Probiotics take over the beverage aisle

It’s been around for years, but in the last couple of months it seems like I get a press release almost weekly telling me about a new product that has added GanedenBC30 probiotic to its formulation.

The tea category has seen widespread inclusion of this functional ingredient including Bigelow Tea Company, GT Kombucha, KeVita, Tipton Mills, as well as The Republic of Tea’s Be Well Red Tea that I’m sipping on right now.

Last month the ingredient launched in instant coffee—the first probiotic to turn up in coffee though I doubt it will be the last. I wonder how long it will take Starbucks to pick this up?

Most of us coffee drinkers think of our morning Joe as a digestive necessity anyway, but add real, live good bacteria to the mix and you’ve got a bonafide functional beverage on your hands. So now my morning caffeine jolt doesn’t just turn me into a coherent human being, but come with the health benefits associated with probiotics too—regularity, immunity, and healthy digestion.

But the real genius came years ago when Naked Pizza picked up GanedenBC30 in their pizza crust. This is the future of food, people—value added health benefits subtly slipped into our favorite foods.

Some ingredients and delivery formats more readily lend themselves to food or beverage fortification, but scientists and product developers are finding new ways to deliver health to consumers every day. And I don’t know about you, but I choke down enough supplements every day as it is, so any way they can find to get me the nutrients I need is an innovation I can feel good about. 

What do you think about the proliferation of probiotics in our foods? Leave a comment.

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