Kerry’s BC30 (Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086) probiotic has long blazed a trail into new delivery formats. Being a spore-former, the bacterium is protected against heat and manufacturing processes, and this has seen the ingredient being used in a range of food and beverages, from pizza crust to tea and instant coffee.
However, one area that has remained just beyond reach – until now – has been the liquid milk and plant-based milk categories.
“Previously BC30 was only available as powder, but this new innovation expands the opportunities to major beverage players and liquid milk and plant-based milks who didn’t want to deal with powdered probiotics in their facilities,” John Quilter, Kerry VP of Global Portfolio – ProActive Health, told NutraIngredients-USA.
The plant-based milk category is growing at a rate of 20% year-on-year, and was valued at $2.5 billion, according to the Good Food Institute. Almond milk makes up the lion’s share of this category, followed by oat milk.
“The Kerry Taste & Nutrition team have been working on the liquid BC30 solution for about 2.5 years and we are in the process of commercializing and introducing this technology to the market. You’ll see functional beverages, (milk and plant-based) with added benefits, and the product will be stamped with BC30 brand on the label,” added Quilter.
The innovation with the liquid form opens up the benefits of BC30 to more consumers, said Quilter. The ingredient is supported by 25 studies for improving digestive health, supporting immune health, and boosting protein absorption.
Niche need states
The big health positions over the past couple of years have obviously been immune support, stress management, and sleep, but Kerry is seeing a proliferation of niche need states, said Quilter, from colic in kids to mastitis in women. The Biosearch Life division is looking at PCOS and fertility, he added.
Last year, Kerry acquired Spanish biotech company Biosearch Life for €126.9 million. Based in Grenada, Spain, the leading biotech company innovates, manufactures and distributes functional ingredients including premium probiotics obtained from human breast milk and a portfolio of science-backed botanical extracts and ultra-purified omega-3 oils.
“We’re seeing the need for deeper needs and more personalization,” said Quilter.
The Biosearch Life acquisition was just one of the strategic expansions for Kerry’s health portfolio in recent years. Other notable buys include Ganeden, Wellmune, and Bio-K Plus.
2021 also saw Kerry announce a marketing deal with BIO-CAT Microbials to distribute the OPTI-BIOME MB40 probiotic ingredient, and agreed a strategic licensing partnership with Japan’s Pharma Foods International Co. Ltd. for the development, application and global sales of a joint health ingredient technology for functional foods and dietary supplements.
Most recently, the company finalized its acquisition of Natreon, a move that “allows for further expansion into dietary supplements”, said Quilter.
But it’s not just about dietary supplements, with the company eying opportunities to put their ingredients into multiple formats.
“It’s relatively easy to put ingredients into supplements, but more challenging to put them into multiple formats,” said Quilter. “It’s about helping consumers on the pill fatigue journey.”