Probiotic sales now represent 9% of U.S. vitamin sales

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The data comes from market researcher Circana (formerly IRI and NPD).

Photo © Shutterstock.com/Magi Bagi. Edited by Quinn Williams.

Photo © Shutterstock.com/Magi Bagi. Edited by Quinn Williams.

Probiotic sales now account for 9% of all vitamin sales in the United States, according to a new report from market researcher Circana (formerly IRI and NPD). The report, “U.S. Probiotics Update,” was published this August.

“Self-care has become more of a priority over the past several years, including the increasing connection consumers see between gut health and overall well-being,” the report states. “Enter probiotics, which now represent about 9% of vitamin sales in the U.S.”

According to the report, household penetration of probiotic products in the U.S. grew to 16.5% in 2022 (compared to 15.6% in 2019). Meanwhile, the buy rate increased from $60 in 2019 to $69 in 2022.

“While consumers often turn to vitamins and supplements for well-being, they’re increasingly finding value in probiotics, mainly in the mineral supplement subcategory, to address gut health and other ailments,” the report adds. In the mineral supplements subcategory, probiotic products now command 16% market share. The report says that probiotic products in general had a 3.4% compound annual growth rate in the past three years.

Common Probiotic Types, Markets

The most common probiotic types are Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and yeast-derived Saccharomyces boulardii.

The mass-market channel is where the majority of probiotics are sold, the report states, over food, drug, mass, club, and dollar-store retailers. Circana notes that e-commerce remains a critical sales outlet for probiotic products, now accounting for approximately $600 million in annual sales, nearly double what e-commerce probiotic sales were in 2019.

Enter Prebiotics and Postbiotics

Elsewhere in the biotics category, prebiotics now have the highest growth rate among biotic types. “Prebiotics,” according to Circana, “have had the fastest growth rate in dollar sales over the last three years, with sales of many types outpacing the category overall.” Consumers’ reasons for purchasing prebiotics start with regularity, bone density, and anti-inflammatory effects, but also include vaginal health.

Circana also observes growth happening in the postbiotics market segment.

Delivery Form

Capsules are still the leading delivery form for probiotics. However, gummies have shown the highest growth rates in the last three years, the company reports. The market share of different probiotic delivery formats now stands at 38% capsules, 24% Vegicaps, 19% gummies, 5% tablets, 3% powders, 3% caplets, and 7% "other".

“Capsule is the largest supplement form for probiotics; however, gummies (17.3%) and Vegicaps (7.6%) have the highest growth rate as consumers seek easier-to-digest alternatives,” the report states. “Powder that dissolves on the tongue or in water is also emerging.”

Women’s Health

Women’s health is a key category for probiotics today. “Recent innovations in probiotics have been focused on women’s health,” the report states.

It also advises that more companies should focus on marketing probiotics to men, as 2022 Circana New Product Pacesetters data show increased demand for new products addressing men’s grooming and personal care needs. Probiotics can carve out a market here.

The Future

Consumers’ proactive approach to healthcare will continue pushing probiotic sales, Circana said. “Consumer interest in wellness, particularly immunity, is creating more opportunities for probiotics, prebiotics, and postbiotics,” the report states.

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