Demos launches new probiotic drink

Good BellyNorth America's nascent but booming probiotics market has received a further boost. With a probiotics-fortified juice, soy pioneer Steve Demos' newest healthy foods venture moves into a sector occupied by the likes of Danone subsidiary Dannon, Kraft, General Mills and Stonyfield Farm.

His new company is called NextFoods. Like White Wave, the operation that popularised soy in North America three decades ago, it is based in Boulder, Colorado, where Next-Foods' probiotic juice — Goodbelly — is being trialled. Goodbelly incorporates Lactobacillus plantarum 299V, from the Swedish supplier, Probi, and is found in Swedish dairy Skane's ProViva range.

Demos said Goodbelly would target older consumers. "There's an untapped market of ageing people in the US whom the marketers have dismissed," he said.

The North American probiotics foods and beverages market is estimated to be in excess of $1 billion and growing rapidly. As consumers warm to the idea of friendly gut bacteria, product options increase and prices fall, a scenario that is mimicking the European situation of two to three years ago.

For more on probiotics, see Julian Mellentin's blog.

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