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Guide to Formulating with Probiotic Ingredients for the Food Service Industry

woman holding a coffee to go

The world is changing—and with it the way in which the food service industry is responding to consumers’ needs. On-the-go and takeaway options have shifted to a ‘less contact’ model that helps prevent the spread of illness. Restauranteurs are discovering that this helps them maintain their business operating models during difficult times, and consumers appreciate the convenience and comfort of a familiar favorite.

Consumers are continuing to focus even more on maintaining health. For manufacturers in the food service sector, providing beneficial alternatives, like adding probiotic ingredients for food service options can help meet consumers’ growing demand for health benefits in the products they consume on-the-go.

In this guide we explore:

  • Emerging consumer trends
  • A snapshot of the food service market
  • How probiotics can bring innovation into the food service industry


What Are the Opportunities for Formulating with Probiotic Ingredients for Food Service?
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The Global Food Service Market Snapshot

In 2018, the global food service sector was valued at $2,779.3 billion USD, and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 2.1% through 2023. Sector growth is also forecast in every region globally.

Global Food Service Industry Market Growth Chart

What Makes up the Food Service Industry?

Food Service is Everywhere Consumers Are, and Includes:

Food Service Industry Icon

Standalone Consumer Food Service

Restaurants that are not part of other establishments like malls or hotels, and that generally provide on-the-go and takeaway options, including: ‘fast casual’ eateries, fast food outlets, and full-service restaurants.

Retail Food Service Industry Icon

Retail Food Service

Establishments in locations such as supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, and mass merchandisers.

Travel Food Service Icon

Travel Food Service

Establishments in locations including highway service stations, fuel stations, airports, and railway stations.

Leisure Food Service Icon

Leisure Food Service

Establishments in locations such as museums, health clubs, cinemas, theaters, theme parks, and sports stadiums.

What Are the Innovation Opportunities in the Food Service Industry?

Probiotic Innovations for Digestive Health Demands

Food service industry trends show an increasing interest in functional foods and beverages, spurred by consumers’ growing awareness of the connection between sustenance and overall health, and underscoring the call for benefit-driven products. Along with this awareness comes consumers’ deepening understanding of the role of probiotics in maintaining digestive health, highlighting the innovation opportunities with probiotic ingredients for foods and beverages.

Probiotics Are On-trend

The level of global demand for functional foods and beverages containing probiotics is soaring, as is the extent to which it is currently untapped. The consumer buzz that is now generated by words like ‘probiotics’, ‘cultures’, ‘gut health’ and ‘digestive health’ represents huge opportunities for both providers and manufacturers in the food service sector that meet the demands of consumers seeking healthier options.

45% Chart Food Service

The Search for Healthy Options 

Globally, 45% of consumers now try to find the healthiest food options when they eat out. This figure is even higher in Latin America (54%) and the Asia-Pacific region (51%).

58% Chart Food Service

Consumers Say Healthy Dining Is Hard

However, most consumers do not feel that the food service industry is doing enough to offer healthy options. Although 79% of people are trying to dine out more healthily than they were a year ago, 58% say it is difficult to do so.

How Can Probiotics Provide Added Benefits for the Food Service Industry?

Options in Food Service

Among the options in the food service sector, probiotics are increasingly on the menu to provide healthy benefits, in response to consumer demand. Especially with the rise of some recent dietary trends, the focus has been on taking away ingredients perceived to be harmful. Formulating with probiotics in the food service industry offers a way to add benefits—and incorporating them can be easy.

Overcoming Fast Food Perceptions with Benefit-driven Food

There’s no doubt that the food service industry is strong. Fast-casual is the fastest growing segment of the restaurant industry, while fast food, its not-too-distant predecessor, is holding its own. In both of these segments, growth is being driven by increasing customer acceptance of, and pressure for ‘clean’ ingredients—especially during this time of heightened focus on maintaining health.


Meet Consumers on Their Health Journey 

There is a definite association between the introduction of clean ingredients to ‘tell a better food story’ and industry growth. Fast food outlets can benefit by responding to the needs of health-conscious consumers: in the U.S. 38% of consumers (and 44% of women) say that healthy options would encourage them to visit a fast food restaurant. The results of paying attention to that demand are evident in the burgeoning ‘better-for-you’ options cropping up in the fast food and fast-casual industry.


What Are Some Opportunities for Formulating with Probiotic Ingredients in the Food Service Industry?

Enhancing Food Options with Digestive Support

Enhancing food options with digestive support can help drive consumer interest, and support desire for added health benefits. There is a wealth of evidence that food service providers will be rewarded for offering options with functional ingredients like probiotics.

  • Worldwide, almost seven in ten (69%) consumers have purchased, or would consider purchasing, fortified/functional food and beverages, while over half (52%) have purchased products containing beneficial bacteria.
  • Six in ten (61%) consumers are either very or extremely interested in functional foods, and 78% want restaurants to offer more of them.


GanedenBC30 Food Service Infographic 2020
Market insights and top formulation opportunities with probiotic ingredients for food service.

Options for Probiotic Ingredients On-the-Go

Another sometimes-overlooked option is quick-serve menu items. Whether they are ready-to-grab from the local convenience store or the grocery freezer case, there can be opportunities to healthy-up traditional offerings. Replacing ingredients like preservatives, sodium and sugar with healthier alternatives and adding probiotic ingredients can add the health halo consumers seek.

Probiotic Drink Trends in Food Service

With the growth of interest in, and awareness of better-for-you drink choices, alcohol is no longer the number-one social elixir at bars and restaurants. From sparkling waters to juices with the look, taste, and perhaps even the garnishes of a typical alcoholic drink, these zero–proof ‘mocktails’ are increasingly replacing traditional spirits. Yet another rising trend is the inclusion of probiotic options in these healthy beverages, including super juices, kombucha products, herbal teas, bottled water and probiotic drinks—many of which are great on-the-go options.

How Can Manufacturers Overcome Formulation Challenges?

Overcoming Formulation Challenges

The growing number of menu options busy consumers can choose from means manufacturers must produce and deliver a variety of food and beverages. Food safety practices often require stringent manufacturing conditions—many of which use processes that require extremes of factors like temperature. Yet 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. These strains may also require refrigeration to survive the shelf life of a finished product.

GanedenBC30®, the Probiotic Solution

GanedenBC30® (Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086), is a hardy, spore-forming probiotic strain that is much more resistant to extremes of pH, heat, cold, and pressure than vegetative cells, making it a better fit for fortification of everyday foods and beverages with probiotics for the food service industry.

Watch the video below to see the difference a spore-former can make in your manufacturing processes.

Food for Thought

Examples of applications where GanedenBC30 can enable food service manufacturers to incorporate probiotics include:

How Do We Deliver on Our Commitment to Manufacturers and Consumers?

Driven by Our Commitment

During this uncertain time and beyond, we are driven by our commitment to provide product manufacturers and consumers with safe, efficacious probiotic ingredients that survive the extremes of manufacturing—especially in the food service industry, where consumers demand a variety of products that can help support their health goals.

GanedenBC30® is backed by over 25 published, clinical, pre-clinical and biomarker research papers confirming its effectiveness. This scientific support resonates with consumers, who are often faced with overwhelming choice in the marketplace. Among consumers recently surveyed, many of the top purchase drivers directly related to transparency. When asked what would encourage purchase of particular healthy lifestyle products, answers included:

awareness answers

In a dynamic, competitive space in which consumers are more informed than ever, providing a researched-backed probiotic ingredient for food service applications makes it easier for consumers to choose the products that meet their digestive health needs.

Learn more about how we help manufacturers navigate probiotic solutions for the food service industry.

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Kerry Proprietary Research, 2019
Euromonitor Passport, January 2020
GlobalData Foodservice survey, 2017
Mintel, ‘Healthy Dining Trends, US’, March 2019
Mintel, ‘Quick Service Restaurants – US’, May 2019
Kerry, Global Consumer Survey – Digestive & Immune Health, 2019
Datassential Functional Foods Presentation, Oct 2018
Datassential ‘State of the Industry Trends’, 2019

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