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Probiotic Drinks Flourish in Today’s Functional Beverage Market

Category: Educational Articles

Rising numbers of consumers are reaching out for beverages that do more than just quench their thirst. Consumers are becoming increasingly health-conscious, especially the younger generations, driving a forceful demand for functional beverages to meet their needs. The growing trend of healthier, enhanced drinks is garnering a great deal of opportunity for companies to develop products that nourish as well as refresh and hydrate.

One way that many companies are turning their standard offerings into wholesome functional beverages is to include probiotics in their drink lines to set their products apart. However, when developing new probiotic drinks, one problem companies can run into is finding a substantial strain that can withstand their manufacturing processes. Bacillus subtilis is often a compatible solution because the microorganism’s tough outer shell allows it to withstand harsh processing, and is compatible with beverages ranging from juices to alternative milks. Probiotics like Bacillus subtilis promote the growth of “good” bacteria in the gut, offering the additional health benefits that today’s consumers seek out in functional beverages.

Innovation in the ready-to-drink industry used to mean renovated packaging and tactical marketing campaigns. Now, manufacturers have shifted their focus to redesigning the beverages themselves. Consumers today seek out drinks which perform a function ─ drinks that target health conditions, naturally provide an energy boost, or even that replace entire meals. Market research reveals that millennial-aged consumers are willing to spend more money to receive these better-quality refreshments.

Demand specifically for probiotics in functional beverages is now higher than ever. According to EcoFocus, 46% of grocery shoppers are actively looking for beverages that contain probiotics. Of the many probiotic strain options that manufacturers can choose from when designing beverages, Bacillus subtilis is frequently the best choice available. Researchers at Deerland Enzymes have developed one strain of Bacillus subtilis called DE111® that is especially stable under many conditions. DE111 homogenizes well with almost any liquid, remains viable within a wide pH range, and can be incorporated into dry mixes. This makes it suitable for sparkling waters, juices, milks, powdered drink mixes, sports drinks, and other applications that less-hardy probiotics would be unable to tolerate─ and market research supports probiotic use in these applications.

The water, fresh juice, and sports drinks sectors are all currently growing as more consumers eschew sugary soft drinks. Milk remains a highly-consumed beverage, with alternative milks, popular among younger consumers, showing the most sales growth. The demand for healthier beverages continues to call for innovation, and functional beverages are now sweeping the market. Still, since many beneficial ingredients like probiotics can lose their efficacy in processing or have a limited shelf life, finding the right blend of ingredients to transform a standard beverage into a functional one is no easy feat.

Functional beverages will continue to grow in popularity as consumers reach for healthier drinks and turn away from sugary options. As these consumers continue to learn about the benefits of probiotics, they drive the demand for probiotic functional beverages. Redesigning consumer-favored drink choices like water, juices, energy drinks, and milk alternatives to promote improved digestion and overall health is possible using Bacillus subtilis DE111.

To learn more about Deerland Enzymes and Probiotics, and Bacillus subtilis DE111, please visit http://deerlandenzymes.com/de111/.

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