BLIS reports strides in US probiotic market

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Oral hygiene Dietary supplement Us

New Zealand probiotics firm BLIS Technologies has sold a new probiotic strain for use in dietary supplements in the US, and is also seeking GRAS status to take its ingredients into mainstream foods.

BLIS’ flagship probiotic, known as K12, is used in all of its own-brand supplements in its home country. In 2008 the company announced a plan to expand into the US market with ingredient sales. Since then, it says “significant sales momentum”.

Now a new probiotic is set to be used for the first time in the US by a major membership warehouse chain. Known as M18 and focused on tooth decay, it is the first new probiotic to be commercialised since K12’s launch in 2002.

CEO Barry Richardson said the news is “further evidence that the market strategy of focusing on the US dietary supplement market is working.” ​The unnamed retailer, understood to be a top 5 player in the US, will trial the supplement in 50 stores in Q4.

More new launches

BLIS is also expecting to launch other probiotic products on the US market in the near future; in June 2009 it entered into a relationship with a major international consumer products company which gives it funding to carry out specific R&D work in the coming months.

This new deal, the details of which have not yet been unveiled, is in addition to the arrangement BLIS already has with Nestle.

GRAS on the cards

The New Zealand company recently obtained a patent for its K12 probiotic in the US for addressing halitosis (bad breath) – a coup that has taken some time, but which Richardson said “means we have a clear advantage in the world’s largest market for those keenly interested in maintaining fresh breath and good oral hygiene”.

It is now looking to take K18 beyond dietary supplements and into regular foods and, after an initial feasibility study, is pressing ahead with obtaining GRAS (generally recognised as safe) status. The company has not said whether it will self-affirm or seek full FDA no objection.

BLIS is also targeting the US’ northern neighbor and has started the process with Health Canada for K12 be approved as a dietary supplement ingredient or natural health product there.

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