At a presentation to investors yesterday, Kerry Group CEO Edmond Scalon announced that the Irish global nutrition and food conglomerate had acquired Ganeden, an ingredient company focused primarily on gut health and probiotics.
According to Scalon, current revenues for the Cleveland, Ohio-based supplier is approximately $25 million. Ganeden holds more than 135 patents for technologies in the food, beverage, nutrition and supplement space.
In a release, Kerry noted that the addition of Ganeden would complement the company’s 2015 acquisition of Wellmune, a yeast-derived food and beverage ingredient designed to enhance the immune system.
One of Ganeden’s most widely used products within CPG is its proprietary blend of probiotics, Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086, also known as GanedenBC30. According to the company, over 750 food, beverage and animal products are currently using the patented probiotic, which also has Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) status from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The probiotic is valued for its shelf life and ability to remain stable during food and beverage processing and can be used in baked, frozen, extruded or processed foods.
Ganeden’s newest innovation, which was released earlier this summer is inactivated Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086, also known as Staimune. While not technically a probiotic as it lacks the digestive benefits, according to Ganeden Staimune still delivers the same immune system “boosts.” Most importantly, it can be mixed directly into beverages and remain on-shelf, unrefrigerated, for months.
While BC30 is being deployed across many categories, Whole Foods, at least, is pulling back the reins over concerns the added probiotics may give an “unhealthy” product a functional health halo. Earlier this year, the natural products giant told producers of functional foods in certain categories that they would no longer be able to use some probiotic strains, including GanedenBC30, in their products or risk being pulled off shelf.
Despite the warning shot, consumers have still gravitated towards products that emphasize gut health.
“For the probiotic industry in general, we just don’t see any slowdown,” Ganeden president Michael Bush told BevNET earlier this year. “It’s running along at a very nice clip, and probiotic functional foods are growing like crazy; SKU counts are going up. Even the supplement business is continuing to grow at a very rapid rate.”