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How Does Interest in the Microbiome Translate into Demand for Digestive and Immune Health Products?

An ever-expanding expanding body of research is revealing the role of the microbiome in supporting digestive and immune health. Because our “gut brain” influences both digestive and immune health, certain probiotic stains may also have a positive effect on both healthy digestive and immune function, helping to support overall wellness. As awareness of the value of maintaining a healthy microbiome has grown, so has public interest and demand for research supported probiotic ingredients that simplify choice and help manufacturers provide products with the benefits consumers seek.

In this guide, we explore:

  • Why research supported probiotic ingredients hold the key to successful formulation
  • Trending research in probiotic ingredients
  • Opportunities for probiotic formulations for digestive health
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Learn how formulating with research supported probiotic ingredients can help meet consumer demand.

Interest in the Gut Microbiome Drives Demand for Digestive Health Products

In 2019, Kerry, the makers of BC3o™, surveyed over 11,000 health-conscious consumers in 14 countries. In just one example of this level of awareness, around eight in ten Americans perceived that research supported probiotic ingredients provide digestive health benefits.

What’s more, it’s been suggested that the future of this trend might lie in understanding the two-way relationship between the gut microbiota and what we consume. Understanding the importance of the microbiome has been identified as one of the top trends in health and nutrition for 2020.

Research into the gut microbiome and its connection to overall health is one of the most challenging, but exciting, aspects of digestive wellness.

~ Maria Marco, PhD, Professor of Food Science and Technology, University of California-Davis and Scientific Advisor to the Kerry Health and Nutrition Institute

What's the Future of Gut Health?

Digestive Health Linked to Immune Health

Similarly, it’s been suggested that focus on the gut microbiome is a growing trend in research supported probiotic ingredients as it relates to the future of immune health products. Because digestive health is linked to immune health, consumer interest is translating into proactive behaviors around the world.

How is Consumer Purchase Behavior Shifiting?

Demand for More Information

Consumers often report that they are confused about the health claims made by brands, and there is evidence that the desire for greater clarity is increasing due to recent global events.

Since the pandemic, nearly two thirds of consumers (64%) say they will now pay more attention to nutritional benefit claims.

Consumers in these regions also seek more information on claims:

  • Africa/Middle East: 51%
  • APAC: 49%
  • Europe: 48%
  • North America: 53%
  • South America: 65%
Discover trends driving interest in research supported probiotic ingredients.
How Can Manufacturers Create the Products that Meet Consumers’ Health Needs?

Research is the Most Important Ingredient

For consumers, choosing the right probiotic food or beverage can be daunting, but the availability of information on a product has been shown to be key in making purchasing decisions.

In fact, the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAAP) has emphasized the importance of high-quality research to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of probiotics, including an assessment of all the available data, including the results of well-conducted clinical trials, indicates that commonly used probiotics have a strong safety record.

Help Consumers do Their Homework

While experts are clear on the potential of probiotics, they also say that many products on the market don’t live up to the hype. ISAAP, for example, has warned that consumers do not fully understand the important distinctions between different strains.

Again, the answer is high-quality research and consumer education, which manufacturers can provide by clearly communicating the  strain-specific benefits of research supported probiotic ingredients as well as inclusion levels. Scientific substantiation helps manufacturers and consumers alike understand the value of research-supported ingredients and make choices that support health.

The Probiotic Solution

Consumers understand that probiotics can help keep their systems running smoothly and manufacturers are incorporating them into a growing range of everyday foods and beverages.

But not all probiotics are created equal. Strain differentiation is not just important; it’s vital, because the benefits of a probiotic depend on it.

BC30™ (Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086) is a patented probiotic that makes it easy for consumers to do their homework. It is supported by over 25 published, clinical, pre-clinical and biomarker research papers showing that it offers a range of benefits for both digestive and immune health.

What Type of Products Can be Formulated With Research Supported Probiotic Ingredients?

Formulation Disruption

BC30 can help manufacturers formulate food and beverage products that help maintain digestive- and immune-health benefits from production to consumption, even in harsh environments like the gut microbiome.


Garden of Flavor®, part of an emerging category of  juices with probiotic benefits supported by research, created its Appleade with the addition of BC30. Because BC30 is a hardy, spore-forming probiotic, it can survive processes like HPP and ensure the delivery of the right quantities of probiotics to confer benefits.



Fruit Snacks

Year-on-year growth of launches  of fruit snacks formulated with research supported probiotic ingredients that provide both digestive and immune health benefits is at a staggering 57%. Factors driving this growth include the demand for “portable nutrition” like Mariani’s® Probiotic Prunes formulated with BC30. BC30’s shelf stability helps functional fruit snacks maintain their benefits over the life of the product.



Probiotic Tea

Year-over-year growth of launches of hot teas with both digestive and immune health claims is currently 38%. Recent examples of launches include Vahdam® Teas India’s Digestion Superfoods Elixir, a tea with the research supported probiotic ingredient BC30, turmeric, ginger, and other botanicals.




Download the white paper to learn more about the importance of research supported probiotics.

The Research is in: BC30™ Provides Health Benefits Consumers Want

While it’s true that the future may be uncertain, taking steps to protect overall health is always a good bet. And as the link between digestive health and immunity becomes increasingly clear, the gut microbiome is a likely path to general well-being. Probiotics are leading the way by helping to support gut health.

When it comes to probiotic choice, characteristics like hardiness and stability, as well as research support make BC30 a great option for manufacturers to offer the benefits of probiotics in everyday foods and beverages. Choosing products formulated with BC30 means consumers can be confident they are selecting products with scientifically substantiated benefits.

Kerry Proprietary Research, 2019
Kerry Health and Nutrition Institute; “Ten Key Health and Nutrition Trends of This Year”
Kerry Health and Nutrition Institute, “Immunity Ingredients at a Glance: Probiotics”

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