The global perception toward daily food products is shifting from products providing basic nutrition to those offering several health benefits, such as functional foods. Today, a wide range of functional foods have been developed, including probiotics, prebiotics, and symbiotic foods. These products have changed the approach of various food processors from considering food only as a source of energy and nutrition to biologically active food components that confer benefits on human health. Functional foods are gaining popularity for their prevention and curing effects beyond their nutritional value. The global probiotics market is witnessing the development of a wide range of applications of probiotics, such as fortifying these ingredients in food & beverage products.
Probiotic functional foods have shown positive effects on overall human health. Probiotic foods & beverages can be broadly classified as probiotic dairy products (cheese, yogurts, and milk) and probiotic non-dairy products (juices, kombucha, bakery, meat, and baby food). The market for probiotic dairy products has been increasing gradually over the past decade, with the growing demand for yogurt across the globe. Various probiotic products are classified on the basis of bacterial strains used, such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Probiotics are prominently present in the form of bacteria in most dairy products, such as ice creams and cheese, which help in improving gut health.
High consumer demand for scientifically proven health foods and dietary supplements, particularly in developed economies, poses opportunities for probiotic manufacturers. Companies such as ADM (US), DuPont (US), Nestle (Switzerland), Probi AB (Sweden), and Danone (France) are the major market players. The global probiotic market is projected to be valued at USD 85.4 billion by 2027. The Asia Pacific market is projected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period.
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Key Drivers Impact the Growth
Health Benefits associated with probiotic-fortified foods – Probiotics are found in supplement form or as components of foods & beverages. Its integration with inexpensive health foods, such as yogurt, fruit juices, and cultured dairy drinks, has contributed to significant market size. The most commonly used probiotic bacterial strains include Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli, which are found in various dairy products, including yogurt. In the dairy category, yogurt is the most popular option for the consumption of probiotics.
Increasing popularity of probiotic dietary supplements –Dietary supplements include tablets, capsules, powders, liquids, and pills, which are convenient forms of consuming the daily nutritive requirements of the body. Probiotic dietary supplements are not as popular as probiotic foods, especially in the Asia Pacific, but have started gaining popularity over the past few years. North America is a huge market for probiotic dietary supplements due to the natural predisposition of consumers to take supplements. Compared to European countries, people in the US are more willing to consume oral supplements. In the US, the FDA does not require pre-market approval of the health claims made by the manufacturers of probiotic dietary supplements, which allows them to launch innovative products to cater to the increasing demand.
Probiotic Products Restraints and Challenges
High R&D cost for developing new probiotic strains – Substantial investments in R&D activities, as well as investments in laboratories, research equipment, and the high cost of hiring trained professionals, create barriers to the development of the probiotics market. The scientific validation related to the usage of probiotics in their applications has become a success in this market. Probiotics applications are linked with health benefits, which makes it challenging for manufacturers to get an adequate RoI on high initial investments.
Complexities in integrating probiotics in functional foods – The development and commercial aspects of functional food products are rather complex, expensive, and uncertain. The factors behind the success of functional food product development are consumer demand, technological conditions, as well as legislative and regulatory background. However, consumers’ knowledge of the health effects of specific ingredients can affect the acceptance of specific functional foods. Common functional ingredients, such as minerals, fiber, and vitamins, are preferred over new and improved products, such as foods enriched with probiotics, prebiotics, flavonoids, carotenoids, and conjugated linolenic acid.
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