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Case Study

Suja Soaking Up Probiotic Success

Ask anyone in today’s beverage space what company is killing it and the answer will likely be Suja. This fresh juice outfit does seem to have it all—four fierce founders, unbelievable growth and sales, a cult following that’s morphed into a national thirst, oh, and backing from Coca-Cola. But ask experts what’s really pushed this startup to be the nation’s leading organic, non-GMO and cold-pressured juice brand and they’ll say vision with a keen eye to what consumers want.

Right now what consumers want is probiotics, according to Bella Tumini, brand manager for the San Diego-based company. Which is why so many of its products, including Suja’s latest line extension of Pressed Probiotic Waters, star the probiotic ingredient BC30™ (Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086).

“We decided to add BC30 probiotics to our products because our core consumer, millennial’s, are driving growth of gut and immune health,” Tumini says. “We knew there was a beverage trend of functional products like kombuchas and we wanted to innovate in that space to fulfill a need millennial’s are seeking.”

Based on the amount of CFUs per bottle, Suja can make the claims that its probiotic products support digestive and immune health as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.

First Probiotic SKUs Crush It

Suja’s initial launch of products boosted with BC30 in 2015—a bottle in its One Day Renewal program for Target and a Green Juice with Probiotics for Whole Foods, were huge hits. “Both of these products became high turners and rose to the top of the ranks within our portfolio, so we knew we were on to something,” Tumini says. On the heels of this success Suja extended the line with three additional probiotic SKUs.

Next up? Pressed Probiotic Waters

Given the probiotic juice success, the Suja team knew it wanted its next new products to feature BC30—Enter Pressed Probiotic Water. The probiotic water sans additives or flavorings was the company’s solution to serve two big trends: gut health and low sugar. “We came up with the idea to use our juice made from pressing real fruits and veggies to provide the flavor for the water and then decided to add probiotics to it so that the consumer would get everything from function to flavor in one sip,” Tumini explains. All of the pressed probiotic waters, have 10 calories, 1 gram of sugar or less and 2 billion CFUs of BC30 in each bottle.

What’s a Pressed Water?

Suja’s Pressed Probiotic Waters are made by cold-pressing organic, non-GMO fruits and vegetables, adding the pressed juice to purified water, and then by adding BC30 at the end it delivers the proper amount of CFUs when products hit the shelf. Once the product is bottled, it goes through HPP (High Pressure Processing) which extends shelf life and helps maintain essential vitamins, minerals and enzymes.

“We decided to add BC30 probiotics to our products because our core consumer, millennials, are driving growth of gut and immune health. We knew there was a beverage trend of functional products like kombuchas and we wanted to innovate in that space to fulfil a need millennials are seeking.”
- Bella Tumini, Brand Manager, Suja

Forget About Formulation Woes

BC30’s unique structure safeguards the cell’s genetic material from the heat and pressure of manufacturing processes. This makes it easy to formulate into a wide product range including HPP juices. “It’s been extremely easy to use BC30, Tumini says. “It is so simple because we just add it to our formulas and it doesn’t impact the flavor or consistency, making it a seamless ingredient to work with.”

Suja Pressed Probiotic Waters

The company launched its Pressed Probiotic Waters at Natural Products Expo West in March where the Raspberry flavor won the show’s prestigious Best of the West award.

A short 11 weeks after launching in Target, the Probiotic Waters have become one of Suja’s top 8 selling SKUs. “Seeing such immediate results has allowed us to leverage that with other retailers getting them excited about new innovation that has proven performance. In addition, we’re getting a ton of fan love for these products on our social platforms so we feel great knowing that they’re being so well received by both retailers and customers,” Tumini says.

“The BC30 team has been extremely helpful and readily available for any questions that we and our consumers may have.” Tumini says.

Suja’s probiotic product launches show no signs of slowdown.


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