Interest in probiotic-fortified functional foods and beverages continues to grow across the globe. Citing data from research firm MarketsandMarkets, probiotics supplier Ganeden (Cleveland) predicts the global probiotics market is projected to reach $64 billion by the year 2022, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7%. Latin America and Asia are poised to be probiotics’ fastest-growing markets, and Ganeden says that delivering probiotic ingredients in food and beverage formats will especially help gain customers in these markets.
Per MarketsandMarkets, in Latin America, Brazil accounts for 52% of the region’s total probiotics market. Ganeden says that Brazil’s impressive growth streak for probiotics is likely due to the area’s evolving eating habits and quickly growing functional foods and beverage categories. In addition, Brazil’s expanding middle class brings greater disposable income, which in turn promotes product innovation and more widespread product availability.
Michael Bush, executive director, Kerry, for Wellmune and Ganeden BC30, said in a press release that Latin America is primed for a probiotic-fortified food and beverage takeover, but noted that consumer education is a key hurdle to ensuring that the Latin American market for probiotics can fully develop.
“Latin America is one of the largest opportunities for probiotic-fortified foods and beverages, but the challenge here is that education plays a big role in consumers’ understanding the health benefits associated with probiotics,” Bush said. “This highlights the importance for manufacturers to look for probiotics that can easily convey their specific benefits while offering flexible formulation attributes. Choosing a science-backed probiotic that is well-positioned and can be efficiently formulated into better-for-you versions of everyday foods and beverages will reach an untapped consumer base.”
Meanwhile, in Asia, China leads probiotic market growth with roughly 35.4% of market share in the region, according to MarketsandMarkets. Overall, the probiotics market in Asia is estimated to see an 8.5% CAGR through the year 2022. According to Ganeden, probiotics are seeing strong growth in Asia because of its expanding population of consumers aged 60 and up, as well as the growing number of families with children. These key demographics are driving interest in new products fortified with functional digestive-health benefits. For example, says Ganeden, 42% of Chinese mothers are purchasing beverages with digestive-health benefits, while half of Chinese mothers say that thy are concerned about digestive-health issues. Interest in other probiotic-fortified products, like yogurt, is also on the rise in Asia. Probiotics are also now being formulated into more alternative beverages, confections, chocolates, baked good, and snacks.
In general, the probiotics market is evolving beyond traditional delivery formats and product categories, said Bush. He added that innovation is key to continuing to grow the market across the globe.
“Successful probiotic products across all global markets must include innovation into new product categories,” he said. “In the past, probiotic stability has led to manufacturing challenges that may have stifled innovation, because it was thought probiotics could not be incorporated into different types of foods and beverages. New probiotic technologies, like GanedenBC30, have opened up avenues of innovation because it means they can be used not just in chilled dairy products but also in applications such as non-dairy beverages, frozen foods, cookies, cereals, baked goods and even hot drinks.”
Bush added that, in addition to growing consumer education about the benefits of probiotics, and ensuring that innovation continues to push the global market forward, another challenge that comes with introducing new probiotic brands and products is in utilizing “science-backed probiotics that are well-positioned and can be efficiently formulated into better-for-you versions of everyday foods and beverage.”
He continued: “The ingredients that win out are well-studied, branded probiotics that easily convey a benefit-driven story that consumers can understand and trust. A strong branded functional ingredient should be backed by documented safety, efficacy and quality.”
Ganeden’s own Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086 probiotic strain is a spore-forming probiotic strain. Its spore-forming capabilities enable it to remain viable through most manufacturing processes, including those that require high temperatures, as well as through the low pH of stomach acid. Because it remains stable throughout many manufacturing processes, it can be incorporated into a wide range of product offerings, including into foods, beverages, and animal products, the company says. According to Ganeden, BC30 provides digestive, immune-health, and protein utilization benefits.