Tipton Mills Launches The World’s First Probiotic Coffee
Back in 1999 when Tipton Mills, then Buffalo Blends, opened its doors as a regional contract manufacturer, nobody would have pegged the small company for the innovative leader it’s become today. With its recent launch of the world’s first probiotic coffee, Tipton Mills has made it mark as an originator.
More than a decade of growth
When the company launched in Buffalo, NY, back in 1999, it was known as Buffalo Blends. The 11,000 square-foot plant was dedicated to making dry food and drink mixes for other companies with their own private labels.
Through the years the company produced a gamut of private label drink mixes and launched its own finished consumer products such as instant lattes, green tea and organic chocolate syrup.
In 2009, Buffalo Blends purchased Tipton Mills in Columbus, Indiana. This 40,000 square-foot facility more than doubled the company's footprint, while helping the company support more clients and customers in the midwest, southern, and western United States.
Time to think healthy
With the new facility, Tipton Mills was well poised to introduce new products. The company turned to the burgeoning natural health market for inspiration.
Why a probiotic coffee? “We had been interested in making products with a health benefit for some time. Probiotic coffee just felt like the natural direction for us to go. A large amount of Americans drink coffee everyday so you may as well have a health benefit to it,” said Tim Sheehy, company president.
According to the National Coffee Association, Americans drink an average of 3.1 cups of coffee a day per person (the average size of a cup is 9 ounces), while the U.S. spends $40 billion on coffee each year.
“I admit that we were very skeptical initially about a probiotic working in a hot beverage but Ganeden demonstrated through extensive testing that its probiotic GanedenBC30 could work at a level that was beneficial. So once we were convinced of that it was an easy decision,” Sheehy says.
GanedenBC30 is unique. Inside each cell is a hardened structure, or spore, which is similar to a seed. This spore serves as a natural protective shield against the heat and pressure of manufacturing, product preparation and the strong acids in the stomach allowing it to arrive alive and then thrive in your intestines—the intended target.
The process for the probiotic coffee from idea to product wasn’t as lengthy as you might expect. “It took about 9 months,” according to Sheehy. “I would be remiss not to mention that Ganeden was a vital component in the successful development and scientific process of creating the product. Their science team, everyone there, was always available and reached out to help whenever we needed them.”
Sheehy is delighted with the finished product. “We have a product that's unique to the consumer; it adds real value, not perceived value, it’s not just another coffee. We are providing a specific benefit to consumers wanting to lead healthier lifestyles.”
Award Winning Product
Sheehy isn’t the only one pleased with the probiotic coffee. Ganeden and Tipton Mills' Probiotic Coffee were awarded the inaugural SupplySide Insights Award for Probiotic Coffee at the recent SupplySide MarketPlace in New York.
"Selecting the winning partnerships honored in our inaugural SupplySide Insights Awards program was a great challenge,” said Heather Granato, vice president, content, VIRGO's SupplySide Health & Nutrition Network. "We spent a good deal of time looking at the breadth of the partnership, the science behind the ingredients and the consumer market response."
Ganeden is also tremendously pleased with the partnership and the award. "We love to see our partner products win awards; it demonstrates that the market is ready for innovative probiotic-boosted products," said Mike Bush, Ganeden's vice president.
Bright probiotic future
With an industry award in hand and products on store shelves, Sheehy is excited about the future for its probiotic coffee, and beyond. “We’ve learned that a key to the products success is education. Consumers often have questions about a probiotic surviving in a hot environment so we do a lot of demos and include a pamphlet in products explaining the process.”
Since its tremendously successful launch, Tipton Mills now offers Ganeden's probiotic ingredient, GanedenBC30, for its entire Tipton Mills beverage product offerings: instant coffees, chai lattes, lattes, cappuccinos, teas in various flavors, and even high protein shakes and smoothies. These products are available as stick packs and vertical or horizontal fill and seal packages.