This report examines the market for probiotic foods and beverages by food category and health benefit, outlines the latest scientific research and commercial releases in probiotic ingredients, summarizes key regulatory events in each region, and analyzes the most inspirational product innovations in three major geographies (the US, Europe, and Asia).
In 2015 the US Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee is due to consider including a recommendation to consume probiotics. When a recommendation to increase whole grains consumption was added to the guidelines in 2005, whole grain consumption in the US rose by 20% in just a few years, after remaining flat for the prior 7 years.
In the past two years, some of the most exciting probiotic innovation has been in non-dairy beverages, frozen ice cream-type products, and candy/snack bars. Manufacturers have developed products with high levels of probiotic content (both in variety of bacteria and CFUs) and specific health claims.
Probiotic foods and beverages have already been launched that promise wide-ranging benefits. In some respects, the commercialization of probiotics has outpaced the research. Much more research is still needed to prove which probiotics are truly beneficial for which medical conditions, to prevent consumers from being misled.