Harnessing Nature’s Power: The Journey of haskalife™ and the Remarkable Haskap Berry

Harnessing Nature’s Power: The Journey of haskalife™ and the Remarkable Haskap Berry

Passion stands at the heart of all successful ventures, fueling innovation and enhancing the drive to create something impactful. For Kiren Singh, a seasoned finance guru turned health-food entrepreneur, the potent combination of passion, innovation, and a desire to make an impact sparked the inception of haskalife™, a thriving venture focusing on the remarkable health benefits of haskap berries.

Embracing a detour from her impressive 30-year career in corporate finance, Kiren Singh’s entrepreneurial quest highlights her transformative journey from the energy industry to the agriprocessing landscape in Alberta. The pivot, as unanticipated as it might have been, represents the marriage of her corporate prowess and an enduring fascination with agriculture seeded in her upbringing. “Diversifying one’s expertise isn’t merely about embracing a novel challenge; it’s about tapping into diversified streams to generate a broader societal impact. haskalife™ isn’t just an enterprise, it’s a solution.”, Kiren affirms.

With haskalife™, Kiren is capitalizing on an under recognized bounty of Alberta – the potent haskap berry. Before embarking on her entrepreneurial journey, she explored her new-found “elixir of life,” discovering an extensive array of health benefits attributed to these berries, mainly centred around their unique properties and bioactive compounds recognized for their exceptional antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

The company’s key offerings, available in single-ingredient pure juice super shot and powder packs, bear the nutritional goodness of haskap berries. These include:

  • High-nutrient density, elevating their status to a ‘superfruit’
  • Potent antioxidant capacity due to their high anthocyanin concentrations
  • Delicious flavour profile – uncommon amongst high anthocyanin fruit
  • Health and performance benefits supported by clinical studies

Through haskalife™, Kiren aspires to make this superfruit accessible and contribute to health awareness while leveraging the abundant agricultural opportunities inherent to Alberta. While still ongoing, this journey exemplifies how entrepreneurial passion can transcend traditional boundaries, fostering valuable innovations to promote health, wellness, and community spirit.

On a mission to bring the incredible potential of haskap berries to the forefront, Kiren’s diligent research and development efforts are truly noteworthy. After learning about the berries’ resilience and nutritional profile, she dove deep into the scientific literature to further understand and harness their health benefits. She engaged the expert scientists at Alberta’s Bio Processing and Innovation Centre (BPIC) and Food Processing and Development Centre (FPDC) to both measure the phyto-compounds in the haskap berry varietals, and develop food safe products without the use of chemicals, additives, or preservatives.

Central to Kiren’s focus is the phytochemical anthocyanin, a type of flavonoid responsible for the berry’s vibrant colours and promising medicinal properties. Notably, the berry packs in four to six times more anthocyanins than a blueberry, ranking it among some of the highest sources known to food science.

Beyond the berry’s impressive anthocyanin profile, Kiren’s commitment to retaining its nutritional integrity throughout the processing stage is critical to haskalife’s™ approach. She researched, tested and adopted processing technologies that retain maximum nutritional value and preserve the taste of fresh berries. Opting for High Pressure Processing (HPP) and freeze-drying technologies, Kiren has ensured that the final products – whether it’s a stick pack of berry powder or a super shot of the juice – contain the pure, unadulterated essence of the haskap berry. This single-ingredient formulation sets haskalife™ apart in a market filled with overly processed and artificially infused food products.

In moving forward with her vision, Kiren partnered with the largest haskap grower in Alberta with a state-of-the-art dedicated haskap berry processing facility right on their farm. This strategic alliance with Prairie Hill Farms has facilitated world-scale commercial production and perpetuated a community-driven aim of bolstering Alberta’s agri-processing sector.

Despite coming from an energy background, Kiren’s foray into the local agricultural landscape underlines the power of passion, curiosity, and determination. By honouring the provincial farming community’s hard work and recognizing the unexploited potential of haskap berry, she has managed to create an innovative and health-focused product line that simultaneously supports local farmers and champions Alberta’s agricultural capabilities.

Given the proven high nutritional value, health benefits and delicious flavour profile of the haskap berry, Kiren has introduced an exciting, homegrown superfruit to the market. With extremely high levels of phenolics, anthocyanins, vitamin C, and other antioxidants, this ‘elixir of life’ stands distinct among other widely popular fruits.

What started as mere curiosity and noble intentions has grown into a full-fledged entrepreneurship journey that has been remarkably transformative and fulfilling for Kiren. haskalife™ not only represents a collection of products but also a testament to the resilience, wisdom, and entrepreneurial spirit of business leaders in Calgary and beyond.

Kiren’s journey with haskalife™ also inspires others keen to venture into entrepreneurship, especially within the agricultural sector. Her foray into a new industry, her tireless efforts in learning about the haskap berry, her private and public sector partnerships, and her determination to bring a high-quality, health-centred product to market underscore her message that, with passion and persistence, anyone can make a significant impact in Alberta’s diverse business landscape.

*This article was originally published in the Spring 2024 edition of the Calgary Petroleum Club's Back to Business magazine.

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