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Case Study

Linwoods Health Foods: Hemp Protein +

Linwoods Health Foods started out over 50 years ago with a small, local shop owned by the Woods family in Northern Ireland. Over the years the company grew to include a Bakery, Dairy and Health food business.

John Woods, had a health setback in the 90’s and became fascinated by the benefits of food for health and wellbeing. His ‘Eureka’ moment came when he discovered the nutritional powerhouse that is flaxseed and realised that this was his avenue to make healthy eating convenient and accessible to everyone. Linwoods Health Foods was born and is now a global health food company specialising in premium blends and healthy seed snacks.

John Woods saw the burgeoning consumer interest in probiotics for digestive health and felt that probiotics would be perfectly aligned with the well understood digestive health benefits of their core offering and the company’s nutrition and wellness positioning. The NPD team at Linwoods had been looking for ways to bring innovation into their plant protein category and probiotics were the perfect fit.

“Adding probiotics to our natural plant protein would provide consumers with a novel and convenient delivery method to bring positive nutrition into their diets and feel the difference.”
- Orla Moore, Linwoods Health Foods Director

Unmet Demand 

While there were dry packaged goods containing probiotics already on the market in the US, it was a quite unique proposition for Europe. However, a hurdle they faced in launching such a product in Europe is that European regulations prohibit use of the word ‘probiotic’ on pack. This made it essential for the successful probiotic ingredient to be supported by scientific research.

Key decision makers in Linwoods were familiar with the BC30™ probiotic (Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086) brand from US tradeshows and time spent in that market. They were impressed with depth of scientific research behind BC30 that demonstrated benefits to digestive health and immune health and protein utilization.

But they needed to dig deeper, and so several members of their technical team visited the BC30 facility in Cleveland, Ohio. The deciding factor was BC30’s exceptional stability and survivability in a non-refrigerated product like flaxseed.

The Linwoods brand lives and breathes integrity and honesty to its consumers so efficacy is non-negotiable. “If we’re putting a functional ingredient like a probiotic into one of our products, we need to be 100% sure that it’s giving a benefit to our consumers”. This is where BC30, as spore-forming probiotic strain stood out from the crowd.

Linwoods conducted market research through a large retailer prior to launching Hemp Protein+ which confirmed the product would resonate with the target demographic.

Hemp Protein+ with Flaxseed

“Plant based hemp protein is the primary draw that people considering our product are looking for, but the added BC30 bio cultures and the Co-enzyme Q10 are what makes our offering different and why consumers purchase our product over the competition.”

Hemp Protein+ with Flaxseed, BC30 Bio Cultures, Vitamin D & Co-Enzyme Q10 was launched in March 2017. It is aimed at active people interested in improving their health and who want to get plant protein naturally from food.

The product launch was supported by an integrated marketing campaign including magazine advertising, media coverage, blogger events, consumer health and fitness events, product tastings in retail stores and promotion across Linwoods’ websites.

Hemp Protein + is currently sold in the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands with plans to roll it out into other European markets.



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