Yakult ‘Gut-Brain Guide’ developed by APC Microbiome
Yakult - an 85 year old company – is world famous for its probiotic drinks and its commitment to the science underpinning its product. In 2021, Yakult approached APC Microbiome Institute at UCC, seeking expert advice on content development for a new consumer guide on the gut-brain axis that it wished to produce.
The team at APC Microbiome Institute sought the support of UCC Consulting to negotiate the contract and engaged with the company on a consultancy undertaking. The consultancy gave rise to a ‘Gut-Brain Guide’, which is published on the web page of the Yakult UK and Ireland website - (https://www.yakult.co.uk/gut-science/gut-brain-guide/. The guide provides consumer appropriate content to help people understand the relationship between microbes in the intestine and how that impacts on brain function. The APC Microbiome Institute is specifically mentioned in the guide as the content source.
Dr. Gerard Clarke, Dept. Psychiatry at University College Cork who worked with Yakult through UCC Consulting said: “Having the support of UCC Consulting was instrumental to building this relationship with Yakult. Their expertise in defining the work involved and capturing true value of my engagement with Yakult was key during the contract negotiation and to the overall success of the project.”
In addition to providing content for the consumer guide, this consultancy project included provision of internal briefings, an event talk on the gut brain axis to the extended Yakult team and a press briefing. The impact of the expertise was maximised thanks to an extensive media campaign to launch the guide and coverage was secured across multimedia channels and platforms, including in the Irish Examiner, FoodNavigator Europe and Food Voices.
The study has allowed both APC Microbiome and Dr. Clarke to build their profile and reputation as experts in the gut-brain axis and it is anticipated that the project will open up further opportunities for engagement with Yakult and other industry partners on gut-brain axis research projects. The consultancy funds accrued during the project will also be deployed to generate pilot data for future grant applications.
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