In the last couple of decades, consumer trends and behavior have changed drastically. The effect of these changes reflect on the evolving food trends and one of the niche food segments that is gradually gaining recognition is the probiotic food segment. The demand for probiotic foods is on the rise as consumers as well as health professionals are becoming aware of the benefits of probiotic food on human health. Several studies have revealed that probiotic foods have the potential to enhance immunological, digestive, and respiratory functions of the body. In addition, probiotics are likely to shrug off a range of infectious diseases in babies and young children. Consumer awareness regarding probiotics food has surged significantly in the last decade owing to creative and eye-catching advertisements by prominent names in the market. Taking all the aforementioned factors into account, it is safe to assume that the demand for probiotic ingredients is set to witness a substantial growth in the coming years. Some of the most common probiotic ingredients in the current market include, Lactobacilli and Bifidobacterium.

Consumer Awareness – The Key Catalyst Boosting Demand

Probiotics are one of the most sought after products in the digestive health supplements category. The positive effects of ‘good’ bacteria on the overall intestinal health is tipped to be primary factor for its growing popularity especially among the health-conscious millennials. Today’s consumers are not afraid of turning towards new products that are packed with health benefits and add value. Further, growing health awareness among consumers has compelled food manufacturers to offer healthier food alternatives. Several food manufacturers have revealed that consumer awareness on the benefits of probiotic ingredients and consistent demand for the same is playing an important role in shaping the niche segment within the food and beverage sector. Further, as consumer awareness continues to grow, the demand for a range of probiotic ingredients is set to grow in the foreseeable future.

Untapped Opportunities in Sports Nutrition

At present, although probiotics are present in less than 2% sports nutrition products, the market presents promising growth prospects for probiotic products. In the last couple of years, there was considerable development in terms of product innovation. Furthermore, several companies operating in the sports nutrition space are devoting resources to explore the possibilities of probiotic ingredients in their offerings. In the current scenario, the use of probiotic ingredients in sports nutrition products is very limited. Thus, the market presents tremendous scope for probiotics in the sports nutrition segment in the future. Probiotics gained recognition in sports nutrition primarily due to their digestive benefits. However, research has revealed that probiotics could potentially have other benefits such as muscle-building and muscle recovery post-workout among others. Although the onset of probiotics in sports nutrition is at a nascent stage, based on the current developments, it won’t come as a surprise to see a flurry of probiotics in the sports nutrition space. Currently, growing consumer awareness coupled with health benefits from consuming probiotic ingredients have gained significant momentum. Advancement in technology has propelled research and development activities focusing on probiotic ingredients. Probiotics, which initially gained popularity owing to their digestive benefits, are gradually acceptance from the ‘educated’ consumers for other health benefits. Further, the demand for probiotic ingredients is expected to be high from the food and beverage sector owing to the growing demand for ‘healthier’ food products and growing health conscious population.

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