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The global probiotics market has been forecast to hit a value of US$39.6 billion by 2018, with the industry primarily driven by increasing applications of probiotics in new areas, and heightened awareness among consumers.
Probiotic organisms are live microorganisms proposed to be beneficial to the host organism. Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and bifid bacteria are the most common types of microbes used as probiotics; but certain yeasts and bacilli may also be used. Probiotics are commonly consumed as part of fermented foods with specially added active live cultures, such as in yogurt, soy yogurt, or as dietary supplements.
There are very few people who have not heard about the new health miracles called probiotics. They claim to help with health problems, ranging from constipation to diarrhoea, and prevent colds or fight them once you already have one. Probiotics are showing up in foods, beverages, and supplements.
It has been suggested that probiotics be used to treat problems in the stomach and intestines. But only certain types of bacteria or yeast (called strains) have been shown to work in the digestive tract. It still needs to be proved which probiotics (alone or in combination) work to treat diseases. At this point, even the strains of probiotics that have been proved to work for a specific disease are not widely available.
Probiotic foods account for the largest share (90.1%) of total sales. It was $19.6 billion in 2010 and is expected to reach $28.1 billion by 2015, with a CAGR of 7.5%. Probiotic supplements account for the second largest share (6.4%) of total sales. It was $1.3 billion in 2010 and is expected to reach $2.07 billion by 2015, at a CAGR of 9.6%.
In the field of probiotics, North America has tremendous growth potential because of consumers' natural predisposition to taking supplements and consuming dairy products. Additionally, the increasing concern of consumers on preventive health care is driving market growth. In the United States alone, around 70 million adults suffer from digestive problems caused by poor consumption habits, high usage of additives for processing of food, and a high rate of antibiotic intake.
Another key market trend is that probiotics are increasingly being positioned as a means to help address specific conditions such as allergies, travellers' diarrhoea and nosocomial infections in children.
In North America, the probiotics market for human nutrition has revenues of US$1.3 billion, with about 150 companies operating in this market. Nonetheless, it is consolidated with the combined revenues of the top three companies, Chr. Hansen, Danisco and Lallemand, which make up 70 percent of the total probiotic cultures market. Lallemand is a specialist in dietary supplements and both Chr. Hansen and Danisco focus on food and dietary supplements.
For more information on the probiotics market, see the latest research: Probiotics Market
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