NZMP partnership with Sun Genomics helps bring precision probiotics to consumers

NZMP and Sun Genomics are undertaking consumer studies to better understand the various health benefits of probiotics.

NZMP, the ingredient-solutions brand by global dairy company Fonterra, and Sun Genomics, one of the world’s first, made-to-order probiotic companies, have established a partnership to undertake consumer studies to better understand the various health benefits of probiotics.

Sun Genomics makes precision probiotics branded Floré. By having individuals test their gut microflora, Floré can customise a ‘precision probiotic’ supplement, formulated to address individual needs. Studies show that 90% of the body’s gut microbiome is unique, indicating the need for personalisation to result in effective changes. A credible supplier in the US with three decades of experience researching this type of probiotics, NZMP was a natural choice to supply Sun Genomics with both of their clinically proven HN001 & HN019 strains necessary to create this personalised probiotic for consumers. Fonterra discovered and commercialised these strains over 20 years ago and Sun Genomics has been using both HN001TM & HN019TM strains for several years. After careful assessment of market opportunities, both parties recently recognised the benefit of working together to better understand how these super strains could target specific consumer health issues, especially with the increased concerns around immunity due to Covid-19.

The relationship began in 2018 while NZMP was at Indie Bio, one of the world’s largest biotech accelerators in San Francisco, recognizing Sun Genomics as a high potential start-up player in the health & wellness space. NZMP was impressed by their unique and customizable approach to consumers’ health via a personalized supplement. This kind of customized product allows them to deliver a strong supplementation program and maximize the delivery of health benefits. Additionally, the two companies found Sun Genomics’ work to validate their products through consumer lifestyle studies and NZMP’s approach to ingredient testing through human clinical studies to be complementary.

The successful relationship between the two companies has led to more in-depth consumer research to make each companies’ products even more valuable to business customers and end consumers.

“Sun Genomics is both a customer and business partner. We chose Sun Genomics because we were impressed by their consumer-centric approach, which closely aligns with our desire to intimately understand the consumer,” explains Chris Ireland, US Probiotics business manager, Active Lifestyle, NZMP.

“Working with Sun Genomics to tap into their consumer base is an innovative way to directly validate our probiotics effectiveness, and build a deeper understanding of what consumers truly need. This novel approach to substantiating our strains is the perfect complement to our clinical research. These consumer studies will bridge the gap between meticulously designed scientific studies and the day-to-day realities of consumer life, allowing us to marry the strengths of consumer and clinical research when positioning our probiotics in the market. This work also opens up opportunities to explore potential new formulations together, which reflects our broader efforts in addressing health benefits across physical, mental and inside-out wellness. Our focus on probiotics reflects the expansion of our classic health & wellness portfolio through our specialty ingredients.”

The consumer studies include testing HN001TM/HN019TM strains with Floré customers through a Fonterra-sponsored consumer project to determine if there are any significant improvements in health and mental wellness. The results gathered in this consumer testing will provide complementary evidence to existing clinical trials on HN001TM and HN019TM, by providing evidence that NZMP probiotics’ benefits can also be seen outside of clinical settings and can withstand being subjected to the rigors of normal consumer lifestyles.

“We chose to work with NZMP not only because of the quality of their probiotic strains, but also because of their ability to provide clinical data and their excitement to partner and explore new spaces with us,” says Neal Gidvani, the COO of Sun Genomics. “We are expecting results from some of our initial studies later this year and look forward to sharing the results with the NZMP team.”

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