Probiotics. They’re good enough to eat.

As if Dannon’s Activia advertising weren’t confounding enough, Brandweek reports that “the hottest word in food marketing is now probiotics”—a “beneficial bacterium that naturally aids the digestive system.” General Mills and Kraft are entering the fray with Optibalance (sounds like a debit card) and LiveActive cheese products, respectively. Sure, it’s the summer of cheese, but most people prefer theirs dead and immobile. From the same story: “Activia accounted for $125 million of Dannon’s $678 million U.S. yogurt sales in 2006.” Danon even plans spinoffs: DanActive and Danimals, with ad campaigns sure to follow. Who would have guessed digestion-regulating bacteria would be the growth category of the year. It says something about our … culture. UPDATE: These bacteria are also known as “squirmy little soldiers.

—Posted by David Gianatasio