Unistraw teams with Danisco for new probiotic straw concept

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 7th October 2008

Following the global agreement with Tetra Pak announced recently, Unistraw granted Danisco the worldwide exclusivity for the sales and marketing of its internationally-patented straw concept for use with HOWARU premium probiotics. This award-winning concept from Unistraw will allow consumers to sip a probiotic daily dose with any of their favourite beverage.

Unistraw, an Australian company, first came to prominence with the release of the ‘Sipahh’ – a straw that adds flavour to milk. Inventor Peter Baron came up with the idea just over a decade ago, as he sought to find a way to flavour milk at a low cost and with less sugar. The concept for that straw, the on-pack straw delivery system, is now expected to be used in a wide range of beverages from sports drinks, to water, alcoholic products and nutraceutical beverages.

Currently, probiotic beverages are chilled dairy-based drinks as well as smoothies or fruit juices. New exciting marketing options open today for beverage and milk manufacturers that will be able to offer probiotics also for long shelf life applications.

“We are looking forward to launching the HOWARU Probiotic Straws to provide our beverage and milk customers with a new solution addressing customers demands on gut health and improvement of natural defences,” Fabienne Saadane-Oaks, President, Danisco BioActives, said. “The HOWARU Straws are proving to be a convenient dry format, ideal for ensuring the delivery of a highly stable dose of probiotic live bacteria, without requiring chilled storage or distribution.”

Leading global supplier of cultures, Danisco offers one of the most extensive ranges of probiotic bacteria under the registered trademark HOWARU. Backed by numerous clinical studies, HOWARU probiotics have shown beneficial effects in the areas of gastrointestinal health, wellbeing, immune system modulation and improvement of natural defences. More recent scientific evidence has demonstrated the ability of HOWARU probiotics to maintain respiratory health in children with HOWARU Protect, or restore a well-balanced gut microflora after antibiotic treatment with HOWARU Restore.

Unistraw recently joined forces with the leading packaging manufacturer Tetra Pak to introduce the new on-pack probiotic straw on its aseptic packages.

“Unistraw is delighted to partner with two great global companies in Danisco and Tetra Pak,” Tim York, Managing Director of Unistraw, advised. “These two partnerships allow us to ideally complement our range with new well-documented health functionalities and open up new channels to market via Danisco’s global sales force and Tetra Pak technical collaboration.”

Danisco and Unistraw expect the first HOWARU straws to be launched by mid 2009. Prototypes will already be demonstrated on Danisco’s stand at ‘Supply Side West’, a functional, natural and healthy ingredients expo in Las Vegas, USA (October 22-24), and at Health Ingredients Europe in Paris (November 4-6).

According to Euromonitor, the global market for probiotic dairy drinks accounted for US$10.2 billion in 2007. Asia and Europe are leading, with 54% and 30% of the current market. With US$310 million, North America is currently a smaller but fast-growing market with a forecasted 14% annual growth for the next three years. Overall, the market for probiotic beverages is expected to grow by double digits until 2010.