Ganeden Probiotic Innovation Jumpstart program
Ganeden is seeking to partner with food and beverage entrepreneurs on new concepts.

CLEVELAND — Ganeden, a developer of probiotic ingredients, is launching an entrepreneurial program designed to help companies launch new food and beverage products featuring probiotics.

The Probiotic Innovation Jumpstart program invites scientists, entrepreneurs and inventors to submit ideas for a new product concept featuring probiotics. Categories of interest include snacks, beverages, cereals, sports nutrition and baked foods. The winner will be awarded $25,000 in support to use the patented GanedenBC30 probiotic in the product, plus guidance and expertise in developing and launching the product.

Andrew Lefkowitz, Ganeden
Andy Lefkowitz, c.e.o. of Ganeden

“Ganeden’s growth and success has been accomplished by helping hundreds of forward-thinking companies around the world develop and market innovative, first-of-their-kind probiotic products,” said Andy Lefkowitz, chief executive officer of Ganeden. “The future of the food and beverage market is functional foods, and we see this program as a huge opportunity to share our expertise and support the industry by helping others bring their ideas to life and onto shelves.”

Submissions will be accepted at through May 6. Three finalists will be selected to present their ideas to a panel of judges during the Institute of Food Technologists show in Chicago on July 16. The presentations will be judged by industry experts from manufacturing and retail backgrounds. Panelists include Mark Retzloff, senior partner for the Boulder Farm Team and chairman for multiple food and beverage boards, and Caroline Beckman, co-founder and c.e.o. of Nomva, a maker of probiotic pouch snacks.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to help nurture our fantastic industry, and I am humbled to be a judge for Ganeden’s program,” Mr. Retzloff said. “I’ve personally watched products containing GanedenBC30 gain significant traction in the marketplace, and look forward to seeing the success that this program will bring.”

The demand for probiotic products has soared in recent years. A recent consumer study found 70% of consumers would prefer to consume probiotics in a food or beverage format than in a supplement, Ganeden said. Additionally, 40% to 54% of respondents said they are willing to pay more for products containing probiotics. The global market for probiotic ingredients and products is projected to continue growing over the next five years to reach $36.7 billion in 2018, according to BCC Research.