- PepsiCo has announced the debut of Tropicana Essentials Probiotics, a new variety of its popular brand made with 100% juice and probiotics, according to a company statement.
- Björn Bernemann, vice president and general manager for Tropicana North America, said in a statement that the brand is the first to bring probiotics to the mainstream juice aisle, rather than typical probiotics sources like yogurt, supplements and kombucha.
- The new juice variety will be available nationwide in early 2017, though limited distribution to select retailers will begin in October.
Probiotics is one of a variety of routes juice producers are taking to revitalize the category after lackluster sales in recent years. Adding exotic flavors and functionality to juice can help consumers see past the category’s sometimes higher sugar content, Much like soda, the high sugars were why consumers were choosing other options they deemed to be healthier.
But a recent Tetra Park report found that 100% juices have potential on the market today, with 42% of consumers responding they drink it daily, and many expressing willingness to pay a higher price tag for premium juices they consider healthier. By adding probiotics, PepsiCo has aligned this Tropicana variety in this category.
Probiotics, however, can be a mixed bag for manufacturers looking to offer functionality and health benefits. Probiotics are increasingly popular among health conscious consumers for their ability to positively impact immunity and brain functions. A BCC Research report found that the global probiotics market reached $34 billion in sales last year, and researchers estimate the segment will rise 8% over the next five years.
But experts have questioned whether probiotics are worth the effort and investment for manufacturers. Probiotics don’t affect all people or their digestive health in the same way, and experts suggest some may even disappear once they enter a person's digestive system. Research published earlier this year found that probiotics may do little to alter microbiota in healthy adults.