'Sexy' probiotics will bring men to the market

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Related tags: Probiotic

Men are the next key target area for the growing probiotic market, says a new report, but they won’t be turned on by the same health messages as women.

Packaged Facts’ report, Boosting Immunity Through Digestion​, suggests that manufacturers should aim to “masculinize”​ products to take advantage of the enormous opportunity. “The key to appealing to the male consumer is to make a product 'sexy' somehow,”​ it says. “Good for digestive health” is not an appealing marketing tool to many men.”

The report suggests that a probiotic product targeted at improving oral health could be marketed to men as a breath freshener, and that probiotics and prebiotics in a sports-related format, such as an energy bar or a sports drink, may be more appealing to men than probiotic yogurt.

Pregnant and breastfeeding women, infants and children, convalescents and seniors and the obese were also flagged up as areas of opportunity in a global market which saw the number of global pro- and prebiotic product introductions increase nearly five-fold from 2004 to 2008.

Launches and market growth

The report, published in October 2009, reveals there were 119 pro- and prebiotic food and beverage launches in the US in the three years to July, and 50 in the last year. Japan was second in product introductions with 75 in the three year period, while Canada accounted for the second highest number, 19, in 2008-9.

Packaged Facts’ analysis of Datamonitor’s ProductLaunch Analytics (PLA) data for 2008 reveals that dairy-based foods accounted for 55.5 percent of the global probiotic/prebiotic food and beverage market by number of products.

Non-dairy beverages held 10.7 percent of the market in number of products; grain-based foods held 10 percent and meat products had 1.4 percent. Twenty-five other categories of foods and beverages containing pro- and prebiotics held less than 1.1 percent of the market each.

Of 144 companies recorded as having launched new products in the category in 2008, Dannon lead the way with 28 new introductions. Nestlé launched eight new products, Meiji Dairies seven, George Weston five, and Damhert and Parmalat four each.

Packaged Facts estimates the global retail market for pro- and prebiotic foods and beverages was approximately $15.4bn in 2008, a 12.5 percent increase over estimated 2007 sales of $13.7bn.

In 2008, the growth rate for the pro- and prebiotic food and beverage market ranged from 5 percent to over 30 per cent, depending on the region and product type. The overall food market showed growth of less than 2 percent.

Keys to success

The report identifies four crucial points for a best-selling pro- or prebiotic food or beverage:

  • The product must match the consumer’s lifestyle;
  • It must offer a benefit the consumer believes to be relevant to him or her;
  • It must be based on an ingredient they are familiar with and have trust in
  • It should be associated with a familiar brand.

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