HONEY behemoth Capilano has made a $1 million investment to join the rapidly growing prebiotic food market which caters to consumers with deep pockets and healthy guts.
Last month Capilano launched Beeotic – the world’s first clinically tested prebiotic honey. While probiotics introduce good bacteria into the gut, prebiotics act as a fertiliser for the good bacteria that’s already there.
The product joins the prebiotic market which last year clocked up $71.7m in annual sales – a number which is expected to grow by 11.8 per cent this year.
Beeotic, which Capilano has listed with the Therapeutic Goods Association, is a blend of Australian honey which has been tested in-house for prebiotic oligosaccharides. Capilano’s managing director Dr Ben McKee said its journey to market had been costly but it would be a “game changer” for the company’s distribution and sales growth.
“Capilano has easily spent in excess of $1m in bringing this product to market and undertaking scientific studies. In addition, we upgraded quality systems and plant and equipment to be a licensed manufacturer of complimentary medicines,” Dr McKee said.
While in its early days, Dr McKee is happy with initial sales. His team is already working to tap into “heightened interest” for Beeotic for Asian export markets.
“Our initial efforts are replicating the regulatory approvals in key markets,” he said.
Beeotic is a continuation of Capilano’s sharp focus on honey with antibacterial properties. The Queensland-based ASX-listed company’s stock surged last year after it announced it had bought Australia's largest manuka honey operator, NSW-based KirksBees Honey, for $6 million in August. A month later Capilano’s shares soared to $22.70 a piece. Shares are now trading at about $19.
Last year Capilano re-branded its own Manuka honey product to improve shelf presence. It also expanded sales of its Manuka honey products in Australian and Chinese pharmacies.
Dr McKee said the company had completed a spree of acquisitions to grow the business and he would now focus on growing organically, a move made possible by increasing honey supply.
In the last financial year Capilano sold $125m of honey and almost $8m of non-honey goods. It reported a net profit before tax of of $13.44m, up from $11.13m the year before.