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Growing Demand: Probiotic Ingredients for Food Service

Man Serving Food at Restaurant Counter

The restaurant and food service industry tops $660 billion in the United States alone.[1] Globally, the food service sector was valued in 2018 at $2,779.3 billion USD, and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 2.1% through 2023.[2] This growth, combined with increasing consumer interest in healthy eating, represents huge opportunity for manufacturers to incorporate functional ingredients, like probiotics for food service offerings.

What’s on the menu?

Food service is ubiquitous—it’s everywhere consumers eat, travel, shop, or seek out entertainment. And it encompasses a lot of categories, from a fast-casual salad at lunch to an upscale meal celebrating an evening out to breakfast on-the-go at the airport—or even a quick snack from the local gas station.

What’s on the menu in these places? In some food-service outlets, like gas stations, the choices would seem limited. But retailers are responding to consumer demand for more healthful options.

Around the world, consumers are not only demanding foods and beverages that are free from the ingredients generally considered less healthy in on-the-go products, but they are seeking out  beneficial ingredients as well.  Demand is strong for probiotic ingredients for food service products. This consumer interest is being driven by awareness of the digestive health benefits conferred by probiotics.

When it comes to foods and beverages and the benefits they offer, consumer research shows that 1/3 of consumers are interested in dishes with digestive health benefits, yet in the US, probiotics show up in only .5% of menus.[3] This unmet demand highlights opportunities for formulating with probiotic ingredients for food service.

Formulation Opportunities with BC30™

Foods and beverages commonly found in food service establishments are excellent opportunities for manufacturers to fortify their products with probiotics. The challenge in offering a wide range of food and beverages, which need to be processed and stored, and often refrigerated, comes down to the hardiness of the probiotic cell. Most probiotic strains on the market are vegetative cells, which are very fragile during transit to the gastrointestinal tract and can be negatively impacted by manufacturing processes. Plus  they often need to be refrigerated to survive the shelf life of a finished product.

To overcome these challenges, manufacturers should seek out a spore-forming bacteria with a structure that is much more resistant to extremes of pH, heat, cold, and pressure than vegetative cells. This protective outer spore coat makes these cells a better fit for fortification of foods and beverages— many of which can be found at traditional, fast casual, or even fast food restaurants, as well as in other food service outlets— that deliver digestive health benefits to consumers across the menu.

BC30™ can be found in everyday foods and beverages like these:

  • Snacks, dips, spreads and baked goods
  • Smoothie mixes
  • Powdered and liquid refrigerated beverages
  • Frozen yogurts, desserts, and treats
  • Juices
  • Prepackaged dried fruits
  • Gummies and confectionary
  • Hot or iced coffees (prepared mixes)
  • Coffee sachets (‘to-go’ packs of instant coffee)


Find out more about probiotic ingredients for food service from our latest white paper:

Opportunities for Formulating with Functional Ingredients in Food Service 


[2] Euromonitor Passport, January 2020
[3] Mintel, ‘US Flavor and Ingredient Trends’, 2019; Datassential, SNAP Dec 2019

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