- Probiotic juice beverage maker GoodBelly is introducing three varieties of ready-to-drink protein shakes that contain high levels of probiotics and plant-based protein.
- GoodBelly's original juice products come in multi-serve packaging, but consumers looking for on-the-go packaging inspired the company to produce a smaller 15.2-ounce bottle to rival premium juice competitors like Naked and Odwalla.
- GoodBelly is also offering organic varieties and a gluten-free version of its original juices. More recently, the company has been producing reduced-sugar varieties using a new patented technology that feeds the probiotic bacteria the sugar they need while reducing sugar levels for the consumer.
The U.S. market for probiotics is rapidly expanding, where growth is estimated at a 6.9% CAGR from 2012 to 2020, according to Grand View Research. That market is expected to reach $46.55 billion by 2020, a MarketsandMarkets report showed. With demand high and sales growth at a steady pace, probiotics become a more attractive option for manufacturers looking to make products that are considered more functional.
The company is also counting on the growth of the sports drink market for the success of its protein shakes. Increased consumption of probiotics and sports drinks was one of a dozen global food and beverage trends named in a Mintel report released last year. The sports drink market is dominated by brands like Gatorade and Powerade, but a protein shake high in probiotics and plant-based protein stands out.
Alan Murray, CEO of NextFoods Inc., which markets GoodBelly, welcomes the competition. He told Food Business News that having more players in the probiotics market brings more attention to the segment, and he is confident that few companies will be able to reproduce the high level of probiotics his product contains.
Choosing plant-based protein (pea and chickpea) was as much about function as it was about texture. The smooth texture factor is another characteristic of plant-based proteins that more companies can make use of in future products.