New use, new opportunity: Mood support that starts in the gut

This content item was originally published on, a William Reed online publication.

By Danielle Masterson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Probiota americas Probiotics mood support psychobiotics

As consumers get more comfortable with probiotics for gut health, “probiotics plus” is emerging as a key motif. The idea of probiotics for mood support, or psychobiotics, is picking up steam as growing research shows the digestive aids hold promise for emotional wellness too.

Speaking at Probiota Americas​, Scott Dicker, Market Insights Director, SPINS, delved into market-wide data to identify emerging trends, noting that brain health is top of mind for consumers.

“The amount of studies being done on non-GI issues in probiotics is really leading the way towards other interesting products. Based on some of these findings, we know that brain health is really, really on people's minds, like to the rise of nootropics, adaptogens, mushrooms, all this brain health support. And so if they're being studied for the microbiome, it's no surprise that a lot of the products are starting to market themselves–including pre and probiotics–for brain health. And so as a lot of these combination products hit the market, you're seeing more consumers turn to them for all different types of health focuses beyond just GI function,” Dicker said.

While the pandemic no doubt contributed to the rise of mood support, Dicker said it also made consumers more comfortable with taking many of the now popular ingredients we see on shelves today.

“We saw a lot of people being introduced to supplements for the first time and when you have ingredients that have been around for a while, they're comfortable. A lot of times, it's easier to find a new use for a known ingredient, than a new ingredient for a new use. And so there's opportunity in a lot of these different health focuses,” said Dicker. “Mood we mentioned, brain also, things like feminine care where it goes beyond some of the traditional uses and can be found in different aisles or different keywords when we're searching online for them and really giving it a new opportunity for these pre and probiotics.”

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