Blog: Probiotics fight to win over new culture
Dean Best | 25 January 2008
No wonder Danone has come out so quickly – and so strongly – to fight claims it has misled consumers in the US.
The Dannon Co., Danone’s local subsidiary, has been hit with a lawsuit in California that alleges the company has used false advertising to promote its probiotic yogurts in the US.
The suit insists there is no conclusive evidence that probiotic bacteria prevents illness or is beneficial to healthy adults – and that, damningly, Dannon knew this.
The food giant has hit back, saying its advertising has “always been and will continue to be absolutely truthful” and that the company will “vigorously challenge” the legal action.
In truth, lawsuits of this kind can be pretty frivolous. Food and drink manufacturers get hit with writs like this regularly. On this occasion, however, Danone needs to assert itself – and quickly.
Unlike in Western Europe and Japan, probiotics are little known in the US. Initial scepticism in the scientific community held back the progress of probiotics across the Atlantic but, in recent months, there are signs that a fledgling market is beginning to take root.
Danone, General Mills and Yakult have all launched probiotic products to tap into growing awareness of the potential benefits that so-called “good” bacteria can bring to consumers. The size of the US market – and the desire among a significant number of Americans to improve their health – could make this a lucrative market for the purveyors of probiotics.
However, the market is at such an early stage of development that if just a germ of claims of deception takes root, the ambitions of Activia and the rest could be set back years.
Hain Celestial, under the scrutiny of the investment community in recent months and facing some challenges in its domestic market, has announced another shuffling of its management pack....
FrieslandCampina, which today served up higher profits but lower sales for 2016, is ready to offload the last non-dairy business owned by the Dutch cooperative giant....
To follow on from our earlier notice and after some hard work from our technical team, just-food is back live after today's power outage....
Much of the UK has felt the impact of Storm Doris today - and just-food's head office has been no exception....
- General Mills sales woes continue - analysis
- Why personalisation will take-off in US food
- Comment: Meal kits in US - don't believe the hype
- US food next wave on display at Winter Fancy Food
- Column: Kraft Heinz, Unilever and sustainability
- Unilever 'lining up spreads sale'
- UK own-label firm Park Cakes sold in MBO
- Immigration crackdown "risk" for US dairy industry
- BRF plant suspended amid bribery allegations
- Fonterra cuts earnings forecast