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Gut products rise and diversify

The gut health category continues to grow, despite the leveling off of probiotic product sales. Brands are meeting the demand with new and innovative product formats, notably in foods and beverages.

The digestive health category has nearly tripled in size in the last decade to reach US$2.96 billion in 2018, with sales predicted to reach $3.9 billion by 2021, according to the Nutrition Business Journal (NBJ).

Yet even as the category’s fortunes are growing, there remains additional opportunities, particularly regarding product formats, which savvy product developers and marketers are capitalizing on to reach consumers.

One way of measuring what’s happening in any given category is the NEXT Data & Insights team at New Hope Network, producers of Natural Products Expo West. The NEXT team assays every single product at every booth of the show—roughly 3,500 different booths, and many more products. The NEXT team found that of all product formats, dietary supplements were responsible for about half of all digestive health claims. Beverages were the second-most popular product format with digestive health claims.

Both of these product formats—supplements and beverages—represent the two largest product categories, and yet their numbers have remained fairly static. The question, then, is whether there is any innovation happening in the digestive health category?

The answer is yes.

And it’s happening in the dairy category. At Expo West 2017, there were 29 total dairy products with digestive health claims. But by Expo West 2019 that number rose to 102 products.

To read this article in its entirety, check out the Digestive health: Market growth backed by science – digital magazine.

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