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Digestive enzymes in the spotlight: Brands tap into booming gut health NPD

Due to the mounting consumer interest in gut health, several brands are seeking to tap into the space's potential with innovative NPD. US health and wellness brand Friska has launched ten dietary supplements featuring digestive enzymes to improve gut health. Digestive enzymes are biologically active proteins that perform vital functions, like breaking down food, eliminating toxins and even building muscle. In the same arena, R's KOSO has launched a version of koso – a traditional Japanese prebiotic drink – made by fermenting raw materials, such as vegetables and fruits using the enzymes of the ingredients and their bacteria.

Consumers are increasingly aware of the role that probiotics and dietary fiber plays in gut health and well-being. Innova Market Insights data shows an 11 percent rise in food and beverage launches with a digestive health claim (Global, 2014-2018). Moreover, there was a 17 percent growth in launches with a “probiotic” claim and a 10 percent growth in launches with a “fermentation” claim, for the same period. Moreover a 2018 Innova Market Insights survey found that 68 percent of consumers said they consume fiber to promote healthy digestion.

Friska's enzyme blends
Based on the insight that 70-80 percent of the body's immune cells reside in the gut, Friska's proprietary blend of digestive enzymes and a clinically-proven probiotic anchor each of the unique formulations in the brand's range. While the benefits of probiotics are widely known, the power of enzymes is often overlooked, the company says.

Digestive enzymes can facilitate important chemical reactions in the body – such as converting carbs to energy. Many digestive enzymes are produced naturally in the body with the help of a number of important organs, including the stomach, intestines, pancreas and liver. However, some healthy people, as well as those with certain medical conditions, may become deficient in these enzymes over time.

“Friska was inspired by my desire to help others improve health,” says Friska Founder, John Peine. “I began researching enzymes and probiotic spores as a way to improve gut health and spent over a decade in retail so I knew that the solution had to be easy and the product must work.”

“Friska was born out of my own belief that good health is for everyone. Whether you are just starting your wellness journey or you are an accomplished wellness warrior, these innovative products will help you along the way,” Peine adds.

The company also enlisted the help of Dr. Gregory Bernstein, a gastroenterologist known as the “Seattle Gut Doctor.” According to Dr. Bernstein, “now, more than ever, we are increasingly aware of the essential role of a healthy gut. This includes proper nutrition, a balance of good gut bacteria and optimal digestive enzyme function. Digestive health is key not only in feeling good but also to help prevent the development of various infections by boosting your body's natural immunity. Additionally, a healthy gut helps prevent and manage a variety of medical conditions, ranging from diabetes to depression and so much more.”

The Friska portfolio consists of ten proprietary enzyme blends combined with potent probiotics that are condition-specific including: Immunity Boost, Energy Boost, Nightly Reboot, Dairy Ease, Carb Ease, Keto Boost, Aloe Vera, Gluten Ease, Women's Daily and Men's Daily. The finished product is a month's supply packaged in a cobalt blue glass bottle within a modern paperboard tube that is recyclable and biodegradable.

Japanese prebiotic drink for gut health
R's KOSO beverage is a vegan-friendly superfood produced from a variety of over 100 vegetables, fruits, seaweeds, mushrooms and plants that have undergone a one-year fermentation process. This unique blend of ingredients provides balanced nutrition by combining probiotics and prebiotics, which have been shown to improve gut health while boosting immunity.

“Koso is defined as an enzyme or fermented in Japanese. The main advantage of the Koso cleanse is its richness in prebiotics and probiotics. This product can help you see results with your digestive health and microbiome health. It's better than a traditional juice cleanse,” says Ryu Okada, founder of R's KOSO. “It is a great way to reset the digestive system and restore microbiome health,” he adds.

The company believes its unique formula will be the best health drink for the health cleanse community. The R's KOSO line is available in their online store. Each bottle is enough for a three day cleanse.

In the same arena, newly launched US-based Muniq is a consumer health and food-tech brand designed to help people transform their health via the gut. Muniq's first line of products are balanced nutritional shakes powered by resistant starch, a unique class of prebiotic fiber, to strengthen gut health.

Previously reported on the digestive health market and the current developments in this sphere, such as probiotic innovations and the potential human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) hold for both babies' and adults' digestive health.

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