The new partner, that apparently wishes to remain anonymous until the product is launched, is reportedly a major vendor of chilled beverages, and well positioned to commercialize the product and achieve strong sales results in Europe. "We are currently collaborating on the commercialization and we expect a launch at the end of the year. We have agreed a fixed royalty of €300,000 for 2008, followed by royalties on sales of products containing our bacteria. The royalty is expected to increase as products are launched in new European markets," said Per-Ola Forsberg, Probi's executive vice president. The agreement gives the unnamed company exclusive rights to sell products containing a Probi probiotic that is not yet commercialised. "We are proud to announce this food deal and we see great potential in this new cooperation. With this license, Probi is commercializing a new probiotic bacteria on the international food market," said Niklas Bjärum, Probi's director of marketing and sales for functional food. "The increasing interest in our new concepts and our list of renowned license partners reflect the market demand for quality products with health benefits," he added. The announcement comes barely a week after the Swedish probiotic company signed two new agreements with Institute Rosell to use Probi's Lactobacillus plantarum 299v in supplement products to be launched in Greece, the Czech Republic, and Slovenia. Probiotic supplier Institute Rosell and Probi have had a licensing partnership for the past three years for the marketing of the Probi probiotic for dietary supplements. Other markets for which agreements have been signed are Australia, France, Canada, China, Scandinavia, the UK, South Africa, Germany and the US. The estimated total value of the global market for probiotic functional food is some €9.8 billion, with an annual growth rate of over 19 per cent in recent years.