Focus on probiotics

Generating global turnover of US$4.4bn in the year to end-June 2020, probiotics & prebiotics remain a vital source of growth (+5.8%) in the worldwide consumer healthcare market, even though this trend has slowed in recent years. As Nicholas Hall said, for a category that has a CAGR of 10%, growth has further “eased back during 2020 as consumers moved their expenditure to supplements more specifically indicated for immunity“.

The global rate of new product development for probiotics was already beginning to slow prior to the pandemic. As our CHC New Products Tracker tool indicates, after several years of impressive growth in the number of probiotics coming to market every year up until 2018, there was a slight fall-off during 2019, and early indications for this year suggest that 2020 probiotics NPD activity will struggle to match the peak of 2018.

That’s why breakthroughs, such as last week’s news of a high-tech skin care microbiome partnership between L’Oréal and Dutch-based Micreos, are so welcome. As NHC Reports Managing Editor, Ian Crook, said, “Granting L’Oréal access to endolysin technology opens a world of opportunities in consumer skincare, since products that work in harmony with the skin microbiome form an underdeveloped niche presently. The partnership may well see new safe, effective, microbiome-friendly skincare products for a host of conditions”, such as eczema, acne and wound infections.

In addition, Nicholas Hall commented: “The probiotics market has been the fastest-growing prevention category in recent years, and I am often asked if it’s too late for new participants to join the market. Of course, it’s not. To quote the great Winston Churchill after the battle of El Alamein in 1942, ‘Now, this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end, but it is perhaps the end of the beginning‘.

In the next few years, probiotics will be launched with a much wider range of indications; and new strains will be fermented with much more powerful efficacy, so powerful in some instances that many new products will become registered OTCs or even Rx. When we get back to normal – whatever normal is – I believe probiotics will forge ahead, with a best-case valuation of US$10bn within 10 years. Or even higher, assuming that new strains are brought to market with more demonstrable efficacy, targeting new indications including mental acuity and cardiovascular disease, and not forgetting skincare.

We are pleased to announce that our next Hot Topics Webinar will focus on Probiotics. Hosted by Nicholas Hall and Jennifer Cooper on 2nd December, join them to explore both the commercial and scientific aspects of the category, as well as insights behind the science. To find out more, or to register, please contact elizabeth.bernos@NicholasHall.com.

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