Food and drink formulators are leveraging the health benefits of probiotics, prebiotics-and, increasingly, both together as synbiotics.
Growing consumer demand for products that support a healthy gut, alongside growing interest in alternative delivery methods, has resulted in this: foods and beverages touting gut-friendly ingredients are gaining more attention than ever before. Food and drink formulators are leveraging the health benefits of probiotics, prebiotics-and, increasingly, both together as synbiotics. Ahead, we highlight some of the newest products on the market.
Photo from Gutsii
Rowdy Prebiotic Foods was an exciting newcomer to the bar space in January 2018 when the company introduced its prebiotic superfood bars for better digestion and wellness. For Rowdy, yacon root is the source of natural sweetness as well as prebiotics. Today, the low-glycemic, paleo-friendly, non-GMO bars are sold on the brand’s website and at specialty stores nationwide. In 2019, the company unveiled its newest bar flavor: Blueberry Almond Tart. Says Rowdy Prebiotic Foods’ founder Kellie C. Lee: “Rowdy Bars hit the market in January 2018 and has emerged as one of the leading innovators in the natural snack food industry, specializing in nutrient-rich, gut-healthy protein/energy bars. Rowdy’s signature prebiotic superfood, yacon root, is a newly rediscovered ancient food. Hailing from the Andes Mountains, yacon root is a low-calorie, low-glycemic prebiotic powerhouse that has been used by locals in the Peruvian Andes for centuries.”
Photo from Rowdy Prebiotic Foods
Last summer, the PROBAR brand launched PROBAR Live, a line of fresh, whole-food bars featuring live probiotics. Each PROBAR Live bar contains 1 billion colony forming units (CFU) of probiotics, plus 10 g of plant-based protein. PROBAR’s founder and CEO Jeff Coleman called it “a fresh take on plant-based protein bars by infusing the functional benefits of probiotics into every bite.” The bars are sold in the refrigerated section at outlets including Whole Foods Market.
Photo from PROBAR
Late last year, Kellogg rolled out a new prebiotic and probiotic cereal line called Hi! Happy Inside. The company called the cereal a “three-in-one” solution for supporting digestive health. It features 2.5 g of prebiotics, 1 billion CFU of live probiotics, and 8-9 g of fiber. In a press release, Aleta Chase, marketing director for the brand, said: “This new cereal provides a proactive, real-food solution to people who want to incorporate more prebiotics and probiotics into their diet.”
Photo from Kellogg
Protein + Probiotic Breakfast Pastry
Earnest Eats, whose mission is to create heathier breakfast options, made a splash with its protein-plus-probiotic oatmeal products. Now, the company is turning its focus to another breakfast item: the toaster pastry. This April at the Natural Products Expo West show, the company debuted Pro Toasty, featuring probiotics and protein and dubbed by the brand as “the first high-performance toaster pastry.” Each serving includes 9-10 g of grass-fed collagen protein plus 1 billion CFU of live probiotics and an almond butter filling. In a press release, Andrew Aussie, president and founder of Earnest Eats, said: “Our new Pro Toasty is shaking up the breakfast categories by offering a higher protein breakfast that is a natural makeover of a sugary indulgence, blast-from-the-past breakfast, crafted with complex carbohydrates, probiotics, and a protein superfood filling to fuel your mornings.”
Photo from Earnest Eats
The launch of Danone’s Activia Probiotic Dailies yogurt drink turned heads last year; the company recently took the line further by adding prebiotic fiber. The new Activia Probiotic Dailies with Prebiotic Fiber features “billions of live and active probiotics, prebiotic fiber, and real ginger to support gut health,” the company says. Those who consume the synbiotic drink twice daily for two weeks should see benefits, the company says. Moving forward, Danone is continuing its innovation in the yogurt drink space. This June, it is rolling out a new product: Activia Probiotic Smoothies Lowfat Yogurt Drinks. The drink is a blend of “billions of live and active probiotics with juicy fruit, veggies, and seeds,” the firm says, and supports digestive health when consumed twice daily for two weeks.
Photo from Danone
Wonder Drink Kombucha is shaking up the kombucha category again. Last year, the brand introduced what it called “the first and only kombucha with an organic prebiotic fiber to help promote digestive health.” The Wonder Drink Organic Prebiotic Kombucha drink features xylooligosaccharide prebiotic plant fiber. This year, the company took it a step further with condition-specific versions of the drink, called Wonder Drink Organic Prebiotic Plus. The Prebiotic Plus line includes three drinks-“focus,” “hydration,” and “radiance”-and features such ingredients as ashwagandha, cascara, biotin, turmeric, and ginger.
Photo from Wonder Drink
Refrigerated Prebiotic Pouch
Gutzy Organic’s products are designed to provide everything that’s good for you, in one pouch. The company’s refrigerated fruit pouches, first introduced in 2017, provide such healthy ingredients as fruit, oats, and prebiotic acacia fiber. This March, the company launched its newest iteration of the pouches: its new Botanicals line. The line is inspired by botanicals such as ginger and dandelion, all while providing the same 5 g of beneficial prebiotic fibers. David Istier, the company’s founder and CEO, says: “We are the first refrigerated organic gut-health prebiotic fruit snack in the market and growing rapidly. The growth of fresh, healthy snacking and demand for gut-healthy snacks and beverages from consumers is making Gutzy a very unique and compelling offering in the marketplace.” Of the company’s prebiotic source, he says: “We see acacia fiber as the purest and most effective prebiotic in the marketplace: it doesn’t lead to gas and bloating, [and it provides] strong gut-health benefits, a great source of fiber, is plant-based, and is easy to mix in manufacturing.”
Photo from Gutzy
Shelf-Stable Prebiotic Pouch
Another prebiotic pouch brand, also formulated with prebiotics from acacia fiber, is Hyggut. Hyggut launched in December 2018 as “the first shelf-stable prebiotic fiber pouch to market,” the company says. Hyggut’s pouches are shelf stable and contain 5 g of prebiotic fiber alongside fiber from fruits and veggies. Said a company representative: “While there are many ways to take care of your gut, our approach is to nourish the good bacteria that already exist in your gut with prebiotic fiber, giving them the food they need to thrive. We provide a portable, delicious snack that makes good gut health even more accessible for those who lead busy lives but value overall wellness.”
Photo from Hyggut
Synbiotic Fruit Bar
Fruit bar brand That’s It took fruit bars to a new realm when, in January of this year, it launched its That’s It Prebiotics + Probiotics Fruit Bars range. The Prebiotics + Probiotics Fruit Bars contain 2 billion live cultures to support digestive and immune health. “The bar contains only two ingredients: 100% real fruit and probiotics,” the company says. “The all-natural fruit acts as a prebiotic, fueling the 2 billion CFU of active cultures contained in each bar.”
Photo from That's It
Achieving optimal gut health is a delicious proposition when it comes in the form of Gutsii’s chocolates. Designed for those who no longer find appeal in “popping pills, blending potions, brewing broths, and measuring powders,” the low-carb, dairy-free, no-added-sugar dark chocolate bars not only comprise over 35% dietary fiber but offer prebiotic benefits in the form of inulin. The bars, launched in December 2018, are vegan and keto friendly and GMO free.
Photo from Gutsii