The addition of probiotics has grown common in fermented dairy products in the US. With today’s health-conscious and clean label-driven consumer, more brands are prioritizing functional ingredients that support gut health alongside live and active probiotic cultures.
The living microorganisms found in dairy products must be documented and shown to have health benefits in humans when consumed in large amounts, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). But labeling across the probiotics industry is unclear, with room for improvement.
Ingredient weight vs viable count
Gut, immune and digestive system health are major attractions of probiotic dairy products, with dairy yogurts, beverages and cottage cheese snacks leading the category. But most labeling is inconsistent, and the FDA does not require any probiotic quantity details in food products.
Some legacy brands, like Dannon’s Activia, note that each yogurt product contains ‘billions of probiotics’ and also which culture (Bifidobacterium animalis lactis DN-173 010/CNCM I-2494). But others, like Good Culture, only state that its cottage cheese and sour cream products contain ‘live and active cultures’ with no further detail.
Good Culture recently launched a line of wellness probiotic gut shots, and says on its website that they contain “50 billion live and active cultures and 12 live and active strains.” The inconsistencies in probiotic dairy mirror that of probiotic dietary supplements.
Data from the International Probiotics Association (IPA) says that the global probiotic supplements market is now worth $6.07bn, and the global functional/fortified probiotic yogurt category is worth $31.1bn. There are 53 million consumers of probiotics in the US, 58% of them consuming yogurts and 42% consuming supplements.
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