Danone launches "unique" product line to tackle the UK's vitamin D deficiency

Danone has launched Actimel Plus, the first product under the brand that delivers 100% of the RDI of vitamin D.

According to a 2021 survey by the British Nutrition Foundation, around a third of UK adults are not aware of the government’s recommendation when it comes to vitamin D intake. The National Diet and Nutrition Survey, published by the UK government, also found that 1 in 6 UK adults are vitamin D deficient. The problem is so severe that the government is now investing additional resources to raise awareness and boost intake.

The probiotic Actimel brand debuted in the mid-1990s and was marketed on an immune health platform with the message "supports your natural defences". With its distinctive 100ml bottles, by 2010 it had worldwide sales of over $1.5 billion a year. With the term "probiotic" not allowed on products in Europe since 2010 and no probiotic product allowed to make a health claim, the brand has struggled since then. Danone has been forced into the creative route of adding vitamins, some of which are allowed to make immune health claims under Europe's health claims system.

Hence, thanks to the permitted generic claim for vitamin D, Danone can promote its new Actimel Plus shots as “a deliciously tasty way to support your immune system” and highlight the high vitamin D content as the key contributor to this. The shots also contain other potentially immune-boosting ingredients, delivering 15% of the recommended daily intake of vitamins B6 and B12. There are also 10 billion live L.casei bacteria in every serving.

Compared to Actimel’s regular shots, which are also promoted on platforms of immune health and vitamin D, the Plus range delivers three times the amount of vitamin D. Vitamin B12 is also unique for the Plus range, with the original shot only containing B6. Other than that, the products are nearly identical. The range comprises three different shots in the flavours mango/turmeric, strawberry/pomegranate and cherry/elderberry.

According to Danone the product is one of its kind, being the first time that this micronutrient mix is combined in a yoghurt shot. The product retails at £3.85 ($4.76/€4.45) per pack of eight shots, similar to its original Actimel line.

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