Feminine focus in the Far East: Israeli firm targets women in APAC with probiotic chew
Simply called Feminine Probiotics, the vanilla- and cranberry-flavoured supplement is designed to relieve discomfort and prevent repeat incidents in women suffering from genitourinary problems.
It is also free from sugar, GMOs, nuts and gluten, certified kosher and halal, and suitable for vegetarians. It contains six different probiotic strains and cranberry extract, and according to Anlit, the live bacteria can remain stable for 24 months.
Stable and safe
Sales and marketing VP Shai Karlinski told NutraIngredients-Asia that the main challenge in developing the product was ensuring a high level of stability.
To solve this problem, Anlit developed Long-life Probiotic (LLP), a technology that enabled the incorporation of live bacteria in a chew format.
Karlinski said: "We started studying the elements that affected probiotic stability in our products, and we identified factors such as water activity and oxidation.
"We had to eliminate these issues by changing our production process and environment, as well as add an additional layer of packaging to the product to ensure the probiotics would remain stable for 24 months."
However, he declined to reveal more details about the mechanisms behind LLP, saying: "We don't want to reveal too much about our technology, which is why we don't want to patent LLP."
The six probiotic strains used in the product are Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus paracasei and Bifidobacterium longum.
"Some of the probiotic strains have been used for immune health purposes, others for gut health support. But they were all adapted using the LLP technology to suit this particular product and to remain stable for a long time," said Karlinski.
Anlit also included an active cranberry ingredient in the product, selecting a specific extract that contained what it found to be an effective dosage of the ingredient.
While Anlit is known for its children's health supplements, the firm has recently broadened its scope to include adult health.
Karlinski confirmed that the company would be developing more supplements for adults, saying: "Gummy vitamins and supplements used to be made exclusively for children. But today in the US, for example, more than 50% of such products for adults — you can buy supplements for hair and nail health, melatonin, gut health...everything.
"This trend has slowly but very surely spread to countries in APAC and elsewhere in the world. In South Korea, for instance, vitamin D gummies for adults are quite common.
"People want to enjoy their supplements — they understand one of the key parameters of maintaining a healthy, high-quality of life is supplement intake, but they prefer to take a gummy or 'candy' instead of having to swallow tablets or capsules, which can often feel like a chore."
With Feminine Probiotics, Anlit wanted to ensure maximum taste and enjoyment for its target audience.
Karlinski said: "Since women with this condition already suffer physical discomfort, why subject them to even more unpleasantness by making them swallow pills or tablets? Why not give them a supplement in a tasty, more consumable format?"
Feminine Probiotics is not the first women's health supplement Anlit has released — last year, it debuted its women's line with a high-DHA omega-3 chew for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.
The company will maintain a female focus for its upcoming products, as it believes female consumers tend to be more open to new innovations and are taking a more pro-active stance on their own health.
"We would prefer to focus on women for our adult supplements — we already launched a prenatal supplement last year, and now we have our Female Probiotics," said Karlinski.
The company already has a presence in Singapore, South Korea, the Philippines and Hong Kong, and is targeting Vietnam and Thailand next.
Karlinski said: "APAC is a growing market and a huge challenge for us, as the regulators in Vietnam and Thailand are very strict and the process of entering those markets is quite long — it can easily take six to 12 months for a product to be approved for sale there. But we definitely see a future in the region for us, and we believe we can flourish there."
He added that there was a growing demand for high-quality probiotic products in the region, as Anlit discovered from its unexpectedly successful probiotic supplement sales in the Philippines.
"Our probiotic products have proven to be the most popular in our portfolio in APAC by far. We will also have products for senior consumers to meet the needs of APAC's ageing population."