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Consumers Understand Digestive Health Benefits of Probiotics, Research Shows

woman drinking juice reading newspaper at breakfast

High numbers of consumers across the world understand the benefits of probiotics for gut health, a new proprietary study from Kerry has shown.

BC30™, a leading research supported probiotic ingredient powered by taste and nutrition company Kerry, surveyed over 11,000 health-conscious consumers in 14 countries. When asked which health benefits they associated with probiotics, they demonstrated particularly high levels of understanding of their importance to gut wellness.

Around eight in ten (79%) of the Americans surveyed perceived probiotics to provide digestive health benefits. In the UK, 72% of consumers who were aware of cultures – a term sometimes used to describe probiotics – were able to correctly identify their benefits for digestive health.

Furthermore, the research also provided insight into use of products containing probiotics. Around (49%) of the Chinese respondents, and a third (33%) of the Americans had used products containing probiotics over the past six months.

John Quilter, VP & General Manager for BC30, said: “As our research shows, consumers across the world have not only heard of probiotics, but also understand the benefits they provide. Along with the growing preference for functional foods and beverages, this high level of awareness has been a key driver for the phenomenal growth of the digestive health category.”

The survey also reveals high levels of demand for products with digestive health benefits, and not just in traditional categories such as yogurt. Four in ten (39%) of respondents globally said they would be interested in purchasing fruit and vegetable juices if they contained ingredients that promoted digestive health. More than a third (35%) would be interested in buying cereals containing ingredients with digestive health benefits.

The emergence of hardy, spore-forming probiotics such as market leader BC30 can help meet this demand. Because they can survive almost any manufacturing process, they can be incorporated into products in most food and beverage categories.

High numbers of the consumers surveyed said they would purchase products containing BC30, or switch brands to another product containing it. In China, for example, 95% of consumers would definitely or probably buy a product containing BC30 and 73% would switch to a different brand if their usual one was not available with BC30.

John Quilter added: “Consumers now like to see probiotics in products beyond the refrigerator aisle. BC30 can survive most processing conditions, including extremes of pH, heat, cold and pressure. This makes it a perfect fit for addition to most everyday food and beverages. It’s also supported by more than 25 published papers demonstrating its benefits, which is a huge advantage in a market where consumers are often skeptical about the claims made for functional products.”

Findings from this proprietary consumer survey are available in the new report, ‘Inside Story: Why Demand for Digestive Health keeps growing’. Download it here.