Animated movie brings probiotics to life for the masses

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Leading players in the probiotics industry have offered their support to an independently produced documentary on the ingredients, which aims to educate consumers about their health benefits and dispel common misconceptions.

The movie, which will launch this fall, has already garnered sponsorship from the likes of Dannon, P&G, Danisco, Chr Hansen and Lallemand.

The producers – who stress that they have “100 per cent creative control”​ of the documentary, which will remain “rigorously objective”​ – said the movie will be the first of its kind to bring information on probiotics to the masses, with visually engaging graphics and animation.

Created as a collaboration by Health Point Productions and the producer Ron Frank, Micro Warriors ​will cover topics such as the discovery of probiotics, the science behind the ingredients, how they are produced and what lies in the future for probiotics.

Reach and promotion

The goal is to provide the documentary to TV stations around the world, and to make the DVD available together with product sales at points of purchase in health food stores and even doctors’ offices.

David Knight, executive publisher at Health Point Productions, said the movie will equally benefit all firms involved in marketing probiotics by educating the population about the ingredients.

However, those firms that provide sponsorship will also be able to use the documentary in their marketing and promotion to improve general brand awareness. This could also be a possibility even without sponsorship, said Knight, via some kind of licensing agreement.

Mass education

“It’s an opportunity to explain to consumers in a more detailed and visual way how probiotics are produced, how they find their way into finished products and for them to better understand some of the health benefits they can offer,”​ explained Brian Peeters from Chr Hansen.

Althoough consumer awareness of probiotics has come forward in leaps and bounds over the last decade due to the impressive education efforts from companies like Dannon and Yakult, there is still a long way to go, he said.

“You need this type of effort to really reach the masses. It’s a great tool to fill the awareness gap.”

Key in animation

A key aspect of the documentary will be its animated graphics to sustain people’s interest and ensure that the documentary is not too dry or technical, Knight told

“That’s one of the most important parts of the film, we’ll really be illustrating what’s going on in the human body.”

Knight, who has already published a number of books on probiotics, said he came up with the idea for the documentary after receiving repeated questions from consumers on the ingredients.

“We got so many questions from people from the books – simple things that showed there was a lot of confusion out there.”​ The two primary misconceptions he hopes the film will help address are that probiotics are not effective, and that all strains are similar.

The movie will include interviews with leading international probiotics experts, as well as shots from the production process in both ingredient manufacturing facilities and finished food firms.

Over 70 percent of the filming has already been completed, but work is still continuing on the graphics. For this reason, Knight said that additional sponsorships are still welcome, as this is one of the most important but expensive parts of the movie and the producers are keen to maximise it.

Companies interested in more information on the documentary, or in becoming sponsors, can find more information via Health Point Press​.

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