Swedish partnership debuts probiotic beverage

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Chief executive officer, Common cold, Probiotic, Executive officer

Probi, a Swedish probiotic specialist and major functional dairy, Skånemejerier, are teaming up to debut a probiotic beverage to complement a probiotic juice, ProViva, they have had on-market since 1994.

The new products will employ immunity and common cold battling marketing with products due on market in the second half of the year.

It is the first time Probi products have employed such marketing as ProViva has been marketed on gut health and employs the probiotic strain, Lactobacillus plantarum 299v.

The new as yet unnamed range will contain two probiotic strains patented by Probi – Lactobacillus plantarum​ and Lactobacillus paracasei – which ​a clinical trial carried out in Berlin by an independent lab on 310 volunteers had demonstrated immunity benefits.

“In the Berlin study, the degree of common cold symptoms and the duration of common cold periods were significantly reduced in the group that received Probi’s product, compared to placebo,”​ the companies said in a statement.

Neither company was available for comment before publication.

“We have had a successful collaboration with Skånemejerier around ProViva since 1994 and are therefore very excited about the possibility to launch an entirely new range of beverages together with them,”​ said Probi chief executive officer, Michael Oredsson, in a statement.

The companies’ research found 50 percent of those given Probi’s product considered it to be very effective and another 20 percent considered it to be effective.

Those who thought the placebo was effective were near zero.

“We believe products that noticeably improve consumer’s body defense and provide benefits such as fewer, milder and shorter common cold periods, have the potential to become bestsellers in the chilled category,”​ said Skånemejerier chief executive officer, Björn Sederblad.

While pundits have pointed to the difficult time many probiotic products have had outside of the core platforms of spoonable and drinkable yoghurts, a probiotic juice, Goodbelly, was launched in the US in 2007 by a company established by Steve Demos.

Demos is the man who turned soy milk brand, Silk, into a mainstream player before selling it and the company that made it, White Wave, to Dean Foods in 2002.

ProViva has been successful in some markets, particularly those in Scandinavia, although it was recently pulled in the UK.

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