Tipton Mills claims to have launched the world’s first probiotic coffee, which uses a new probiotic developed by Ganeden Biotech, and says one serving contains 10 times as many cultures as a standard probiotic yogurt.
Marketing manager Andy Johnson told BeverageDaily.com why new trademarked probiotic, GanedenBC30, could succeed in such an instant formulation where other probiotics failed.
GanedenBC30 recently received GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Tipton Mills has used it to develop the instant coffee ($5.49 for six sachets).
Welcoming the news in August 2012 , Ganeden claimed that GanedenBC30 was the first Bacillus strain ever to achieve GRAS status.
“The problem is that high or really low temperatures can kill the probiotics, and the other consideration is that stomach acids and naturally occurring things in the body can kill the probiotics,” Johnson told Ben Bouckley.
“So we had to find a probiotic that could survive going into a hot beverage, and then also make it through the acidic stomach environment,” Johnson said, adding that this wasn’t possible with previous probiotics.
Completely heat stable
Johnson said that Ganeden BC30 had a shell round it, “which doesn’t break away until it leaves the stomach, so that’s where it’s going to do the most good”.
“The probiotic is completely heat stable, you can put it into frozen products, boiling products, and it’s going to survive that kind of environment,” he added.
So was Tipton Mills planning to carry any health claim on its probiotic coffee?
“It really comes down to our partner Gaenden coming up with the science. The results that they’re getting out of the studies now is that it does boost your immunity,” Johnson said.
“The most recent study I found showed that the probiotic lessens the magnitude of Clostridium Difficile [overgrowth of this bacteria can lead to it attacking the lining of the intestines], so you can recover from it faster. The probiotic also provides digestive support.”
Moving beyond Activia yogurt…
Johnson added: “But at this point we’re relying on consumer awareness [of probiotic benefits] but we know we have to educate consumers about what probiotics are.”
Asked whether consumers needed educating to accept the idea of probiotic coffee, Johnson said Ganeden was “doing a great job in terms of marketing the probiotic, which goes into everything from frozen pizza to oatmeal.
“Through them, and their marketing efforts, it looks like probiotics are popping up all over the place. Also it seems like there are so many probiotics on the market now, that people are more familiar with them beyond, say, Activia yogurt, where they first burst onto the scene,” he said.
Johnson said that Tipton Mills was initially focusing sales and marketing efforts on the US, but that there had been interest from Asia, particularly Singapore and Malaysia, more developed probiotic markets.
And how confident was Tipton Mills that the price premium would not deter customers? “We have had a pretty good response to it. It came down to inclusion of the probiotic – you can buy other instant coffees for 10 cents per unit, but it doesn’t have the probiotic benefits,” Johnson said.
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