Are Naked Pizza's Probiotic-Packed Pies the Future of American Junk Food?

The September 13, 2009, issue of The New York Times Magazine featured a story about Naked Pizza, the New Orleans-based “better for you” pizza chain Nutrition Business Journal wrote about last year. Along with using whole grains for its crusts and eschewing all additives, preservatives, colorants and “weird chemicals or molecules of any kind,” Naked Pizza adds probiotics and prebiotics to its pizza crust flour—which is why we included the company in our 2008 article about functional foods and beverages fortified with “healthy bugs.”

The company’s founder, Jeff Leach, is an evolutionary anthropologist who has studied the way ancestral diets have changed over time. Because our ancestors used to consume many more prebiotics and probiotics through their diets than we do today, Leach told NBJ that he doesn't think of them as some revolutionary new concept. “All we are doing is introducing something that we basically took away,” he said. Naked Pizza uses Ganeden Biotech's patented GanedenBC30 (Bacillus coagulans) probiotic strain, whose heartiness endears it to manufacturers of products processed with high temperatures, such as pizza.

As the New York Times noted, consumers are buying into the Naked Pizza model, and the company has big expansion plans as a result. Earlier this year, the serial entrepreneur Mark Cuban landed the territorial rights for Naked Pizza franchises in Texas. Now the company is considering another deal with a privately owned holding company to launch up to 1,000 Naked Pizza franchises throughout the United States, Leach told the New York Times. My hope is that these probiotic-packed, healthier pizza pies make their way to Boulder, Colorado, where NBJ and my pizza-loving children are based.

NBJ will provide an update on the probiotic/prebiotic functional food and beverage market in our 2010 Functional Food and Beverage issue, which publishes in February 2010. If your company offers or is planning to roll out a new functional food or beverage you want NBJ to know about, e-mail [email protected]

As always, to subscribe to NBJ or download a free 32-page sample issue, go to the subscriber page on the NBJ Website.

Related NBJ links:

Probiotic and Prebiotic Foods and Beverages Take Root in the U.S. Once and For All

Probi Introduces Its Proprietary Probiotics to the U.S. Market

As Digestive Problems Bloom, So Do Sales of Probiotics And Other Gut Supplements

23 U.S. Functional Food Subcategories: 1997-2017e - Chart 59 Related Functional Ingredients Magazine links:

Probiotics technology opens up FRO-YO markets for Ganeden and Danisco

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