Probiotics offer benefits beyond gut health 

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Brands are incorporating probiotics into a wide range of food products given their incredible benefits beyond just gut health, according to market intelligence company Mintel.

“Focus on probiotics for nutrient absorption and bone health…Consider probiotics for ensuring a healthy liver and heart,” Mintel said in a report published by the Department of Trade and Industry-Export Marketing Bureau.

This, as consumers seek to achieve good joint and bone health and improve their heart health.

The report cited that 29 percent of Polish functional food and drink buyers purchase functional/fortified food and drinks to strengthen bones.

It said 24 percent of consumers in China believe that probiotics help to manage blood lipids.  

Mintel said brands can also explore the potential for probiotics that alleviate stress and anxiety and improve sleep.

“Consumers link stress and anxiety with poor sleep and look for solutions via their diets,” it said.

The report said 40 percent of Vietnamese consumers would ideally like their diet to help them to sleep better; while 65 percent of German consumers agree following a healthy diet can improve mental wellbeing.

Mintel said digestive health is the most widely claimed health benefit in launches with probiotic ingredients.

In the last five years, 22 percent of global food and drink launches that contain probiotic ingredients feature a digestive health claim, it said.

The report said patents related to the use of probiotics in food and drink continue to grow.

“China and South Korea have the majority of probiotic-related patent grants,” it said. “Gut health is the most widely explored health benefit in probiotic-related patents.”

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