Consumer understand digestive health benefits of probiotics, research shows

High numbers of consumers across the world understand the benefits of probiotics for gut health, new research from Kerry has shown.

GanedenBC30, a probiotic ingredient powered by taste and nutrition company Kerry, surveyed over 11,000 health-conscious consumers in 14 countries. When asked which health benefits they associated with probiotics, they demonstrated particularly high levels of understanding of their importance to gut wellness.

Around 79% of the Americans surveyed perceived probiotics to provide digestive health benefits. In the UK, 72% of consumers who were aware of cultures – a term sometimes used to describe probiotics – were able to correctly identify their benefits for digestive health.

Furthermore, the research also provided insight into use of products containing probiotics. Around 49% of the Chinese respondents, and 33% of the Americans had used products containing probiotics over the past six months.

John Quilter, vice-president and General Manager for GanedenBC30, said: “As our research shows, consumers across the world have not only heard of probiotics, but also understand the benefits they provide. Along with the growing preference for functional foods and beverages, this high level of awareness has been a key driver for the phenomenal growth of the digestive health category.”

The survey also revealed high levels of demand for products with digestive health benefits, and not just in traditional categories such as yogurt. 39% of respondents globally said they would be interested in purchasing fruit and vegetable juices if they contained ingredients that promoted digestive health, while 35% would be interested in buying cereals containing ingredients with digestive health benefits.

The emergence of hardy, spore-forming probiotics such as market leader GanedenBC30 can help meet this demand. Because they can survive almost any manufacturing process, they can be incorporated into products in most food and beverage categories.

High numbers of the consumers surveyed said they would purchase products containing GanedenBC30, or switch brands to another product containing it. In China, for example, 95% of consumers would definitely or probably buy a product containing GanedenBC30 and 73% would switch to a different brand if their usual one was not available with GanedenBC30.

Quilter added: “Consumers now like to see probiotics in products beyond the refrigerator aisle. GanedenBC30 can survive most processing conditions, including extremes of pH, heat, cold and pressure. This makes it a perfect fit for addition to most everyday food and beverages. It’s also supported by more than 25 published papers demonstrating its benefits, which is a huge advantage in a market where consumers are often skeptical about the claims made for functional products.”