to buffer all the stressors you encounter in your day.

3. Exercise and get some fresh air

Regular and moderate exercising helps to increase immune cell production, helping to build up your immune "army". It also increases production of serotonin, the hormone that regulates mood, sleep, and appetite, which all make for a happier, healthier immune system. 

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