Formulators must ensure their product range of supplements, functional foods or otherwise, reflect the changing needs of the consumer. For many brands operating in today’s highly engaged health and nutrition market, this has led prebiotics to attract increasing levels of interest from consumers and formulators alike.
The prebiotics category is expanding rapidly; expected to maintain a strong compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of almost 15% to 2030, marking it as one of the most exciting segments of the functional ingredient market.
As the prebiotic category continues gaining significant traction around the globe, there is tremendous opportunity for brands and their formulators. Below, we share ten great reasons to develop new products with prebiotic fibre.
1 Rising consumer interest in gut health
Consumers are becoming better connected with matters of wellbeing and are looking to better understand the body. As a key influencer in supporting health and wellbeing the gut microbiome is a key focus. Expanding consumer awareness has seen gut health in the spotlight, making headlines in the media.
Additionally, interest has been further boosted by the continued proliferation of social media, with platforms such as TikTok, Instagram and Twitter providing unprecedented access to information (although consumers must remain aware of the validity of this information, and if this is being delivered by appropriately qualified professionals).
Comprising trillions of microorganisms in an ever-shifting composition, the gut microbiome is an ecosystem of bacteria and other microbes. When exploring ‘gut health’ and what it means in terms of wellbeing, it is often this composition that is being referred to.
2 Expanding awareness of prebiotics
Scientific study highlights that certain types of bacteria found in the gut microbiome are particularly beneficial for health, supporting areas outside of digestion. Naturally, this means that ways to support these advantageous bacteria, and increase their levels relative to non-beneficial types, is on the rise.
As a result, consumers are better understanding prebiotics and how they work. In tandem with escalating public awareness, organisations such as ISAPP and the Global Prebiotic Association work to further amplify the messages of good gut health, and the benefits of prebiotics.
3 Rapidly developing scientific study
Due to the category growing so quickly, it’s easy to forget that prebiotics are still relatively new in terms of functional ingredients. However, it is propelled forwards by a substantial uplift in the study of the gut microbiome, which is uncovering the beneficial effects of prebiotics.
Bimuno® GOS is a great example; as the most researched commercially available galactooligosaccharide (GOS), it is supported by a comprehensive portfolio of over 100 published studies. This number includes more than 20 clinical trials that demonstrate its efficacy and safety.
As the body of evidence supporting prebiotics strengthens, depending on the regulatory environment and the prebiotic in question, there is growing opportunity to utilise health claims on packaging, which benefits both the consumer looking for products they can trust, and the brand aiming to clearly communicate their product’s value proposition.
4 Focus on immune health support
With around 70% of the immune system residing in the gut, prebiotics have a key role to play in supporting the body’s natural lines of defence.
According to a recent Consumer Insights Survey 31% of prebiotic supplement users (across the USA, UK, Germany, Italy and China) take prebiotics to support immune health, this is second to digestive reasons. <Source: ITC Consumer Insights 2022>
Certain types of bacteria in the gut microbiome are understood to support immune function. This includes bifidobacteria, which is nourished by Bimuno GOS. This relationship marks Bimuno GOS as a good choice for immune health supplements, and products that seek to support immunity.
5 Synergy in formulation
One of the strongest advantages of prebiotic fibre is that as a substrate, it can prove remarkably stable and versatile. This makes it a prime candidate to combine with other functional ingredients.
Examples include synbiotics, an emerging supplement category that combines prebiotics and probiotics in one product, and an expanding sports health category that combines prebiotics with protein.
6 Closing the ‘fibre gap’
Prebiotics are non-digestible fibres and could play a role in addressing a key public health challenge.
Fibre is an important nutrient for the body. However, studies around the globe, including the UK’s National Diet and Nutrition Survey, show that only a fraction of individuals consume enough in their daily diets. This is mirrored in US statistics, which find that just 5% of population is meeting recommended fibre intakes. This public health challenge is known as the ‘fibre gap’.
As part of a nutritionally balanced diets, prebiotic products, or functional foods with nutritional profiles enhanced with the use of prebiotics, can help individuals to meet these recommend intake levels.
7 Low efficacious dose
Some prebiotics can be used at a low daily dose to have an efficacious prebiotic effect, making them great candidates to add functional benefits without the high cost.
It is important to note that not all prebiotics are created equal, and Bimuno GOS benefits from a low efficacious dose required to achieve a ‘prebiotic effect’, beginning from just 1.37g due to a unique compositional structure, and by showcasing specificity for bifidobacteria.
A low effective dose gives even greater flexibility to formulators, as recipes require smaller quantities of the ingredient.
8 Versatility at the forefront
One of the most compelling reasons for formulators to explore prebiotics in the flexibility. Prebiotic fibre is a substrate, resistant to a wide range of heats and acidities. This makes it suitable for many different manufacturing processes and applications.
Formulators can create prebiotic supplements, prebiotic yoghurts and prebiotic functional foods, to name just a small selection. Excitingly, this versatility means that it is straightforward to introduce prebiotics to existing categories, or even create entirely new ones.
9 New frontiers of health
In addition to the strong scientific backing of Bimuno GOS, which explores its influence in areas such as immune health, gastrointestinal and digestive health, and cognitive health, there is still a great deal of further exploration to do across the wider prebiotic category. This extends out beyond prebiotic products to include the wider ‘biotics’ category, such as synbiotics.
Due to accelerating understanding of beneficial bacteria and their roles, prebiotics in the future have the capabilities of playing an important role in areas extending beyond gastrointestinal and immune health, such as sport and athletic health, cardiovascular health and weight management.
10 Bimuno GOS makes it simple!
With consumer demand growing and prebiotics becoming more accessible than ever before, Bimuno GOS stands out as great choice for formulators.
Alongside its stability and flexibility, it helps formulators to meet the consumer demand for products they can trust through its comprehensive scientific backing. It is clear that prebiotic fibre will play a central role in next-generation health and nutrition products, and with Bimuno GOS, formulators can make the process simple.
That concludes our snapshot of 10 reasons to formulate with prebiotics, but there are even more reasons to explore Bimuno GOS!
Ready to explore the many advantages of Bimuno GOS? Get in touch with our team today to discover more.