Gustus Vitae, a California maker of salts, spices and sugars, has introduced Probiotic Ocean Salt, the company said in a statement.
Probiotic Ocean Salt combines Pacific Ocean sea salt with an allergen-free probiotic for a product that looks and tastes like sea salt, but which also supports the immune system, digestive health and protein utilization, the company said.
"We love that this functional salt can easily, without effecting taste, be swapped out for regular salt in everyday use, and that all of these benefits just occur with normal use," Frankie Scanlon, founder of Gustus Vitae, said in a release.
Gustus Vitae, which has focused on quality and wellness since the company began in 2017, is looking to bring new products to market that are healthy for consumers. Developing a probiotic salt coincides with that goal and is an easier way to incorporate the better-for-you aspects of the live microorganism into foods or beverages.
"Probiotics often come bundled in things like fermented veggies or yogurt — we wanted to create a way for people to easily and seamlessly integrate probiotics into their daily life, augmenting rather than defining what they're already planning on eating," Scanlon said in the release.
The company's new Probiotic Ocean Salt seems to be offering a number of aspects today's consumers would find intriguing — gut health, immune system support and protein utilization. It's still salt, though, which is being closely watched by federal policy makers for a possible decrease in recommended consumption. The product isn't all that cheap, either: The price is $10 for 3.4-ounce tin.
The ingredients in Gustus Vitae's Probiotic Sea Salt are California sea salt from the San Francisco Bay area and Ganeden 360 Probiotics, which offer 15 billion viable bacteria cells per gram. The company doesn't say how much of the product it's necessary to consume to get the probiotic benefits, just that it's an "everyday salt that can be used and enjoyed just as salt usually is, but with functional benefits usually reserved for specific foods like yogurt."
People are becoming more interested in probiotics because of their positive health association. The use of probiotics and prebiotics is expected to significantly grow due to their reputation for relieving digestive issues, boosting the immune system and contributing to the maintenance of balanced gut microbiota, or "good" bacteria. BCC Research projects the probiotics market will grow to $50 billion globally by 2020 from $32 billion in 2014.
Despite the potential benefits, it's hard to tell whether consumers will purchase this new probiotic salt, although it sounds like an interesting product and apparently is the first of its kind in the industry. The only other probiotic salt products on the market appear to be for aquarium uses. However, there are continuing health issues related to salt intake in general, which companies and consumers are trying to limit.
If consumers are willing to overlook these factors and try the Probiotic Ocean Salt, the company might be able to overcome any objections and end up with a sustainable launch for its product.