The global probiotics market is estimated to be valued at USD 61.1 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 91.1 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 8.3% during the forecast period. The global demand for probiotics is increasing significantly due to health benefits associated with probiotic-fortified foods, multifunctionality of probiotics, and the increasing use of probiotics in foods due to the rising consumer awareness related to healthy diets. The demand for probiotics in fortified foods is projected to remain high due to the increasing awareness about their benefits, and willingness of consumers to purchase premium products incorporated with probiotics.
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Drivers: Rising health consciousness among consumers
The growing awareness among the population for leading a healthy lifestyle has resulted in an increased interest in natural food products. Such growing awareness about health & nutrition products is driving the market for probiotics. Personal well-being is major factor that is influencing the consumption of natural ingredient products, majorly probiotics. Consumers have realized that adding probiotics to their regular diet offers health benefits such as improved intestinal health, low-calorie intake, increased immunity, and boost calcium absorption, thereby driving the market for probiotics ingredients.
Apart from this, food manufacturers are also focusing more in innovation and nutrient content of their products as health claims have become a major concern for the food industry, coupled with stringent regulation by the EU and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
Restraints: High R&D costs for developing new probiotics strains
Sustainable investments in R&D activities and investments in laboratories, research equipment, and high cost of hiring trained professionals create barriers in the development of the probiotics market. The scientific validation related to the usage of probiotics in their applications becomes a success to this market. Probiotics applications are linked with health benefits, which makes it challenging for manufacturers to get an adequate RoI on high initial investments.
Probiotics strains and products are developed and produced as per the international food regulations. Owing to the high cost of production, the cost of final product is also high. Marketing and distribution of probiotic products also add to the product price, as they require different packaging and distribution channels as compared to common products. The high prices of products act as a restraining factor in the probiotics market.
Opportunities: Increase in demand for probiotics in developed economies
The global probiotics market is growing as the demand for probiotics from developed economies has increased due to the changing consumer attitude towards the consumption of probiotics. Consumers are more aware of the importance of probiotics with regard to maintaining a string immune system and gut health, which has led to the sustained gowth of probiotics components in the market. To attract such potential consumers, these producs are made available across grocery, supermarkets, pharmacies, and health food shops in developed economies, such as the US and Canada. Hence, consumer awareness of health benefits associated with the consumption of probiotics products is major factor, which drives the overall demand for probiotics in developed economies over the given years.
Challenges: Intolerance of probiotics to stomach acid and bile
Probiotics is exposed to harsh conditions prevailing in the stomach and small intestine after they survive the manufacturing process and degradation with time on the shelf. According to the UK food microbiologist, only a few highly resistant bacteria such as lactobacillus and bifidobacteria can survive stomach acid. The other probiotic bacteria are expected to get destroyed by stomach acid. Mostly, the intolerance level to survive the harsh acidity in the stomach is below pH 2.
The researcher has to work in-depth to overcome all the challenges related to the selection and development of the strain and related production processes. Probiotic strains are prone to changes in pH and temperature. The strains must sustain while integrating with functional foodstuffs. The basic requirement for probiotics is that products should contain sufficient numbers of microorganisms up to the expiry date. Hence, probiotics must contain specific strains and maintain certain numbers of live cells to produce health benefits in the host. Different countries have decided on the minimum number of viable cells required in the probiotic product for it to be beneficial. The preservation of these probiotic microorganisms presents a challenge as they are affected by exposure to temperature, oxygen, and light.
The human probiotics segment is projected to account for the largest market share during the forecast period.
The human segment is projected to account for the largest market share during the forecast. The rising trend of consuming functional foods due to the growing preferences for health-benefiting products is driving the market for probiotics in the human segment.
The demand for liquid probiotics from the yogurt and beverage industries is projected to dominate the probiotics market
The demand for liquid probiotics has increased as compared to dry probiotics, due to its application in yogurt, which is the most popular source of probiotics. Other products that use liquid probiotics include kefir water, probiotic juices, and yogurt-based drinks, which are healthy options for daily supplementation. The Asia Pacific region is projected to be a key market for yogurt in the coming years. China stands a huge opportunity for both domestic and international companies to penetrate the yogurt market as the country consumes yogurt on a large scale.
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Key Market Players
Key players identified in this market include Danone (France), Yakult Honsha (Japan), Nestlé (Switzerland), DowDuPont (US), and Chr. Hansen (Denmark). Key players in this market are focusing on increasing their presence through mergers & acquisitions and new product developments, specific to consumer tastes in these regions. These companies have a strong presence in Europe and the Asia Pacific. They also have manufacturing facilities along with strong distribution networks across these regions.