A Spot of Probiotics With My Tea, Please
Bigelow Tea Finds Success with Lemon Ginger Herbal Tea Plus Probiotics
It takes an innovative company to identify new opportunities and introduce a never-before-seen product into the marketplace but that’s exactly what family-owned Bigelow Tea did when they launched Lemon Ginger Herbal Tea Plus Probiotics.
The idea behind Bigelow’s Lemon Ginger tea was to bring a level of beneficial nutrients not usually found in tea through the addition of probiotics. “This tea, designed to meet the demands of today’s healthy lifestyles, is the next generation of tea and there is so much behind it,” says Cindi Bigelow, President & CEO of Bigelow Tea based in Fairfield, CT. "We created this new product to be naturally flavorful and delicious and at the same time, provide healthful probiotics that so many of us are looking to add to our daily diets.”
Although adding probiotics to a hot beverage may seem counter intuitive and a daunting challenge to most, the idea was a no brainer for Bigelow Tea. “We identified the opportunity to be the first hot beverage to offer probiotics in new Food and Beverage categories based on consumer desire for probiotics” Bigelow says.
Adding probiotics to a hot beverage was a cutting edge idea and required persistence and lots of research. “From a development standpoint, it required the use of advanced technology to ensure that the probiotic strains would survive the hot tea application,” according to Bigelow. That’s when Cindi Bigelow and her research and development team turned to Ganeden.
Their strain of probiotics, GanedenBC30, had been shown to be much heartier than other probiotic strains. Its spore-forming nature makes it the only probiotic that survives rigorous mixing, baking and manufacturing processes such as high pressure, high heat and freezing conditions—and yes, even boiling water.
With GanedenBC30, Bigelow Tea’s Lemon Ginger Herbal Tea Plus Probiotics began to take shape. “With GanedenBC30 almost 80 percent of the microorganisms make it into your intestine alive so you’re getting about 300 million microorganisms in every cup,” Cindi Bigelow says.
Before getting the new Lemon Ginger tea on the shelf though, exact formulation had to be achieved. According to Cindi, “The flavor was always exactly what we wanted it to be but we still had several obstacles to overcome; establishing the right dosing level of the probiotic and developing the proper particle size that would run efficiently on our processing and packaging equipment.”
As is not unusual when a new product is in its development stage, the probiotic tea had its critics. “There were skeptics from a development standpoint; it was advanced technology that enabled the probiotic strains to survive the hot tea application”, Cindi Bigelow says, adding that “Ganeden worked very closely with us to bring this product to market; their technical team was very responsive in helping us develop a delivery system for GanedenBC30 that would fit our processes and product portfolio.”
“As part of our Extra Step program, our lab and scientists are at the disposal of our partner companies, helping them to get the perfect formulation,” says Mike Bush, Ganeden’s Senior Vice President.
After a year of collaboration, the formula and manufacturing process were complete and the first Bigelow probiotic tea was born.
The company paired the GanedenBC30 probiotic with lemon and ginger, two pleasing botanicals that not only complement one another in flavor, but benefit digestion. “Above all, the tea has to taste good,” Bigelow says. “The caffeine-free Herbal tea is designed to give consumers a momentary break from their busy day and effectively deliver GanedenBC30 probiotics, shown to maintain a health balance in the digestive tract.”
Today, Lemon Ginger Herbal Tea Plus Probiotics is one of Bigelow’s top-selling teas and Bigelow can add the First Ever Probiotic Tea feather to its cap. “We will definitely consider doing another probiotic product,” Bigelow says.