Buoyed by continued strong consumer demand and growing scientific support for probiotics' various purported health benefits, the probiotics market reached nearly $23.1 bn in 2012, BCC found.
These numbers fall in line with 2013 data from Global Industry Analysis, which put the market at $2.79 bn in 2011 and forecasted 6.8% CAGR to reach $44.9 bn by 2018.
As commercially significant probiotic strains are typically owned by major suppliers and thus proprietary, BCC (which presents market data at genus-level) was unable to determine which specific strains dominate the market. “Unfortunately, there is no credible basis for developing such micro market data on a global scale,” market research analyst Rachel Agheyisi told NutraIngredients-USA.
Historically, species and strains of the Lactobacillus genus have dominated, given their ability to withstand processing, she noted. “Lately, species and strains from the Bacillus genus are gaining attention, particularly for their hardiness,” Agheyisi said. “In addition to their functional properties, some of these species have GRAS status, which has facilitated their applications in many products, including foods and non-alcoholic beverages intended for humans and feed supplements for pets and farm animals.”
Indeed, the growing body of scientific support for a range of probiotic claims means the L genus will likely continue to rule the market.
“Many of these species and strains (for example, LGG, L. casei, L. helveticus, L. plantarum, L. reuteri, etc.) have extensive research, clinical studies, and documentation that support their probiotic claims,” she said. “They are used in various supplements, which underscore their antiviral, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and immune-boosting properties. Judging by various ongoing studies and recent patent awards, the L genus will continue to dominate the market—in terms of number of isolated strains and their applications—in the foreseeable future.”
Companies like Ganeden Biotech, which owns GanedenBC30 – a strain of B coagulans species, are optimistic of the potential of this genus to extend the boundaries of applications of probiotics “well beyond dairy into the area of beverages, topical applications, skin care, and direct fed microbials,” she added. “Additionally, oral health is seen as an area with significant growth potential in the market.”