Meet Altius Spices and Seasonings: the local Quebec company behind Great Value spices

July 16, 2021

3 Min. Read

Have you ever wondered who’s behind the Great Value brand of spices and seasonings at Walmart Canada? It’s a Canadian-based food supplier that is spicing up the spice market.

Altius Spices and Seasonings provides Walmart Canada with a variety of herbs and spices out of its production facility in Baie-D'Urfé, Que. This collaboration provides our customers with everyday low prices without sacrificing quality.

Altius is just one of the more than 2,200 Canadian suppliers Walmart Canada works with. More locally, in the last 12 months, Walmart sourced more than $1.6 billion worth of products from close to 200 Quebec-based food suppliers.

Altius imports raw materials directly from all over the world, sourcing products from Europe to Asia and the Americas. For example, in the last 12 months, they’ve imported more than 2.5 million pounds of black pepper. The spices are ground and blended at their production facility to customer specifications.

“We know what’s in the product,” Altius president Laurence Bloom said. “We bring it in from source and we do all the appropriate testing at our Canadian facility.”

Processed and packaged in Canada, these products must adhere to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s safety and quality standards.

Like most success stories, there were humble beginnings at Altius. Walmart Canada began working with the Canadian supplier in 2005, when they were a smaller company selling spices and ramen noodles.

Bloom says he and his business partners saw the potential in Altius and went “all in” to purchase the company in 2012. But before doing so, he reached out to their largest client, Walmart Canada, to see how they could grow the business together.

“Any company that stands still is waiting to fail,” Bloom asserted.

“We saw a strong local collaboration with growth potential,” said Gary Cabral, director of core grocery at Walmart Canada.

In the years that followed, Altius began disrupting the spice market. Sales more than doubled and they quickly grew from 50 to 60 employees to approximately 150 today in the Montreal area, according to Bloom.

“Walmart showed good faith to a small Canadian manufacturer,” Bloom acknowledged. “We probably would not have existed if not for the support Walmart showed at that time.”

“We share common values – we put the customer first,” Walmart Canada senior category manager Ivo Petroff said. “We build our strategies and businesses around our customer’s needs. This is the major driver for all success.”

In 2019, a majority interest of Altius was acquired by the HACO Group, an international manufacturer and food distributor based in Switzerland. Altius continues to operate its production facility in Montreal, keeping jobs in Canada.

“I’ll never forget the good things that Walmart did for me.” Bloom admitted. “[Walmart] greatly helped us grow as a company.”

Altius has manufactured more than 15 million pounds of product over the last 12 months, including approximately three million pounds for the Great Value brand.

Today, Altius is a kosher-certified manufacturer that offers a wide range of herbs, spices and seasonings, including the popular Tajin Clasico Seasoning brand. They also now offer Plochman’s cooking oils, sold exclusively at Walmart Canada and Walmart.ca, along with more than 175 other products.

At Walmart Canada, we’re proud to support Canadian jobs by working with local suppliers. This helps boost Canada’s economy and provides opportunities for people of all backgrounds. We consider it an obligation and a privilege to provide Canadians with products they trust from companies in the communities where they live. For more details about fresh foods and products grown or manufactured in Canada, visit Walmart.ca.