Posts tagged with "CEO David Istier"

Gutzy taps into gut health craze with prebiotic pouches

My 21, 2024

With gut health top of mind for consumers, the aptly named Gutzy Organic is moving quickly to capitalize on its popularity, reports Food Dive.

Last month, the pouch maker launched a new packaging design and flavor, botanical turmeric and mango. It joins Gutzy’s other products—among them, Apple Spinach Kiwi Kale and Apple Strawberry Blueberry + Turmeric Dandelion. The company’s products each contain 5 grams of prebiotic acacia.

Gutzy’s founder and CEO David Istier said the growth of prebiotic sodas such as Olipop, Poppi, and Health-Ade’s SunSip shows that several years after the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the food industry, consumers continue to look for items that will improve their gut health.

“We’ve seen a shift into people looking at natural solutions instead of just popping pills,” Istier said in an interview. “That’s why prebiotics are gaining momentum, and we’re a part of that.”

Gutzy’s goal is to provide a clean-label, convenient snack to consumers looking for more fruits, vegetables, and prebiotics; but lacking sufficient time to prepare them.

Istier said by occupying a niche category with few competitors, it has been able to grow its presence quickly.

“If you go to a supermarket, we’ll be next to refrigerated food cups and bars,” he said. “In that environment, we are unique.”

Istier is a longtime veteran of food and beverage companies, most notably working in executive roles at the parent company of Go Go Squeez. He saw an opportunity to bring the fruit pouch brand’s squeeze bottle format into a product targeted at adults, particularly in the fledgling gut health category which hadn’t yet been explored in snack products.

Gutzy launched its products in 2019 and is now in 6,000 stores, including Wegmans, Publix, and Meijer. The company pointed to Nielsen data finding that it was the fastest-growing brand in the fresh and healthy snacks category in the 13-week period ending in January 2024.

“Prebiotics were big in the supplement world, but they were not really in many mainstream food and beverage products before we launched,” Istier said. “We now have very strong repeat consumers, which is the most important thing.”

 Prebiotic potential

Prebiotics stand out from other gut health ingredients because they feed the good bacteria that already reside in the gut. Consumer awareness of prebiotics has grown significantly as people place a greater importance on their health. The global prebiotics market was valued at roughly $8 billion in 2023 and is poised to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 14.9% by 2030, according to a Skyquest projection.

Istier says Gutzy prioritizes keeping its consumers informed about the benefits of the ingredients through its packaging. “We have a claim on the back that talks about how acacia has been proven to increase the growth of beneficial bacteria over a period of four weeks,” Istier said. “It’s important for us to add something that is measurable, with what we know is scientifically backed up.”

Istier says Gutzy is prioritizing R&D to develop a “very unique” product containing plant protein to expand the reach of its brand—particularly with consumers looking for more sustenance from a snack.

“It will be a bit like what we have currently with refreshing fruit, but with the creaminess of yogurt,” Istier said. “The protein trend is not going away anytime soon, and we need to be in that space moving forward.”

Research contact: @FoodDive