“In general, consumers are taking a more proactive approach to their health and wellness and looking to prevent issues rather than treat them,” Emily Krol, health and wellness analyst for Mintel, told NutraIngredients-USA, citing Mintel's 2014 "Trend Investing in Prevention" report. “(The report) describes how consumers are taking steps to improve their health. This can be seen with the increase of probiotics to prevent digestive issues. According to Mintel's 'Vitamins, Minerals and Supplements—US December 2013' report, sales of Bayer's TruBiotics increased from $2.6 million to $16.4 million in MULO [multi-outlet] channels for the 52 weeks ending Sept. 8, 2013, a 531% increase.”
Indeed, according to the Gastrointestinal Remedies report, 20% of Americans say they are incorporating probiotics regularly, while some 29% say they have changed their diet to add more yogurt and fiber-rich foods to manage their digestive health. More than 2/3 (65%) say they try to include plenty of fiber in their diets.
Mintel’s Yogurt and Yogurt Drinks—US, August 2013 also reports that 84% of yogurt consumers agree that yogurt/yogurt drinks are a good way to support digestive health. In addition to yogurt, consumers are making an effort to eat healthier overall, incorporating fruits, vegetables and even gluten-free foods into their diets to prevent GI issues.
When asked about the potential for probiotic foods and to continue stealing market share from these symptom relieving remedies, Krol said, “I think we have already seen it, and we will continue to see it.”
Still, 38% of those who experienced GI issues also agree that they would prefer to eat whatever they want and then use a supplement or medication to alleviate whatever digestive problems they have—a figure that’s higher among male GI sufferers, meaning there will likely always be room for both. “Even though consumers say they trying to be more proactive about their health, there are still those who indulge on occasion,” Krol added.