Skip to main content

Prince Edward Island: Pioneering powerful nutraceutical solutions

The pristine ecology of Prince Edward Island (PEI) is fast becoming more than just a tourism drawcard, with forward-thinking businesses taking advantage of the Island’s resources to create natural products that are driving the local nutraceuticals industry forward.  

PEI’s small size provides a unique competitive advantage, with major players like Honibe benefiting from the collaborative culture between industry and academia in the life sciences and agriculture sectors, allowing for unique innovations that are accelerating the burgeoning nutraceuticals industry on a global scale.  

“Prince Edward Island’s life sciences sector is a key economic driver for the province and a valuable contributor to the health and wellness of residents both locally and across Canada,” says Susan Freeman, Executive Director, Meetings & Conventions Prince Edward Island.  

International organizations and companies in the life sciences field are drawn to PEI as an ideal host city for business meetings, events and conferences, where delegates can experience first-hand the processes behind the creation of trailblazing natural products. 

“As a compact island, PEI is able to provide immersive experiences for delegates who wish to explore the beautiful landscape, discover the natural resources that exist here, and understand the techniques and procedures for manufacturing health products that are in demand domestically and all over the world,” says Freeman. 


Sweet success 

Major bioscience companies Island Abbey Foods, Nature’s Crops International, Nutracelle and BioSpa (Quann) Cosmeceuticals Inc are pioneering all-natural innovations that are striking a chord across the globe. 

“Charlottetown-based Island Abbey Foods, a member of Meetings & Conventions PEI, is spearheading the development of solid honey products with their Honibe lozenges and multivitamins, created using all-natural honey made right here on the Island,” says Freeman. 

Honibe’s solid honey innovations are the only products of their kind scientifically proven to retain the honey’s naturally occurring health benefits using their patented technology.  

“Honibe is a local success story, with Island Abbey Foods now catering for customers in the US, UK, Australia, United Arab Emirates and New Zealand,” says Scott Spencer, Honibe President & COO. “By the end of 2021, we expect the year-to-year growth of our Honibe Gummy products will have grown by about five times.” 

“The Honibe Honey Drops even made it onto the International Space Station with Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield in 2013!” 


Innovating naturally 

Passionate thought leaders in the nutraceuticals sector are using plants, extracts and technologies specific to Prince Edward Island to develop new products that address specific pain points for manufacturers and consumers throughout the world. 

Natures Crops International, based in Kensington PEI, manufactures specialty oils, such as ahiflower oil, abyssinian oil and meadowfoam seed oil for dietary supplements, food and personal care products. The company boasts an oil production facility, refinery, and on-site quality control laboratory on PEI.  

Delegates who attend life sciences events and conferences on PEI can experience interactive, hands-on tours of cutting-edge production facilities and laboratories, where they can witness the development of new bioscience products and expand their minds beyond what they thought was possible.

Susan Freeman, Executive Director, Meetings & Conventions Prince Edward Island

Professionals in the food safety sphere can learn from local entrepreneurs like Melanie Wildman, CEO of Nutracelle, who created an all-natural, nut free, gluten-free prebiotic protein, and Sharon Quann, President of BioSpa (Quann) and creator of Quannessence Skincare, noted for incorporating the most advanced botanical extracts to address major skin conditions.  

“Melanie and Sharon are prime examples of the well-respected, bright minds that reside in PEI who are coming up with innovative bioscience solutions to everything from food safety to skin conditions and aesthetics,” says Freeman. 

“Their trailblazing products are a reflection of the world-class research and development facilities located on PEI, the quality of the botanicals and natural resources that grow here, and the visionary thinkers who believe they can make a difference.” 


Accelerating the growth of natural products  

PEI is also the head office of Natural Products Canada (NPC), a national not-for-profit that supports the research, development and commercialization of innovative Canadian natural products and technologies that can be applied to a range of industries, including natural health products and nutraceuticals.  

Based in Charlottetown, NPC provides advice, strategic connections, commercialization programs and investment to help identify and develop innovative natural solutions that can meet the growing global demand.  

“Canada has incredible potential to play a powerful role in the development of sustainable, natural solutions that can be applied to a broad range of sectors, and NPC exists to help realize that potential,” says Shelley King, Director of Natural Products Canada.   

“NPC's international cluster is home to Canadian start-ups, research institutes and subject matter experts as well as international corporations and investors eager to discover emerging opportunities from across the country.” 

Event and conference organizers who choose Charlottetown as their host city can tap into the rich nutraceuticals ecosystem to elevate speaker programs, arrange off-site tours and lively workshops for increased delegate engagement.   


A taste of Island life  

It might be small in size, but Prince Edward Island’s enormous life sciences talent pool, world-class culinary offerings, buzzing music scene, green rolling hills, red-sand beaches and spectacular hiking trails are a major drawcard for business events and conferences. 

“Delegates can explore the Island from tip to tip, cycle or hike the nature trails, indulge in some of the best seafood on the planet and get to know our friendly locals,” says Freeman. 

“By offering attendees a taste of island life, we know that PEI will leave a lasting mark on their hearts – we’re not surprised when they return year after year!” 


Meetings with purpose 

By augmenting conference programs with PEI’s nutraceutical experts and localized technical tours, business event organizers can attract delegates, increase revenues, and inspire future generations.  

“We call that 'meeting with purpose’,” says Freeman, pointing out that when the time is right for in-person events to resume, Prince Edward Island is poised to show off its expanding nutraceutical ecosystems.  


Easy access 

Regular flights are available on Air Canada, Westjet, Flair and PAL Airlines, with Charlottetown just two hours from Toronto. Find out more HERE.  

Visit Meetings & Conventions PEI’s website to find out more about your next life sciences business meeting.  

Discover more about Canada’s life sciences business events HERE