ADM released its outlook on the global human microbiome market, which is expected to balloon to nearly $9.1 billion by 2026.
The findings, based on research from ADM’s proprietary Outside Voice consumer insights platform, highlight the consumer trends shaping the fast-growing market for solutions that include prebiotics, probiotics, and increasingly, postbiotics. This deep dive into the microbiome segment builds on the release of ADM’s 2022 Global Consumer Trends report, which showcased the eight areas of focus for food, beverage, health and wellness, and animal nutrition brands this year.
Made up of trillions of unique microorganisms, the human gut microbiome’s link to wellness is increasingly understood by consumers. According to Mark Lotsch, president, Global Health & Wellness at ADM: “There is a growing body of scientific evidence that links the gut microbiome to key aspects of health and well-being. Nutrition is one of the most effective tools at our disposal in supporting healthy microbiome function. ADM's research is bringing new discoveries and insights to the fore – demonstrating the potential positive impacts of dietary microbiome support on aspects of health and well-being. By combining clinical research with investments in real-world applications, such as our partnerships with innovators like Nourished and Brightseed, ADM empowers its customers with the knowledge and solutions to meet consumer needs.”
The path forward for nutrition solutions and dietary supplements that support the microbiome and help consumers meet their wellness needs relies on product innovation for new market segments, more personalized assessment tools and science-backed products.
The top five trends shaping the sector this year include:
• Growing consumer awareness of the gut-brain connection and the link between microbiome function with mood and cognition In partnership with FMCG Gurus, ADM’s Outside Voice research found that more than half (58%) of global consumers are aware of the potential benefits that bacteria of the digestive tract may have on aspects of health and well-being. With growing awareness of the connection between mind and body, consumers are paying more attention to the impact their food, beverage and supplement choices may have on their well-being. In fact, 53% of consumers state that products designed to support brain health are appealing. Emerging research supports this connection: according to a study from the University of Oxford, BioKult’s multispecies probiotic supplement have shown that the product can support mood along with other related aspects of cognitive health.
• Personalized nutrition solutions designed to support everyday performance for Olympians and Weekend Warriors alike Consumers are adopting a more holistic view of their diet and lifestyle choices, with gut health at the center. The microbiome has become the new frontier for the next generation of personalized nutrition, with growing evidence of links to sleep hygiene, overall mental well-being, immune function and more. Protein bars and ready-to-drink shakes are household staples for all active lifestyles—soon they will be tailored to support each individual's specific activity and lifestyle needs.
• Consumers are using test-kits to benchmark the make-up of their microbiome as the personalized nutrition phenomenon gains hold Personalized assessment solutions are helping consumers learn more about their bodies, including analyses of their individual gut microbiomes – and these services are fast becoming mainstream. New technology in the field is equipping consumers with testing kits to benchmark the make-up of their microbiomes, and consumers are using this information to try new diet and lifestyle habits. More than half (59%) of global consumers find the idea of nutrition-focused genetic testing appealing, and of those, 64% would be willing to use this technology, according to data from FMCG Gurus.
• Demystification of probiotics and the skin microbiome Consumers increasingly believe the benefits of probiotics extend beyond the gut, and research is beginning to uncover the role of the skin microbiome and how probiotics may support skin health in both oral and topical applications. But in a crowded skincare market, consumers are looking for solutions that back up their claims. ADM has a rapidly growing number of clinical trials researching the role of the gut microbiome in skin health to inform its development of probiotic formulations that provide adjuvant support for the skin.
• Consumer interest in immune health will be a top priority today and in the future With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic converging with a resurgent cold and flu season earlier this year, support for immune function remains top of mind among consumers. Research shows 75% of global consumers say they will make greater attempts to stay healthier, and 65% are more conscious of their immune health due to COVID-19.5 What’s more, 66% of global supplement consumers are seeking out supplements formulated to support immune function. While the pandemic has amplified conversations around immune health, the trend is likely to continue as consumers carry new nutritional routines into their new normal.