Why Kay’s Naturals?
At Kay’s Naturals we have surveyed the vast landscape of so-called nutritious foods and determined that the missing link is a Better Balance™of protein, carbohydrates, fiber and fats. Kay’s all-natural, gluten-free line seeks to fill this gap with food that has a healthy balance of great taste, low calories, lean soy protein, zero cholesterol, lower carbohydrates and fiber. Our foods also provide a complete amino acid profile.
A recent study from Harvard Medical School found that most gluten free products currently available in the market place are high in starch and that many gluten-free formulations lack essential nutrients.
How is Kay’s Naturals different?
Kay’s Naturals has chosen to focus on a healthier balance of ingredients:
30-35% natural soy protein
10-18% healthy fats
Every 1-ounce (28g) serving has:
8-10gnatural soy protein
100 -110 calories
9g -13g carbohydrates
1g – 3g fiber
Low saturated fats/no trans fats
Cost of Protein vs. Cost of Sugar and Starch
Most snacks and cereals are made of 80-90% starch and sugar. This is because starch
and sugar are cheap. Protein, on the other hand, costs 15-20 times more than starch or
sugar. Thus, most snack and cereal companies avoid using protein in their foods, and
even when they use protein, it is only a small percentage (8-10%) of the final product.
In addition, all Kay’s Naturals foods are always free of artificial sweeteners, flavors,
colors and preservatives.
ARE YOUR PRODUCTS RUN ON A GLUTEN FREE LINE?
We are often asked why we claim to be gluten free then make a disclosure on some of our packaging that wheat and gluten are run on the same lines. In 2009, we converted our entire prodution facility into wheat free & gluten free lines. Previously, the production facility made one product for another customer containing wheat that ran twice a year on the pretzel line, which is why we make the disclosure on the package.
We test our products at an outside lab with each run. This enables us to also check for any cross-contamination that may have happened before the raw ingredients reached our facility. We have had this testing program in place for a number of years and the products have tested gluten-free each time.
Once the facility was entirely wheat and gluten free, we became Gluten Free Certified by the Certified Gluten Free Organization (CGFO). GFCO is under the umbrella of the Gluten Intolerance Group®, also known as GIG®. Our products are also kosher certified under Orthodox Union (Circle U). As we order new packaging, the CGFO seal will appear on the package and “wheat” will be removed from the list of allergens. The wheat warning will still continue to appear on packaging already in stock until the old packaiging has been used.
The origins of Kay’s Naturals come from love.
Kay’s Naturals products were developed by Dr. Massoud Kazemzadeh (known as “Dr. Kay”) for his first wife Linda, a juvenile diabetic.
After receiving his Ph.D. in food science from Texas A & M University in the 1980s, Dr. Kay and Linda moved their young family to Minneapolis where Dr. Kay worked with several Fortune 500 companies in developing new snacks and cereals for the consumer market.
He was often concerned about the nutritional quality of the products he helped develop as they were nutrient poor – high in carbohydrates, but low in fiber and protein. After years of seeing his wife suffer with her illness he knew the marketplace offered few options for people with diabetes. A diabetic friendly diet is a reduced carbohydrate diet. All products in the snack and cereal markets – loved by consumers for their convenience – were mostly, if not all carbohydrate.
Sharing his thoughts with Linda, they developed the idea of starting a company that would make the snacks and cereals that consumers love in a healthier format: more protein and fiber. They registered the name “Kay’s Naturals” with the state of Minnesota and wrote a business plan. Dr. Kay began testing product prototypes. Sadly, just at this time, Linda’s diabetes took a turn for the worse and she passed away from complications related to diabetes in 1997.
After Linda’s passing, Kay’s Naturals would lay dormant for the next few years, but Dr. Kay and Linda’s dream was always present for him. He understood the food choice disadvantages facing people with diabetes and was committed to pursuing the plan he and Linda had worked so hard to develop. Eventually, Dr. Kay would marry Ann Jones, an attorney from Texas.
Understanding the importance of Linda and Dr. Kay’s dream, Ann would eventually take over the company and pursue marketing products for Kay’s Naturals. Dr. Kay would continue to develop light crunchy snacks and cereals that mimic popular consumer products with a healthier nutritional profile of approximately 33% soy protein, 10% fiber and 57% net carbohydrates. Today Kay’s Naturals sells a dozen products – 3 cereals, 5 snacks, 3 pretzels, 3 puffs and 2 cookies. With a food scientist at the helm, Kay’s Naturals is always developing new products.
Once the original product – Protein Chips – launched, Dr. Kay and Ann found that people with diabetes were not the only ones looking for products higher in protein and lower in carbohydrates. Athletes, body builders, individuals who have had weight loss (bariatric) surgery were among the groups that quickly responded to the company’s products. With the epidemic of obesity on the rise, Kay’s Naturals is committed to offering healthier, nutrient rich snack & cereal options to consumers. Eventually Dr. Kay found a wheat-gluten free formula worked very well for the products and all of our products have been gluten-free the line and wheat-free since January 2009.