The Chia Co: Offering a Superfood or a Fad?
Founded in 2003 by a fourth-generation Australian farmer, John Foss, The Chia Co recognized the demand for healthy food among different segments of consumers and aimed to provide health and wellness to the global community through the production and distribution of chia seeds. Through his creative entrepreneurial skills, Foss encouraged a new Australian agricultural industry, which had unique supply chain practices and an emphasis on sustainability and fair value for farmers. Nevertheless, by 2016, the company was facing several challenges. Some critical issues included demand that overshot supply, threats from other healthy superfoods such as flax seeds and quinoa, and lack of scientific evidence of the health benefits of chia seeds. In this context, Foss needed to determine how to make The Chia Co a world-class market leader in chia seeds and how to overcome supply and demand challenges. If superfoods really were just a fad, he also had to consider what lay in the future for The Chia Co and its products. Arpita Agnihotri is affiliated with Pennsylvania State University - Harrisburg. Saurabh Bhattacharya is affiliated with Newcastle University.