Probiotic supplements on rise in global €40bn market

Probiotic supplement growth is outstripping glucosamine, multivitamins, calcium, omega-3s, CoQ10 and protein. ©iStock/kzenon

Latest data from Euromonitor International shows the global probiotics market is worth about €40bn, yoghurt continues to be the dominant mode of delivery although probiotic supplements are growing fastest.

Yoghurts account for 76% of probiotic sales, fermented milk products  14% and probiotic supplements 10%, said head of health and wellness at Euromonitor, Ewa Hudson.

The €4bn global probiotic food supplement segment would notch 9% growth this year, and 38% growth between now and 2021.

Not only that, probiotic supplement growth would outstrip all other food supplement categories including glucosamine, multivitamins, calcium, omega-3s, CoQ10 and protein.

North America remains the biggest market where ‘warehouse clubs’ are a rising sales channel. In North America supplements account for a bigger slice of the pie at 31%, with 8% in fermented milks and 61% in yoghurts.

In eastern Europe fermented probiotic milks like kefir are popular and so account for 61% of a €3.3bn total market. Yoghurt only accounts for 28% of the market there; food supplements 11%.

In the Middle East and Africa fermented milks are also popular, making up 56% of a €2.2bn market with 42% being yoghurt products and just 2% in supplements.

In the European Union Hudson observed an opportunity for probiotic supplement makers in an environment where probiotic foods like yoghurts have had their immunity and gut health claims prohibited under a strict set of EU regulations. Hudson noted prohibited terms in the EU like 'prebiotics' and 'probiotics' were returning to product labels.

Italy was by far the biggest European market for probiotic supplements at about €500m, followed by Russia (€177m), France (€104m), Poland (€72m) and Germany (€64m).

The US registers the world's greatest absolute growth.


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