UK – UK retailer M&S Food has unveiled its latest product, the M&S Food x Zoe Gut Shot, a milk kefir with berries infused with over five billion live cultures from 14 different strains.

Developed in collaboration with the US nutrition science company Zoe, this new launch is in response to the escalating consumer interest in gut health.

Alex Freudmann, Managing Director of M&S Food, emphasized the brand’s commitment to delivering exceptional, high-quality food with values that align with customer expectations.

“We always ensure a healthy choice is a delicious choice and we’re proud to be at the forefront of gut health innovation,” he stated,

On the other hand, Jonathan Wolf, Co-founder and CEO of Zoe, shared the company’s mission to improve the health of millions.

“We run the world’s largest microbiome and nutrition research study, with hundreds of thousands of members,” he explained.

“I’m glad we’ve partnered with M&S to bring this delicious product to supermarkets across the nation, helping more people to improve their gut health.”

The launch follows M&S’s recent introduction of the Good Gut range, comprising over ten products, including cereals, yogurts, and drinks.

The move aligns with the surge in online searches for “gut health,” growing by 247% on UK online retailer since 2021, as reported by M&S.

According to M&S proprietary insights, half of consumers in 2024 are planning to eat more healthily, with a quarter focusing on a balanced diet incorporating various foods. Innova Market Insights revealed in 2023 that digestive health is a key driver in food product development.

A consumer survey commissioned by microbiome innovator Verb Biotics also found that 61% of US consumers believe maintaining a healthy microbiome is crucial for physical health.

However, only two out of ten could correctly define what the gut microbiome is. Despite 70% of consumers being familiar with probiotics, only 49% reported using them, even though seven in ten experienced gut health-related symptoms.

Freudmann highlighted that the M&S Food x Zoe Gut Shot combines Zoe’s nutrition science expertise with M&S Food’s commitment to quality, innovation, and product development.

“From the Zoe shot to our Plant Kitchen range and our newly launched High Protein range, we’re proud to be at the forefront of innovation in offering our customers healthier choices.”

Currently offering a range of over 1,800 “Eat Well” products, M&S has seen a 6% increase in year-on-year sales.

The company aims for 70% of its total food sales to stem from healthier products by 2025, including the “Remarkable Value” range and the “Count on Us” range, which focuses on calorie-controlled dishes.

In 2019, M&S Food ventured into the plant-based market with the launch of its vegan Plant Kitchen range, attracting over half a million new customers since its inception.