Why is the digestive health market so successful?

digestive health market

Probiotics, live microorganisms used in digestive health products with a range of verifiable health benefits, are a leading ingredient in the dietary supplement market. Indeed, the global probiotics supplement market is estimated to close out 2022 at US$ 8.2 billion.[1] The digestive health market is a key segment in the food supplement market.

But what are the reasons for this success?

A favorable context for the growth of the digestive health market

The current value of the global digestive health products market is estimated to be US$40billion.[2] The current growth in awareness of digestive disorders explains this market dynamic, with some 24% of US consumers declaring their digestive health as their top priority.[3]

Moreover, diseases associated with digestion are increasingly known and investigated. For 75% of US consumers, digestive health is an important issue. Some 3 million people in the US[4] and 3 million people in Europe suffer from IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease), with 10 million in total around the world.[5] Another major digestive health condition, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), which is less severe than IBD but has a strong impact on quality of life, affects 10 to 15% of the global population.[6] It is therefore a key public health issue.

The hyper-segmentation of the digestive health market offers many opportunities for innovation around different promises such as liver health, bloating or heartburn.

Knowledge about microbiota has contributed to the success of the digestive health market

In the scientific community, there has been a significant growth of research into microbiota, and many advances have been made since the 1990s. At this time, the microbiota was characterized in humans. In the early 2000s, researchers made the link between the microbiota and health issues such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease.[7]

Since the Covid-19 pandemic, it is clearly evident that consumers are becoming more and more informed on many topics related to their health. The infinitely small has become a greater source of concern, particularly the intestinal microbiota. Consumers are thus increasingly interested in more technical promises.

In parallel, the biotics market is becoming more structured. The period 2010 – 2020 witnessed the expansion of probiotics. Today, postbiotics are increasingly in the spotlight. For example, in 2021, ISAPP (International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics) finally published a consensus on the definition of postbiotics, opening up exciting new opportunities for research and product development.

As a result, there is a growing interest among scientists as well as consumers in the promises around digestion. To encourage a wider understanding and awareness of postbiotics, it is also necessary to explain and promote their benefits. With this in mind we have created the website « About postbiotics », which is intended to educate both the general public and health professionals.

Ingredients whose effectiveness has been scientifically proven

Nowadays, scientific evidence is now considered paramount in the food supplement market.

The subject of biotics is consistently trending on the digestive health market.

Let’s take the example of our LBiome™ postbiotic ingredient. It contains Lactobacillus LB, a unique and pioneering ingredient. Its effects on digestive health have been studied for more than 100 years. To date, there are nearly 50 studies on humans, animals, and cultured cells demonstrating its effectiveness.

Certain plants are also a good opportunity in formulations for the digestive health market. This is particularly the case for artichoke and fennel in treating digestive disorders and lemon balm to facilitate digestion. Their beneficial effect on digestive health is scientifically recognized.

Moreover, a combination of biotics and plant-based ingredients is also an interesting solution which could provide a good product efficacy. There are thus many possibilities for innovation to deliver on the different promises around digestion.

The increased public awareness of digestive disorders and the intestinal microbiota explain the success of the digestive health market. The relatively recent success of ingredients such as postbiotics ensures a bright future for this promise in the food supplement market.

[1] NutraIngredients, IPA Chief: Global probiotics supplement market estimated to hit US$8.2 billion, 2022.

[2] Grand View Research, 2023

[3] IFIC survey, 2022

[4] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2015.

[5] Association AFA, MICI c’est quoi ?

[6] Lovell RM, Ford AC. Global prevalence of and risk factors for irritable bowel syndrome: a meta-analysis. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. Juillet 2012

[7] Inrae, Ressources, April 2022

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