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Firm a world leader in oral probiotics – Blis Technologies

Luke Lynch Nov 11

“As we move forward, we’re aiming to expand consumer awareness of our dental health offering – it’s an ongoing focus.”

CEO Brian Watson

Innovation is proving a potent platform for resilience in Dunedin, where probiotics company, Blis Technologies, is playing a significant part in the local economy as the city adapts to the Covid-19 environment.

Blis Technologies pioneered the world’s first advanced oral probiotics and is on a strongly positive revenue trajectory as international demand for its products soars.

Currently employing 25 full-time staff in Dunedin – and one in Christchurch – the company is already making a big contribution in the local region, with further expansion in the pipeline.

“We see ourselves growing our staff base as we move forward and we also regularly hire extra temporary staff in production to help with peaks in demand,” says Blis Technologies CEO Brian Watson.

“We work with a lot of other local suppliers and service providers too and that is another important piece in the ongoing recovery.”

In Dunedin, the company operates a manufacturing facility, as well as a research and development laboratory and head office site in South Dunedin.

The Blis portfolio includes a wide range of probiotic products to support throat and oral health. They represent the culmination of years of research and development, based on the science findings of Professor John Tagg, an esteemed microbiologist who made many advances in this field while working as an academic in the Microbiology Department at the University of Otago. He continues to have a very active role in the company’s research and development activities.

“To date, our product range has been developed around two probiotics: BLIS K12 and BLIS M18. The K12 range is primarily for upper respiratory and immune health. Our biggest seller is ThroatGuard PRO, first launched almost 18 years ago.

“Our advanced probiotic with M18 is for dental health, preventing gum disease and dental cavities.

“As we move forward, we’re aiming to expand consumer awareness of our dental health offering – it’s an ongoing focus.”

An exciting development for Blis Technologies this year has been the launch of a new product called UltraBLIS that delivers a unique combination of probiotic strains to support both oral and gut microbiome.

“We have seen a lot of interest and excitement around that. We’re about to launch it in pharmacy retail and in the US through Amazon.

“We’re looking at new market opportunities and are planning to launch our full range through cross border e-commerce into China…With Covid, the retail sector is losing foot traffic so there has been a slowdown in that market but that has been more than offset by a boom in sales online.”

Global interest is on the rise as consumers increasingly look for products to boost immunity. Blis Technologies is strongly positioned in this space and has met regulatory approvals required for sale of its products in key markets around the world.

Probiotics used in Blis products are naturally occurring, with safety proven through extensive research.

“Eighty five per cent of our sales are now export sales to international markets.”
It took 18 years for Blis Technologies to start hitting profitability but, after two consecutive years of delivering a profit, Brian says that the tipping point has now well and truly been reached.

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