Beloit, WI—Demand for probiotics is growing along with increased interest in digestive health, according to a survey from Kerry.

The survey was given to 13,072 people globally. All respondents had responsibility for grocery purchasing decisions. Some findings:
  • Consumers ranked digestive health third on their list of reasons to purchase healthy lifestyle products, up from fourth in 2019, when the last survey was conducted. 38% had used some form of digestive health product over the past six months—a significant number, given that 39% had used an immune health product in the past six months.
  • Globally, 47% of consumers were aware of probiotics, significantly more than the 42% who were aware in 2019. Awareness was particularly high in Latin America (63%) and North America (61%).
  • 25% of respondents had used a product containing probiotics over the past six months, up from 21% in 2019. A further 44% would consider doing so, up from 40% in 2019. Usage was particularly high in China, where 49% of respondents had used a product containing probiotics in the past six months, followed by Mexico (42%).
Breakfast foods and beverages were most closely associated with digestive health. Specifically, respondents associated digestive health with:
  • Yogurt (40%)
  • Fruit and vegetable juices (31%)
  • Dairy-based drinks (31%)
  • Breakfast cereal/granola (28%)

Related: Consumer Research Points to Immune-Boosting Functional Food Opportunities Survey Reveals Functional Food Preferences 49% of Consumers Consider Sustainability When Purchasing Food, Beverages

John Quilter, Kerry VP of Global Portfolio – ProActive Health, said in the press release: “A range of factors have driven the continuing growth in demand for gut health solutions generally, and for probiotics in particular. Demographic changes such as population aging and lifestyle choices have increased the prevalence of digestive disorders, while the pandemic has accelerated the shift towards more proactive approaches to health. As a result, consumers want to see functional ingredients in their favorite food and beverage products, and they’re increasingly well educated about the role of probiotics and their ability to support both digestive health and overall wellness. Manufacturers who formulate functional foods and beverages using science-backed probiotic strains can therefore meet a range of market needs.”

Kerry is the maker of BC30, a branded, science-backedBacillus coagulansspore-forming probiotic that can be used in functional food and beverages to support digestive and immune health, as well as protein absorption. The survey showed respondents the BC30 and an image of products in which it can be found. When asked which benefits they perceived BC30 to deliver, 45% chose digestive health and 45% chose immune support.