August 06, 2009

Brand Your Bugs

As consumers are looking for more natural solutions to implement within their lives and specifically within their healthcare choices, probiotics are emerging as a hot new trend. Probiotics (translated as “for life”) refers to the “good” bacteria that are included in dietary supplements or food products.

This “good” bacteria found in our adult bodies has been shown to assist with digestion, produce vitamins, regulate the immune system, and help the body stave off the “bad” bacteria. The dominant population consists of strict anaerobic bacteria: Bacteroides, Bifidobacterium, Eubacterium and Peptostreptoccocus.

Consumer companies are getting into the bug business by branding and marketing specific strains of this good bacteria as an ingredient brand in their yogurts, juices and supplements.

Take a look at some current offerings:

  • Align has a new presence in the media by touting its “Bifantis,” which is a neologism that truncates the scientific name of the bacteria: Bifidobacterium infantis 35624.
  • Activia has been on the market for several years and recently utilized Jamie Lee Curtis as the “Activia Lady.” Their primary ingredient is “Bifidus Regularis” from the Bifidobacterium animalis DN-173 010 strain.
  • NakedJuice bypasses the direct reference to bacteria altogether and uses simply “Probiotics” on this product within their lineup. It’s interesting that they refer to probiotics as the “friendly, live active cultures.”
  • Attune Foods offers two probiotics bars, and takes it a step further by reinforcing the idea of a daily nutritional value with “daily probiotics.”
  • Bio-K+ utilizes a strictly scientific approach, through both their core brand name and the product names. CL1285, available in capsule, fermented milk, and dairy free forms, is a bacterial probiotic culture containing the unique and patented formula of L. acidophilus and L. casei.
  • Finally, check out GoodBelly Yogurt & Juice. These products use the mark “Lp299v,” which refers to Lactobacillus plantarum 299v. No emotional benefits present in this ingredient name; the company uses their core brand to communicate the end result of the product.

What do you think? Does branding bacteria with an emotional name versus a scientific one make you more inclined to try a probiotic product?

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