Research brief: Consumers' demand for products with prebiotics to surge

Use of prebiotics in yogurt, beverages, and bakery items is expected to increase, according to Frost & Sullivan.
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Frost & Sullivan's recent analysis reveals that the global prebiotic ingredients market for human nutrition is projected to reach $2,596.5 million in 2026, up from $1,824.6 million in 2020 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.1%.

Increasing awareness of immune and digestive health among consumers, novel sources competing with conventional prebiotic ingredients, the demand for fortified foods and beverages, and dietary supplements are driving demand.

Asia-Pacific (APAC) will continue to be the biggest market for prebiotic ingredients (fibre intake in the region is generally high compared to other regions), however North AmericaEurope, and Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa (LAMEA) will occupy the second, third, and fourth places, respectively, over the forecast period.

According to a release: "The share of consumers globally associating prebiotics with immune and digestive health is increasing and expected to drive demand."

"There is a rising demand from the millennial and Gen Z populations for functional beverages—from enhanced water to nutrient-enriched juices and other beverages," said Smriti Sharma, chemicals, materials and nutrition senior industry analyst at Frost & Sullivan. "Creating functional beverages with benefits that resonate with consumer interests is a challenge, and ingredient manufacturers are striving to achieve it. With increasing preference for spoonable and drinkable yogurt among consumers, the demand for inulin and FOS is expected to increase."

Sharma added: "The shift in consumer demand is driving product formulators and ingredient manufacturers to rethink product-differentiating strategies with supportive scientific claims and evidence. Furthermore, ongoing deep research and understanding of gut health in stress signalling, inflammation mitigation, and satiety have encouraged ingredient manufacturers to explore novel prebiotic ingredients, and this is expected to result in rapid development in the future."

The need for balanced nutrition with a smart choice of nutrients that sustainably support inner defenses will drive the demand for health ingredients in the next four to five years. This presents lucrative growth prospects for market participants, including:

  • Increasing consumer awareness supported by clinical evidence on prebiotic benefits will augment ingredient growth: It is important that all stakeholders, i.e., manufacturers, regulators, and scientists, collaborate to develop effective and evidence-supported prebiotic ingredients capable of speedy approval.
  • Finding novel sources of prebiotic ingredients is necessary and has future growth potential: With novel ingredients witnessing an uptick in the prebiotics market, it is important that these ingredients are proven to be beneficial to gut health and have superior biological effects.
  • Need for low-calorie and sugar-reducing solutions will boost prebiotic ingredients: With the growing need for low-calorie solutions, prebiotic ingredient manufacturers must partner with product formulators to showcase the capability of prebiotics as an effective sugar alternative.
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