As part of our series of blogs on the 10 Infinity Zones for future CHC growth outlined by Nicholas Hall, this week we take a closer look at the fast-growing probiotics category. As Nicholas mentioned in his keynote speech at this year’s Vienna conference, probiotics is a category that has moved from adjacency to mainstream, producing more value growth in Europe in the past 5 years (additional US$364mn in sales) than any other OTC category.
In 2018, global sales of probiotics totalled US$4.2bn, representing 10.8% growth. This was a slightly better performance than the previous year (sales of probiotics were up 10.4% in 2017) but still marks a deceleration compared to the recent peak in 2016 of 13.6% growth. Looking at global product innovation trends, thanks to our OTC New Products Tracker tool covering 20 key markets, there are also indications that probiotics expansion may have hit a temporary plateau, with roughly the same number of innovations in this category in 2017 (277) and 2018 (270).
However, the appearance of new probiotics niches looks set to energise further growth and innovation going forward. As highlighted in our recently published Lower GIs report, the development of probiotics with novel positioning (IBS, hangover, etc) and for specific life stages (infancy, pregnancy, etc) are expanding the category’s appeal even further. Recent examples of new probiotics for kids include Zarbee’s Naturals Baby Daily Probiotic Drops (J&J) and Biocodex’s launch of Florastor Baby.
Personalisation will also be an important future growth driver for probiotics. Despite the increasing number of proprietary bacterial strains, the probiotics category is still largely characterised by a one-size-fits-all approach. As scientific understanding of the microbiome advances, however, we may soon reach a stage where tailored probiotic strains are recommended for people with specific host microbiomes or diets. This sort of precision therapy could also eventually see a growing number of probiotics regulated as medicines rather than dietary supplements.
How is regulation of consumer healthcare products set to evolve in future? Find out in the chapter dedicated to regulation in Nicholas Hall’s New Paradigms for CHC 2019: Over the Horizon, written by Nicholas himself. Other chapters will look at issues surrounding the CHC market including digital engagement, M&A, healthcare trends and much more! You also have the option to upgrade your purchase to include a customised in-house presentation or webinar with Nicholas for an additional GB£10,000. To find out more or to place your order, please contact melissa.lee@NicholasHall.com.