Want Align? Get in line!

NEW YORK —You don’t have to look any further than the Align box on the shelf—or the empty space where it used to be—to realize just how popular probiotics have become. Align is selling fast.

For the 52 weeks ended Feb. 24, sales of Procter & Gamble’s lead probiotic supplement were up 433% to $28.7 million across food, drug and mass (minus Walmart), according to Information Resources Inc.

Already, 1-in-4 probiotic purchases is going to the Align brand, P & G noted. The brand is similarly the leading probiotic recommended by gastroenterologists.

P&G rolled out Align to full distribution in mid-March 2009, which means in the nearly 12 months since its launch, Align has generated more than $23 million on top of the $5 million base the brand had prior to full distribution.