Kerry has announced that it has agreed to acquire Bio-K Plus International, a Canadian probiotics company, for an undisclosed figure.
Headquartered in Quebec, Canada, Bio-K Plus International develops, manufactures, and distributes clinically-supported probiotic fermented beverages and supplements throughout North America under the Bio-K Plus brand.
Bio-K Plus products are reportedly formulated with three proprietary and clinically-validated strains of probiotics, which have a range of reported therapeutic benefits, including the prevention of side effects resulting from antibiotic use.
Kerry claims that the acquisition of Bio-K Plus significantly expands its range of probiotic products and its ‘leadership position’ in the probiotics market. The acquisition builds upon the purchases of immune health brand Wellmune in 2015, and the acquisition of the probiotic ingredient GanedenBC30 in 2017.
The purchase comes as the company seeks to address the growing consumer demand for functional food and beverage products, as well as supplements. According to figures provided by Kerry, 69% of consumers globally are more likely to pay attention to nutritional benefits when purchasing food and drink products, and the company claims that this behaviour has been further accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Neil Cracknell, president of Kerry’s applied health & nutrition division, said: “We are committed to creating a world of sustainable nutrition and this acquisition will support our ambition to reach over two billion people with sustainable nutrition solutions by 2030.
“Research has shown that consumers are increasingly looking for nutritional benefits when purchasing food and drink and that products which contain probiotics that improve gut health are specifically in demand.
“Bio-K Plus further expands our portfolio of probiotics with the addition of three science-backed strains as we continue to help enhance the health & wellness of consumers across the globe by having a strong complement of published clinical trials confirming efficacy.”