CANADA – Irish Food Company Kerry is looking to further enhance its position in the lucrative probiotics market through the acquisition of a Canadian probiotics company, Bio-K Plus International.
Headquartered in Quebec, Canada, Bio-K Plus International develops, manufactures, and distributes clinically-supported probiotic fermented beverages and supplements throughout North America under the Bio-K Plus brand.
Bio-K Plus products are reportedly formulated with three proprietary and clinically-validated strains of probiotics, which have a range of reported therapeutic benefits, including the prevention of side effects resulting from antibiotic use.
Kerry claims that the acquisition of Bio-K Plus significantly expands its range of probiotic products and its ‘leadership position’ in the probiotics market.
The acquisition builds upon prior purchases that the company has made in the past. In 2015, Kerry acquired immune health brand Wellmune from Biothera Inc.
Two years later, in 2017, the Irish food company made another acquisition. This time, it acquired probiotic ingredient company GanedenBC30.
Kerry had then said that the acquisition of Ganeden would complement the previous acquisition of WellImune.
The purchase of Bio-K comes as the company seeks to address the growing consumer demand for functional food and beverage products, as well as supplements.
According to figures provided by Kerry, 69% of consumers globally are more likely to pay attention to nutritional benefits when purchasing food and drink products.
The global probiotics market was estimated to be worth US$49.4 billion in 2018 and by 2023, it is projected to reach US$69.3 billion, growing at a CAGR of 7%.1.
Functional foods and beverages are by far the biggest segment for probiotics, currently standing at US$40 billion and representing more than 82% of the total market.
According to Kerry, these projections are expected to be achieved sooner as consumer shift towards healthier and functional foods such as probiotics has been further accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Neil Cracknell, president of Kerry’s applied health & nutrition division, said: “We are committed to creating a world of sustainable nutrition and this acquisition will support our ambition to reach over two billion people with sustainable nutrition solutions by 2030.”
“Research has shown that consumers are increasingly looking for nutritional benefits when purchasing food and drink and that products which contain probiotics that improve gut health are specifically in demand,” Cracknell added.
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