Roughly a quarter of US adults specially seek out foods and beverages with high amounts of probiotics or prebiotics. The finding was from a 2017 National Consumer Survey conducted by market research firm Packaged Facts and published in the company’s brand new report Probiotics and Prebiotics: Food and Beverage New Product Trends.
With the increased focus on their potential in recent years, probiotics have emerged as one of the biggest trends today in the food and beverage industry. These products range from the familiar (i.e., yogurt, kefir, kombucha, and infant nutrition) to the cutting edge (probiotics in soda, coffee, tea, soups and even beer). But regardless of their mainstream status or lack thereof, probiotic and prebiotics products are inherently associated with the hottest wellness trends. These products intertwine themselves with a multitude of other superfood trends, nutritional hot topics, and functional areas—ranging from ancient grains to sports nutrition—further splintering the overall probiotic and prebiotic fortification trend.
“Probiotics have emerged as a driving trend in the industry,” says David Sprinkle, research director, Packaged Facts. “And given the core importance of gut health, this suggests continued potential for growth of probiotic- and prebiotic-containing foods, as consumers continue to learn more about them and next-generation products make their case in the market.”
Among probiotic and prebiotics proponents, Millennials ages 18-34 have relatively higher interest in probiotic foods and beverages compared to Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, a revelation keeping with the elevated interest in functional foods generally among Millennials. Acceptable by this young yet influential consumer segment is an important reason why Packaged Facts forecasts continued positive momentum for probiotic and prebiotics products.
Beyond Millennials, Packaged Facts’ survey found that there’s even higher interest in probiotics among those who shop for food in the natural channel, which retains its role as the most significant retail sector for food and nutritional trends.