Washington, D.C.—The Council for Responsible Nutrition has announced anupcoming education initiativeto inform retailers about probiotic products. The goal: To help retailers ensure that only high-quality products make it to shelf. The initiative will also aim to educate retail dietitians, pharmacists, sales associates, and other stakeholders.

A “Retail Buyer’s Guide to Probiotics” will feature prominently in the campaign, a press release explains, providing educational materials on probiotic labeling, storage and handling practices, the importance of strain identification, and other need-to-know information. It will include data on probiotic sales and consumer usage to help buyers make informed decisions about what types of probiotic products to stock.

“Unlike other dietary supplement ingredients, probiotics are live organisms that require different labeling and storage and handling practices,” said Andrea Wong, Ph.D., SVP, Scientific & Regulatory Affairs, CRN, in the press release. “Given the popularity of these products, the expanding product innovation, and the growing body of scientific research showing the benefits of this category, CRN recognizes that it’s more important than ever for retailers to be better informed about probiotics. In particular, it’s essential that retail buyers understand the particularities of probiotics because they serve as the gatekeepers for what ends up on the shelf, and for disseminating critical information to safeguard the reputation of their stores and benefit the health of their customers.”

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CRN’s Probiotics Working Group will beta test and finalize the Guide in 2020. Additional deliverables will launch in early 2021.

“Probiotics are unique dietary ingredients that play a role in good health and are supported by a long history of safe use and scientific research,” said Dr. Wong. “Some probiotic products contribute to maintaining digestive health, and developing science shows the benefits certain probiotics can have on immune function, brain health, oral health or bone health. Given the growing science around probiotics and the increasing consumer interest in these products, this category is likely to grow in the coming years. CRN is working to ensure that retailers have the information they need to serve their consumers.”

Find out more about the initiativehere.