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Growing Consumer Demand for Digestive Health Provides Opportunities for Manufacturers

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The global probiotics market is projected to grow to $69 billion at a CAGR of 7.0% through 2023.[1]​ Functional foods and beverages are by far the biggest segment for probiotics, currently standing at $40 billion and representing more than 82% of the total market.[2]

Gut health is driving demand for probiotics

What’s driving this growth? Consumers are quickly becoming more proactive about their health and wellness, and digestive health is one of the benefit areas they focus on. For example, research found that 71% are concerned or very concerned about their digestive health.[3]​ Because of this, ingredients with digestive health benefits now command very high levels of consumer awareness, and this is particularly true of probiotics.

Probiotic food and beverage whitespace

With gut health top-of-mind, consumers are looking for probiotic benefits beyond traditional categories and seeking out food and beverage products to improve it.

Research asked consumers whether they would be interested in purchasing products in specific categories if they featured ingredients that promoted digestive health. It’s probably unsurprising that yogurt and yogurt-based drinks emerged as the most popular option. Yet significant numbers also expressed an interest in less traditional categories. Fruit and vegetable juices, cereal, granola and breakfast bars and snacks were all of top interest.

Easy-to-understand benefits

Differentiating a digestive health product starts with knowing what the consumer really wants. Research also found that many of the top purchase drivers directly related to transparency. When asked what would encourage purchase of particular healthy lifestyle products, answers included:

  • I recognize active ingredients
  • I did my own research on ingredient/product benefits
  • I saw research or data claims for the product

Manufacturers can meet these demands by ensuring that they’re formulating with high-quality ingredients supported by scientific substantiation.

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Probiotic technology is creating more opportunity for fortified foods and beverages

In the past, the challenge for many product manufacturers was finding a probiotic that not only has digestive health benefits, but that can easily be formulated into a range of foods and beverages.

The emergence of hardy, spore-forming probiotics such as market leader GanedenBC30®​ (Bacillus coagulans​ GBI-30, 6086). can help meet this demand. Because it can survive almost any manufacturing process, it can be incorporated into most food and beverage categories without any loss of functionality. Formulation opportunities include:

  • Juices and smoothies, because it can survive most manufacturing processes
  • Teas and coffees, because it can survive high-temperature variants such as the high heat of boiling water
  • Dry powdered beverages and even shelf-stable liquid beverages where it  is delivered through technologies such as push caps and straws
  • Snacks, bars and baked goods, because of its ability to survive most processing conditions
  • Ice creams and freezer pops, because of its long shelf life and inherent stability
  • Sports nutrition products, because of its ability to enhance protein absorption

Backed by research

In a competitive digestive health space in which consumers are seeking validity of claims, the only sustainable strategy is to use high-quality ingredients backed by scientific substantiation. Benefit claims can only be supported by studies on that individual strain. Additionally, it can’t be assumed that study results on individual strains can be seen when that same strain is included in a multi-strain formulation, especially if the strains are not used at the same level as in the published clinical studies.

GanedenBC30​ is supported by more than 25 published papers demonstrating its benefits. In addition to digestive health, this substantial body of research shows that GanedenBC30​ supports immune health and enhances the body’s ability to utilize protein.

Download our white paper​ to get more proprietary insights and to learn how formulating with a hardy, science-backed, efficacious probiotic can help meet consumer demands.

[1] MarketsandMarkets, Global Probiotic Market Forecast to 2023, Dec 2018.

[2] MarketsandMarkets Probiotic Market, Sept. 2017

[3] GlobalData, Global Consumer Survey Q3, 2019

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