HEALTH

Ganeden receives food, beverage probiotics innovation award

BY Michael Johnsen

CLEVELAND Frost & Sullivan on Tuesday named Ganeden Biotech the recipient of its 2008 North American Food and Beverage Probiotics Product Innovation Award, recognizing the supplier for its probiotic strain, GanedenBC30, on opening new development initiatives in food and beverage product categories.

GanedenBC30 is able to survive severe manufacturing processes, such as baking and freezing, as well as the acidic environment of the digestive tract better than other commercially available probiotic strains. This probiotic bacteria is more robust than traditional probiotic strains because it is protected by a spore.

“The introduction of GanedenBC30 has certainly expanded the application of probiotics into product areas that were previously unavailable within food and beverage markets,” said Deborah Cross, industry analyst at Frost & Sullivan. “The number of products available has already been enhanced substantially in previously undeveloped sectors such as bakery and snacks.”

In 2008, Ganeden Biotech teamed up with a number of food and beverage manufacturers to develop a wide variety of probiotics-enhanced products, including non-refrigerated nutrition bars, condensed soups, muffins and frozen yogurt. GanedenBC30 is also available in the over-the-counter probiotic products under the Digestive Advantage and Sustenex brands.

“We are grateful for Frost & Sullivan’s recognition of our hard work in developing a powerful probiotic strain that can provide consumers with a range of health benefits,” stated Ganeden Biotech chief executive officer Andrew Lefkowitz. “We look forward to continuing to work with food and beverage manufactures in developing innovative probiotic-enhanced products to help consumers lead happier and healthier lives.”

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GSI Commerce, GNC agree to extend e-commerce partnership

BY Michael Johnsen

PITTSBURGH, Pa. GSI Commerce and GNC on Tuesday announced a multiyear extension and expansion of the e-commerce agreement between the two companies. Under the agreement, which runs through 2017, GSI will continue to provide GNC’s online store with e-commerce technology, order management and customer care operations.

“Since partnering with GSI, our online business has become an important channel for both product sales and information,” said Beth Kaplan, president and chief merchandising and marketing officer for GNC. “We are excited about extending our e-commerce agreement with GSI and expanding our relationship to include interactive marketing services.”

In addition to e-commerce services, the agreement names GSI’s digital agency, gsi interactive, as GNC’s digital agency of record and adds a full complement of marketing services that include site usability testing, paid search marketing, comparison shopping engines, affiliate marketing, display advertising, emerging media, and e-mail services powered by e-Dialog, GSI’s e-mail marketing subsidiary.

“We are very happy that GNC will continue to build its online business with GSI as its e-commerce partner,” said Scott Hardy, executive vice president of business management for GSI. “This long-term, multiyear, and expanded agreement speaks to the success of the relationship and to the opportunity in front of us for continued growth.”

GNC launched its online store on GSI’s e-commerce platform in the fourth quarter of 2005. Online sales have since become an important channel for GNC as well as a valuable extension of its brand, the company stated.

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Forbes names Home Diagnostics one of its 200 best small businesses

BY Michael Johnsen

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. Home Diagnostics on Tuesday announced that it was named one of Forbes magazine’s “200 Best Small Companies” in the October 27 issue of that publication, which makes for HDI’s debut on the Forbes list.

“Being recognized by Forbes as one of the nation’s best small companies is a testament to the success of Home Diagnostics’ growth strategy,” stated Richard Damron, Jr., president and chief executive officer of Home Diagnostics. “National pharmacy chains, distributors and mail service providers trust our blood glucose monitoring systems to represent their own brands because we offer high-performance products at a significant cost savings to their diabetic customers. Our ability to capitalize on our unique distribution model and gain market share with competitive price points positions Home Diagnostics as a strong player in a growing $7 billion diabetes testing supplies market.”

“The Forbes list of the 200 Best Small Companies seeks to identify the strongest public companies with sales under $750 million,” said Kurt Badenhausen associate editor at Forbes. “These firms all have reasonable debt burdens and have had solid sales and earnings growth over the past five years.”

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