According to a 2017 national consumer survey, 25% of US adults seek out foods that are rich in probiotics and prebiotics.
Nutrition trends are surging thanks to the growing consumer interest in wellness. Market research firm Packaged Facts recently released a report entitled “Probiotics and Prebiotics: Food and Beverage New Product Trends,” that identified millennials as the top consumers of probiotic and prebiotic products. The research survey found that a quarter of American adults are actively seeking foods with probiotics and prebiotics when grocery shopping.
Packaged Facts predicts continued momentum due to millennial demand. The survey also found that there is an even higher interest in probiotics for consumers who regularly shop at natural food retailers, which is currently the most significant retail sector for nutritional trends. This growing interest has the food industry manufacturing natural and modified foods and beverages that are rich in these digestive cultures.
The report goes on to say, “With the increased focus on their potential, probiotics have become one of the biggest trends today in the food and beverage industry. Nonetheless, the food industry itself hasn’t figured out how best to market probiotic food and beverages, beyond yogurt and similar traditional sources. Should the marketing get technical, introducing consumers to specific bacteria strains and their functional benefits? Or remain more general, playing up just the health benefits instead?”
The changing retail market has food companies shifting their portfolio of products to better assimilate with current millennial purchasing trends. The importance of this demographic comes as no shock since millennials are considered the future of the retail market and constitute for up to ten trillion dollars of lifetime buying power. Manufacturers are tapping into this market with foods that are naturally packed with digestive cultures such as yogurts, kefir and kombucha. But companies are also reinventing the probiotic market with cutting-edge products such a probiotic soda, coffee, tea, soups and even beer.
To cash in on this probiotic craze, many companies are expanding their rosters by buying probiotic firms or adding probiotics in their products. PepsiCo acquired KeVita, a probiotic beverage maker and it also launched a Tropicana Essentials Probiotics line. General Mills’ venture capital unit, 301 INC led a $6.5 million Series D investment round in March to benefit a fermented and probiotic food and beverage startup called Farmhouse Culture.
With the global probiotics market projected to make a total of $50 billion by year 2020, it’s no surprise that food manufacturers want to invest in this growing category. According to a report from BCC Research, the probiotics market is expected to grow at a CAGR of about 7.3% annually during the next ten years.