A survey done as part of Kerry’s ProActive Health Portfolio found that demand for probiotics is growing.
One in four consumers had used a product containing probiotics over the past six months—up from 21% in 2019. A further 44% would consider doing so, up from 40% in 2019.
Usage was particularly high in China, where 49% of respondents had used a product containing probiotics over the past six months, followed by Mexico at 42%.
Globally, 47% were aware of probiotics or cultures—an increase from 42% who were aware in 2019. Awareness was particularly high in Latin America (63%) and North America (61%).
Thirty-eight percent of survey respondents had used some form of digestive health product over the past six months, almost as high as the number who had used an immune health product (39%).
The survey showed that foods and beverages commonly consumed at breakfast time are the most closely associated with digestive health. For example, four in ten (40%) respondents globally said they would be interested in purchasing yogurts containing ingredients with digestive health benefits. Many other categories were also strongly associated with digestive health, including fruit and vegetable juices (31%), dairy-based drinks (31%) and breakfast cereal/granola (28%).
The survey included over 13,000 consumers across 16 countries.
John Quilter, Kerry vice president of Global Portfolio, ProActive Health, says, “A range of factors have driven the continuing growth in demand for gut health solutions generally, and for probiotics in particular. Demographic changes such as population aging and lifestyle choices have increased the prevalence of digestive disorders, while the pandemic has accelerated the shift towards more proactive approaches to health. As a result, consumers want to see functional ingredients in their favorite food and beverage products, and they’re increasingly well educated about the role of probiotics and their ability to support both digestive health and overall wellness. Manufacturers who formulate functional foods and beverages using science-backed probiotic strains can therefore meet a range of market needs.”