The Growing Probiotic Market in Asia Pacific

granola bar with probiotics

Consumers in Asia want more foods and beverages with functional ingredients


KerryDigest Fast Facts:
  • The probiotic market in Asia is growing.
  • Consumers in the region are on the lookout for products that contain probiotic ingredients, such healthy snacks.
  • Part of this interest is fueled by the association between probiotics and good digestive health.
  • Some probiotic solutions are better than others for formulation into a wide variety of foods and beverages.

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KerryDigest Full Scoop:

The global probiotics market is growing and is estimated to reach $69 billion by 2023, according to the MarketsandMarkets “Probiotics Market Global Forecast to 2023”. Within the report, it’s said that Asia Pacific will account for a projected $31.67 billion USD, or 46% of the global market total. Not surprisingly, the probiotic market in China is, and is anticipated to remain, largest of all: probiotic sales in China are projected to reach $11.36 billion USD by 2023, accounting for 36% of the Asia market and 16% of the global market.

These numbers become even more appealing when you consider that probiotics in foods and beverages account for over 80% of the global probiotic market, and are growing at 6.8% CAGR. (In Asia, foods and beverages with probiotics are projected to grow at 8.4% CAGR overall, and at 8.5% CAGR in China.) What’s driving this growth? Research shows this mounting preference for functional foods and beverages is fueled by a growing demand for products that offer digestive health benefits, and a high level of awareness of the benefits of probiotics. Our APMEA team digs into new research on the region’s interest in probiotics, including the types of products that will win over consumers.

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Health Concerns Fueling the Probiotic Market in Asia
Consumers choose to buy healthy lifestyle products for a number of reasons, but an interest in specific health benefits often plays a role. In the Kerry 2019 global consumer research survey on digestive and immune health, a majority of consumers indicated that digestive health was a personal priority. In fact, “promote good digestive health” was one of the top three reasons people gave for purchasing healthy lifestyle products in the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa (APMEA).

The survey also found that many consumers in the region are proactive about their digestive health, seeking out food and beverage products they believe will improve it. For example, 37% of respondents in Asia said they would be interested in purchasing fruit and vegetable juices if they contained ingredients that promoted digestive health and about one third (32%) would be interested in buying snacks containing ingredients with digestive health benefits. This makes it clear that consumers who are interested in probiotics are seeking them in products outside of staple probiotic product, such as yoghurt.


Addressing Probiotic Product Formulation Challenges
Whether food and beverage companies want to integrate probiotics into beverages or products such as snack foods, the challenge often starts with determining how to best formulate with probiotics. Why? As we wrote in the article “4 Insights to Note Before Entering the Probiotic Market”, amongst probiotics there are important variations in levels of performance in areas such as survivability, health benefit efficacy and formulation flexibility. For example, many probiotic strains are fragile and need to be refrigerated, making it a challenge to offer digestive health benefits in products beyond the dairy aisle and in a region that often has unpredictable refrigeration and cold storage. As manufacturers in APMEA work to fortify foods and beverages with probiotic ingredients, it’s important they closely investigate the functionality of all ingredients being considered, while also testing the types of products consumers are most interested in. Doing so may be key to meeting the rising demand for food and beverages that offer digestive health benefits.

To learn more about the probiotic market and digestive health trends, including how to incorporate a spore-forming probiotic into different product applications, watch our free taste and nutrition webinar, “Extending Probiotics Solutions into Snack and Beverage Categories” which includes information specific to the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa. For more on GanedenBC30 , Kerry’s probiotic ingredient, contact us.

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