The popularity of probiotics in Asia 2021

yogurt with mixed berries on the table

Consumers across the globe are becoming more conscious about their health more than ever before, as they look to seek out new products which can offer convenience and a nutritional boost. This desire has led to the probiotic market witnessing considerable growth over the last couple of decades, and can be attributed to consumers taking a more proactive approach to addressing their immune and digestive health. So how are consumers in Asia-Pacific changing, and what probiotic products are they looking for in 2021?

Overall health has become the key concern for consumers in This behavioural trait has been significantly influenced by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic across the globe. However, FMCG Gurus research found that 22% of consumers in Asia-Pacific feel that their health has deteriorated over the last two year. This is a factor which can be attributed to an aging society, as well as lifestyle and dietary issues. This, in turn, creates an opportunity for probiotic products which can offer a health and nutritional boost
to consumers.

Across Asia-Pacific, 60% of consumers stated they have purchased probiotic products in the last 12 months, a 5% increase from 2018. This reflects how consumers are taking a more proactive approach to health maintenance, and are actively researching and seeking out products and ingredients that improve health.

But what products are consumers most likely to turn to?
When seeking out probiotic products, consumers are more likely to turn to food and drink form over a nutritional supplement. Specifically, 75% of consumers who purchased both forms prefer them in either in the form of food or drink, and associate them with being tastier and more convenient.

Therefore, it is important to understand that irrespective of health concerns, consumers will always prioritise sensory appeal when choosing products. When it comes to probiotic products, in Asia, consumers are mostly likely to purchase this in the form of a yoghurt or yoghurt drink.

FMCG Gurus consumer insights revealed that 57% have purchased probiotic yoghurt over the past 12 months, and 51% purchased yoghurt drinks over the same period. Yoghurts are often considered a better-for-you snack option; this is due to a growing number of brands within the sector increasing the use of probiotic claims on packaging.

Although consumers are proactively seeking health improving products to enhance their immune systems and digest health issues, sensory appeal is still a major factor. Many consumers will have the best intentions of incorporating better-for-you products into their diets but will find it difficult to maintain this in the long term.

One of the reasons for this is that better-for-you offerings can often be associated with inferior taste. This can be especially challenging in an industry where products are actively positioned around bacteria content.

Chocolate (97%), vanilla (91%), and orange (90%) are the top three flavours consumers find appealing when buying probiotic products. It is important that the probiotic industry launches products in an array of new, novel, and indulgent flavours that can offer consumers an enjoyable consumption occasion.

This article is provided by FMCG Gurus, and is based on FMCG Gurus: Probiotics in 2021 – Global report.