Probiotics behind VMS upturn in 2017


In the three prior years (2014-16), sales of vitamins, minerals & supplements grew at a slower pace than the global OTC market as a whole, but this trend changed in 2017, when VMS achieved a slightly higher rate (+4.2%) than the global average (+4.1%). VMS was the only major OTC category to see growth improve in 2017 – analgesics, CCA, Derma and Lifestyle OTCs all reported significant slowdowns – and three of the Top 10 best-performing OTC subcategories in 2017 were in VMS: Probiotics (+9.4%), tonics & cure alls (+7.6%) and single vitamins (+5.8%).

Probiotics added another US$330mn in sales in 2017 to create a global market of US$3.8bn, and have maintained high growth thanks to new products with unique positioning, innovative delivery formats and growing awareness of the benefits of probiotics in fast-growing countries like Brazil (+11.7%) and India (+10.4%). Although probiotics growth slowed in several mature markets in 2017, such as Italy, Japan and Germany, it remains high in the world’s two largest arenas for probiotics sales: USA (+10.2%) and China (+14.1%).

Top 5 probiotics markets 2017

One of the hotbeds for probiotics innovation in Q2 2018 has been India. Setu (OmniActive Group) recently launched probiotic supplement YourGut, positioned to assist in balancing intestinal microflora for overall digestive and immune health. Formulated with 9 bifidobacteria and lactobacilli strains, at a dose of 15bn CFUs, YourGut is available in tubs of 30 vegetarian capsules.

Another recent launch came from Sundyota Numandis with SuperFlora GG, containing Lactobacillus GG (ATCC 53103), which can be administered to newborn babies from 1 day old to treat gastroenteritis and antibiotic-associated diarrhoea. Rakyan Beverages, marketer of the Raw Pressery range of cold-pressed juices, also announced last week that it was rolling out a new probiotic drink in India. Thanks to this spike in new product activity, India’s probiotic category looks on course for an even stronger year in 2018.

To find out more about the innovations that are supporting this high growth in the probiotics market, contact Owen ( to arrange your free trial of our OTC New Products Tracker database.

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