Ewa Hudson, head of market insights at Lumina Intelligence, provided delegates with new insight into the popularity of the different categories of probiotics, based on online reviews.
She revealed that probiotics gained a sizeable 11.5 million customer reviews in 2018 driven by China, South Korea and the US and probiotic supplements achieved a higher engagement rate than other probiotic sub-categories such as skin care, juices and Kombucha.
The research showed that probiotics targeted towards men’s health generated lower engagement than those targeting women and, in China, there was a considerable 580% growth in new reviews for probiotics targeting women.
She suggested therefore that industry players may wish to look for opportunities within women's health adding that IBS is alargely untapped subcategory in women's health.
Hudson added: "There are 144-580 million potential sufferers of IBS and 70% of those who report IBS are female (Official Statistics, United Nations) yet Lumina data captured only one product targeting women with IBS compared to 39 products targeting IBS for the general public. There’s a clear gap in the market there.”
Whilst she pointed to IBS in women's health as an untapped opportunity, she also pointed out that probiotics for children are proving to be a highly engaging area of the market.
“Across 19 countries captured by Lumina, probiotics for children generate more consumer engagement than any other life stage probiotic."
She added that the area of infant health that received the highest customer reviews were those addressing allergies, constipation, eczema and colic.
Considering the lower engagement in men's health probiotics, Hudson suggested that probiotics targeted towards men may fit better when sold within sports nutrition as this is often men's route to taking supplements.
Lumina has recently published a report showing the immense opportunity for probiotics within Sports Nutrition.
The report suggests that probiotics should be added to sports nutrition products in order to add the health claims of: immunity, digestibility, muscle recovery, mental health and wellbeing.