Food & Beverage Asia Apr/May 2020

The probiotics market is growing, with new product development increasing year-on-year. This is a result of consumers becoming more health conscious and being proactive when it comes to seeking out products that help enhance their health. So, what are the attitudes and behaviours towards probiotics in Asia-Pacific, and are consumers actively looking for these products? Consumption habits FMCG Gurus consumer insights reveal that half of consumers in Asia-Pacific have purchased probiotic products in the last 12 months. The top product form consumers in Asia-Pacific are purchasing are yoghurt drinks at 41%, and kefir at 37%. Consumers can still be concerned about the efficacy of probiotic products. FMCG Gurus research shows that 38% of consumers in Asia-Pacific said they have not purchased food or beverages containing probiotics in the past 12 months due to price. At a time when consumers are struggling with personal finances and believe that food and drink prices are rising, they may be concerned that such products are ambiguous in terms of product claims whilst commanding a premium price. Probiotics must be easy to incorporate into everyday diets. This is highlighted as 58% of consumers prefer probiotics in the formof food and beverage over a supplement. One of the main reasons why this is the case is because of taste. FMCG Gurus consumer insights show that 56%of consumers stated they prefer probiotics in the formof food and drink as it is tastier. This is an opportunity for brands to incorporate probiotics into food and drink products, as they will be more appealing to consumers than a supplement and easier to include within their diet. Of the consumers who purchase probiotics in the form of food and drink, 38% of them are willing to switch to a supplement. In order to maximise the willingness of consumers switching to supplement format, it is crucial that products are seen to be affordable and also easy to take. This is because irrespective of the desire to improve health, consumers can be price sensitive and also want better-for-you products to be able to be incorporated into daily routines in a hassle-free manner. Motivations Digestive health problems are on the rise across the globe. This is one of the key market drivers to why consumers are turning to probiotic products. Of consumers who currently use probiotics, 55% of them use probiotics to aid the digestive system. This also reflects how consumers are FBA The probiotics market in Asia By Will Cowling , Marketing Manager at FMCG Gurus embracing the concept of holistic health and recognise that good digestive health is crucial for overall physical and cognitive health. This has created an opportunity for brands to target consumers actively looking to improve their health. When it comes to claims on probiotics consumers want clean label style products. FMCG Gurus research shows that 73% of consumers say that they find the claim natural appealing when purchasing probiotics products. Using the right claims can be hugely effective for brands when trying to target the right consumer, this is also important when products are seen as high in price. Sensory appeal is also very important when it comes to probiotics. In Asia-Pacific, 76% of consumers say they would find chocolate-flavoured probiotics products the most appealing. Recommendations With the rise in consumers actively looking to better their overall health, this has created an opportunity for the probiotics market. Digestive health is seen as a global issue which consumers are actively looking to improve. Brands and manufacturers can target these consumers with probiotics products that offer to aid digestive health, naturalness, and good taste to keep consumers interested in the products. Price is still a concern for many consumers due to rising prices in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) market, however, with the right form of probiotics and the use of targeted messages, consumers would be willing to try food, drink, and supplement probiotic products. FOOD & BEVERAGE ASIA APRIL / MAY 2020