The Innovia Nectar product was launched on November 1, 2017 and is initially following an e-commerce route through its own website and via Amazon, explained Gregory Bonfilio, President & CEO of SOFAR Americas, Inc, the company behind the brand.
While the product is more expensive per dose (a dozen 10 mL micro-shots cost $24.99), the initial consumer response has been impressive, said Bonfilio. The company is working with L.A.-based Social Control to build brand awareness. “We reached over a million people since we launched,” said Bonfilio.
The product is formulated with eight billion CFUs of Lactobacillus paracasei CNCM I-1572 or LP-DG, Aloe Vera whole leaf extract, Curcumin rhizome extract, and vitamin D3, and is designed to ease digestive troubles and balance gut flora, said the company.
LP-DG is a popular probiotic strain and is the foundation of one of the leading probiotic brands in the world (Enterolactis). LP-DG is known for its ability to improve digestive health by restoring beneficial gut microflora and supporting a healthy inflammatory response, explains the company on the Innovia website.
The DryCap (US patent number 9,016,470) technology was licensed by Chr. Hansen, and adoption has, to date, been mostly limited to Italy. The product first launched in Italy where there is a gravitation towards shots, and away from capsules and sachets. “We have an exclusive position in North America for the cap and certain strains manufactured by Chr. Hansen,” said Bonfilio. “Lactic acid cultures are combined with liquid actives at the moment of use with excellent stability.” Data from fecal recovery studies supports that the probiotics are reaching the gut, he added.
The DryCap ensures the probiotics remain viable for two years without refrigeration in a sealed aluminum blister within the cap (see video below). “Stability data for strains in our micro-shot actually supports a three year shelf life at room temperature,” Bonfilio stated.
The product has already been a success in Italy, where SOFAR’s parent company is headquartered. Four versions of the product are available there: The eight billion CFU LP-DG product; a liquid fiber product (with 3 grams of FOS, which will be launched in the US in the future); a kids’ product; and a product formulated with BB-12 in royal jelly. The company sells more than two million units in Italy, said Bonfilio.
“Innovia Nectar is a true multi-mechanism formula,” he said.
Innovation to excite consumers and ensure stability
Commenting on the news, George Paraskevakos, executive director at the International Probiotics Association (IPA), told NutraIngredients-USA that novel delivery formats continue to be an important area of innovation for the probiotics sector to not only to excite consumers, but to make sure probiotics can stay alive after being consumed.
“Innovation is very important, outside of research and the scientific side of things, and how probiotics work in a health benefit perspective,” he said. “What we at IPA really stand behind is dosage and stability testing, whatever that innovation might be.”