Beloit, WI—Given the characteristics of most probiotics—i.e., the need for refrigeration—the category has generally been restrained to the dairy aisle. However, a new report from Kerry points out, the advent of spore-forming bacteria means that formulators can bring digestive health benefits to more foods, and the traditional three-meals-per-day pattern could boost the digestive health market.

A new report from Kerry—makers of the spore-forming probiotic GanedenBC30—notes that 85% of consumers say they are interested in buying products with digestive health benefits, but only 45% actually do. This reveals a big opportunity, which Kerry thinks can be explored through a three-meals-per-day lens. John Quilter, VP and general manager for Kerry’s ProActive Health Division, said in the release: “Breakfast, lunch and dinner—maybe with a few snacks in between—has been the way billions of humans have eaten for centuries. Mealtimes therefore represent a golden opportunity for food and beverage manufacturers to deliver the many benefits of probiotics and other digestive health ingredients. Aligning innovative products to these specific occasions makes it easy for consumers to incorporate them into their diets.”
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For instance, the report says, adding probiotics into waffles or pancakes creates an easy opportunity for consumers to get probiotics at breakfast; adding probiotics to cereal could revamp a category demonized for high sugar content. Lunchtime options like fiber or protein bars could get a boost from probiotics; the release cites Kerry’s research, which found that among people who tend not to buy snacks, four out of ten would be more likely to do so if they contained probiotics or claimed digestive health benefits. And for dinner, 23% of consumers say they would be more likely to buy frozen meals if they contained probiotics or claimed digestive health benefits.