Aura Foods: The Rise of Fonio, an Ancient Super Grain from Africa

The story of Aura Foods feels much more significant than just refined grains in a package – instead, it’s a dedication to health and wellness that arose during the pandemic, it’s a promise that things can get better if you take your health seriously.

A Mission to Facilitate Health and Wellness

Our health is our greatest weapon against illness and a hospital bed, and Aura Foods strives to facilitate that bridge to our bodies. As people everywhere globally weren’t feeling their best, one thing became clear: what we put into our bodies matters.

The Exceptional Fonio Grain

Talking to Aura’s COO Sam, we dove deep into the company’s mission and how a pandemic launched a product that people see as exceptional in places far away from their native Africa. Aura Foods sells packaged Fonio, an ancient grain that’s the smallest seeds of a species of millet.

Gluten-free and High in Nutritional Value

It’s mainly cultivated and consumed in West Africa and is gluten-free and high in dietary fiber; that’s like rice flour but much more nutritious. Fonio is sought after by vegetarians and vegans alike because it contains heart-friendly vitamins, it’s easy to digest, and has a low glycemic index due to body absorption, which doesn’t cause blood sugar spikes like other refined grains.

Versatile and Nutritious

It’s easy to see how it could catch on in America and abroad due to its nutritional properties and versatility – it can be used in everything from baked goods to thickening mashed potatoes for added vitamins. According to Sam, it’s an X-factor for daily health routines, “Fonio is a grain that’s perfect for breakfast. You can use it in stews, smoothies, soup, really anything. It’s a supplement that can superpower your homemade meals. This is an essential part of the West African diet, and we want to share it around the world.”

Authentic Packaging and Organic Origins

And with that message, people are listening. Fonio’s sales are increasing globally and here in America. Aura Foods wanted to be specific about how its packaging looked and felt and could come off as authentically African rather than like any other packaging. Aura’s fonio is authentic and organic but comes with pride, “People were very sick during the pandemic. Fonio has always been a medicine, something we put in soups because of its fourteen different vitamins. The success of Aura Foods gives me fulfillment, having the ability to get this product from the farm to the house is such a great thing. We’re helping the farmers make a living far beyond what they would normally.”

Social Responsibility and Empowering Women Farmers

One of the essential things about Aura’s relationship with farmers is what they’re doing to help them succeed in the long run, “Most of these farmers are women. We’re helping them establish an ecosystem for success. Social responsibility is a part of our mission statement. It takes a lot of hard work to make this grain. They spend long hours getting the fonio just right. We want to give back to our farmers every way we can.”

Collaborating with ePac for Innovative Packaging

ePac’s relationship with Aura Foods has also been fruitful for both parties. “Our packaging is key. Working with ePac has been great. Right from the start they helped us realize our vision by helping us with the concept to make a package that’s engaging to the customer. We’re slowly taking off in the States. Some big retail shops are working with us and people like how the packaging looks. It’s telling a story, it’s visual and it tells the story of where we come from, which is important. ePac is family. They’re a valuable part of what Aura Foods is doing.”

We’re glad that Aura Foods feels this way about us; we think the same about them. We love collaborating with brands striving to impact the world; it’s a beautiful message we can’t forget.

If there’s a bottom line, people want a healthier option. People want to feel better, to get their food from companies that aren’t processing every grain but instead offer something healthy and delicious that will truly nourish their bodies. Aura Foods is giving people a look into what’s possible from beyond just the shelves at the local health food store. 

They’re spreading a holistic, healthy option while offering a glimpse into West African culture, one package at a time.