Prebiotics, probiotics and now postbiotics! Many notions that are now coexisting on the biotics market, which is becoming more and more complex as we speak. In order to give you some perspectives and make it clearer, LBiome™’s team decodes how the biotics market currently is and how it will be tomorrow.
How is the biotics market structured today?
As a quick reminder, here are the official definitions for prebiotics, probiotics (from WHO), and postbiotics (according to the ISAPP):
- Prebiotics: a substrate that is selectively utilized by host microorganisms conferring a health benefit.
- Probiotics: live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.
- Postbiotics: a preparation of inanimate microorganisms and/or their components that confers a health benefit on the host.
Biotics market structure
The biotics market is still shaping today! Indeed, if the definition for probiotics is now clear for consumers, the definition for pre and postbiotics still have a way to go. As an example, for prebiotics: the notion of fiber is well-known and positively linked to transit. Nevertheless, the notion of “nourishing” microbiota is still needed to be worked to be clear for consumers. We could even argue that consumers don’t know that fibers are prebiotics.
As for postbiotics, an official definition has been cleared by ISAPP in 2021. It just became clearer for the professional of the sector. Then, consumers are still far to know the definition and concept of postbiotics, even if we see the term popping in some medias. Moreover, we only see a few products on the market for now. However, some actions are taken to make the knowledge grow. This is the case with the website About Postbiotics, dedicated to communicate and educate the consumers about postbiotics.
What will structure the biotics market in 5 years?
The first point to have in mind is the regulation framework. Today, the term “probiotics” isn’t authorized in some countries. This regulation framework is expected to change and evolve very soon, in a positive way. Then, we also might see an evolution around the claims authorized for probiotics. In those countries, the market relies on:
- Consumers knowledge
- Association of ingredients to position the products on certain health benefits
With claims on immunity and digestion for biotics, especially in Europe, the market is expected to grow. As for the postbiotic part, the same questions are asked: what claim? How to communicate? The regulatory framework will be essential to make the market go big or not. The first step, of course, will be for authorities, like FDA and EFSA, to work on an official definition of postbiotics. In our opinion, the ISAPP definition could be part of the decision process. The second step will be for each product to have clinical evidence of health benefits to get claims.
Research around biotics is a main subject for market evolution. Indeed, we have already seen for decades now, growing research and discoveries around microbiota in general. The main example remains probiotics. Indeed, the health spheres are still evolving, from classic to more original ones. At first, the market and research were focused on digestive, immune and vaginal spheres. Today, we see more and more solutions on new health spheres: cognition, skin, but also metabolism, to cite only a few. We can forecast a similar approach for postbiotics. Indeed, today, the spheres are classic. But tomorrow, the research might also evolve toward new spheres.
To go further, we can mention Live Biotherapeutic Products (LBP). Indeed, those microbiome-based therapeutics will be more common and developed in the future. NLBP, or Non Live Biotherapeutic Products, will also emerge.
Finally, for the prebiotics, we already see and forecast new categories emerging on the market. Going further than the classic fibers, FOS, GOS… Research is ongoing and promising about polyphenols as prebiotics, or Human Milk Oligosaccharides.
Product development is also an essential criterion that will structure biotics market in 5 years. First, the stability of the products and the shelf life are criteria that become more important on the market in general. Indeed, manufacturers need products that last longer, with stable ingredients for the manufacturing process and transportation. This is where postbiotics show a strong advantage, as they are inactivated and therefore stable ingredients.
Secondly, products need to be safe, for every target. Safety is one of the advantages put forward for the postbiotics category. Indeed, there is no risk of translocation from gut lumen to blood, especially in vulnerable subjects. Moreover, there are no risks of acquisition and retransfer of antibiotic resistance genes.
Finally, at the heart of product development are the ingredients combination. Today, we see many synbiotic formulations on the market with prebiotics and probiotics. Tomorrow, we might see a new category of products developing in the market with prebiotics and postbiotics?
What about LBiome™ in the biotics market?
As we talk about the future of biotics market, we can’t exclude LBiome™. We foresee LBiome™ to be included in a diversity of finished products, due to its versatility. Supplements, of course, but also functional foods, functional drinks, both for human or pet markets.
Finally, LBiome™ has the ability to be complexed with other ingredients. Indeed, complex use in formulas is a strong trend in the nutraceutical market and won’t stop tomorrow. The “phytobiotic” solutions have a bright future ahead of them.
Are you interested to include LBiome™ in your future product developments? Do you want to shape the future of biotics market? Contact us.
 International Scientific Association for Prebiotics and Probiotics