Consumers want scientifically proven prebiotics, new FMCG Gurus and Beneo survey shows


The companies conducted a global survey on 10,000 consumers in 10 countries.

Photo © Olga

Photo © Olga

Ingredient supplier Beneo (Parsippany, NJ) teamed up with market researcher FMCG Gurus to conduct a new global consumer survey on consumer preferences when it comes to prebiotic products. The survey was conducted by FCMG Gurus on 10,000 consumers in 10 countries.

Seventy-five percent of survey respondents said that the most important factors when choosing a prebiotic food or drink product are 1) product efficacy, 2) health claims, and 3) science-backed claims. In short, consumers buying prebiotic products want to know that these products work.

Notably, proof of product efficacy was a bigger priority than a product's price. As Beneo’s press release notes, “Interestingly, despite the cost-of-living crisis, the price aspect lags behind these considerations.” The survey found that only 55% of respondents stated that price is an important purchase factor.”

The survey also shed light on why consumers purchase prebiotic products. When it comes to health claims products make, 73% of consumers sought prebiotic products touting benefits for digestive health and “improved general well-being.”

Moreover, consumers are turning to prebiotic products for preventative health rather than a cure for any ills. “In fact, almost half (48%) of those buying food and drinks containing prebiotics were not suffering from any symptoms when they first started using them,” Beneo’s press release states. This reflects an overall trend toward preventative health among consumers. “In line with this trend, interest in food and drinks that are known to boost health increased significantly in the overall global population—from 26% in 2019 to 42% in 2021,” it states.

Immune health also remains a key concern, with two-thirds of survey respondents stating they believe that immune health is an important aspect of health for them to address in the coming year, and with 74% stating that they understand that good digestive health plays a role in immune health.

Finally, the survey showed that consumers are becoming more familiar with prebiotics in general. The survey found that more than half of respondents (54%) said they are aware of prebiotics.

The survey also found that nearly 1 in 3 of those consumers know that chicory root fiber and inulin are prebiotic ingredients. Beneo supplies branded ingredients Orafti inulin and oligofructose. The company points out that more than 150 “high-quality human intervention studies” have been published on chicory root fiber that demonstrate its health benefit. It adds "Inulin and oligofructose (short-chain inulin) are the only plant-based prebiotics available, and they belong to the very few proven probiotics according to ISAPP, the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics.”

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