Upcoming initiative from CRN aims to inform retailers about probiotic products' intricacies

November 19, 2020
Sebastian Krawiec

The goal is to aid retailers in ensuring that only the highest quality probiotics make it onto their shelves.

The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN; Washington, D.C.) announced an upcoming education initiative to inform retailers about the intricacies of probiotic products. The goal is to aid retailers in ensuring that only the highest quality probiotics make it onto their shelves. The new initiative will also prominently feature a “Retailer Buyer’s Guide to Probiotics,” providing educational materials on probiotic labeling, storage and handling practices, the importance of strain identification, various benefits of probiotics, consumer usage, and other need-to-know information. In addition to retailers, the initiative seeks to educate retail dietitians, pharmacists, sales associates, and other stakeholders to help them curate offerings, improve their handling of products, and better educate customers about the benefits of probiotics.

“Unlike other dietary supplement ingredients, probiotics are live organisms that require different labeling and storage and handling practices,” said Andrea Wong, PhD, senior vice president, scientific & regulatory affairs, CRN, in a press release. “Given the popularity of these products, the expanding product innovation, and the growing body of scientific research showing the benefits of this category, CRN recognizes that it’s more important than ever for retailers to be better informed about probiotics. In particular, it’s essential that retail buyers understand the particularities of probiotics because they serve as the gatekeepers for what ends up on the shelf, and for disseminating critical information to safeguard the reputation of their stores and benefit the health of their customers.”

CRN’s Probiotics Working Group will beta test and finalize the “Retailer Buyer’s Guide” in 2020, with additional deliverables, including infographic and educational video to launch in early 2021. “Given the growing science around probiotics and the increasing consumer interest in these products, this category is likely to grow in the coming years,” adds Wong. “CRN is working to ensure that retailers have the information they need to serve their consumers.”