• Physical Wellbeing
  • Inner Wellbeing
  • Mental Wellbeing
  • Video
  • Interview


Probiotics: From Skincare to Oral Beauty 


  • Physical Wellbeing
  • Inner Wellbeing
  • Mental Wellbeing
  • Video
  • Interview

Probiotics: From Skincare to Oral Beauty

Probiotics: From Skincare to Oral Beauty

Insights Report: The Global State of Health & Wellbeing – Volume 1

Probiotics: From Skincare to Oral Beauty

Probiotics: From Skincare to Oral Beauty

Insights Report: The Global State of Health & Wellbeing – Volume 2

Probiotics: From Skincare to Oral Beauty

Probiotics: From Skincare to Oral Beauty

Insights Report: The Global State of Health & Wellbeing – Volume 3

First published on Foodaily. 

In this interview with Foodaily, Victoria Lam, GM Innovation Strategy & Systems, highlights key consumer insights from Nutiani’s The Global State of Health & Wellbeing Report 1 and 2 to shed light on Asian consumer behaviors, actionable recommendations to bridge industry gaps, and the untapped probiotic oral skincare market. 

Q: Nutiani is a brand that conducts research to inform deeper understanding of its consumers. Can you share more about the findings from the IPSOS Nutiani Consumer Wellness Index?

Consumer insights are critical and central to the Nutiani brand, so that's why we partnered with IPSOS, a leading research agency to conduct two major studies. These recent reports have summarized the findings of these studies and will be part of an ongoing insight series that Nutiani will be releasing for the industry and for our customers. The first one of these studies really looked at a segmentation model to cluster the different health and wellness consumers based on their motivations, their needs, their behaviors and attitudes. 

We found that this revealed five distinct consumer types in the health and wellness space, and we’ve characterized and identified these profiles to help our consumer brand customers understand how to better target these audiences.

The other study investigated consumer health and wellbeing trends, looking at the current preferences and barriers and consumer buying behaviors. The intention is for us to repeat this study on a regular, ongoing basis so that we can track the changes in evolution of customer trends in our key markets.

Q: What are the new changes in consumers health and nutrition demands? 



When we look at consumer needs, we found that about four in five global consumers face some very consistent challenges in how they manage their health¹. The barriers are typically stemming from lifestyle choices, particularly a lack of time and motivation as well as cost.  


I think the Asian market is quite interesting because they are more likely to use diet to manage their health. This represents a significant opportunity for brands to try and overcome these key barriers in convenience and in credibility.  


We found that consumers are typically seeking products that offer value for money, but this does not mean the cheapest product. When we talk about value for money, it can talk about the balance of price with perceived value. This means that overall higher price can be justified if the product delivers the health benefits that it's promising and the nutrition nutrient density is there to mitigate those cost concerns. 

Q: Regarding the functional ingredients provided by Nutiani such as probiotics and lactoferrin, what is the consumer perception of these ingredients based on your insights?


I think more traditionally, lactoferrin was better known in the infant category. It's a lesser-known product because it’s a lot scarcer. It takes about 10,000 litres of milk to produce just one kilogram of lactoferrin. But off the back of the Covid Pandemic, we saw growing interest in this ingredient because it naturally has high antioxidant properties and is also antimicrobial, so can support immunity and skin health, which are both issues that were very much emphasized during the pandemic because of fears of illness and the impact of skin from the mask wearing. 


Lactoferrin also has the potential for women's health because it aids in the absorption of iron. Iron is an essential nutrient critical to oxygen, transportation, energy production, immune and cognitive function. In China in particular, in 2021, we saw Want Want launching a lactoferrin yogurt, which was very innovative and helped to bring this ingredient to the mainstream market to help raise their awareness of this unique product. 


In the probiotics space, consumer awareness in China is actually very high and very positive.

Over three quarters of Chinese consumers will report using probiotics in some way, whether this is traditional cultured foods such as yogurts or supplement formats.  

A few years ago, the biggest driver of taking probiotics was usually just general wellbeing and digestive issues, but over time we've seen the rising awareness that probiotics can be used to address wider conditions such as immunity, mental health, skin health and weight management.

Q: What information gaps exist between consumer and industry perceptions? 


The first one is around what should be the expected timeframe for the benefits to appear. Probiotics are not drugs and they're more natural, so here it's really understanding you must be patient. Depending on the health benefit and the strain being used, the timeframe to expect a benefit will differ.  


Secondly, probiotic benefits are strain dependent. Not all probiotics will deliver the same thing, and we are starting to see that consumers are slowly understanding this. Increasingly more highly educated consumers understand and seek out these hero or what we call super strain probiotics. 


Thirdly, it's about quality, not quantity. The earlier mindset of a less educated consumer is that the higher dosage or CFU count is the best, but this is not always correct. Instead, it should be about choosing the most powerful probiotic strain based on the weight of the clinical evidence.  


Fourthly, there is a need for regulation in the industry to ensure that the claims that are being made on the packaging are true and verifiable, both in terms of whether the product actually has the live probiotics at the end of the shelf life that it claims to have. And secondly, that the strains being used have the credible clinical evidence to support the claims that are being made. 

Q: What can the industry do to close these gaps?  

The information gaps are not always specific to the ingredients, but it’s for the brand to understand when they need to communicate these messages to different consumer groups, what messages resonate most, and which information channels are most effective. They need to have a very strong and high-level understanding of the differences and nuances between these consumer segments. And this is where I think our consumer segmentation framework can help them tailor this messaging. 

Q: What are some of the niche markets that hasn’t been penetrated?
There's huge opportunity in Asia markets because people across this region spend more on beauty products because of social pressures and because they see an opportunity to consume ingredients to promote their beauty from the inside out. 

And I think this aligns very much with an Asian ethos towards holistic health, where they know that physical wellbeing really comes from the preventative and proactive actions in the diet first. 

Surveys would indicate that sensitive skin diagnoses are high across the world. Depending on the methodology used, these surveys would find that it's between 25 to 90% of consumers affected by this are usually higher in women. In Asia it's around 40 to 55% of consumers are suffering some kind of skin condition. In China in particular, this would be one in three women.


Q: What profound insights does Nutiani have on the opportunities on the Chinese oral skincare market?  

According to our analysis of the 2022 e-commerce data in China on Tmall, the oral beauty products really use just a handful of key ingredients or nutrients to address skin health. These are mainly collagen, sodium, hyaluronate, glutathione and astaxanthin. If we look at the key benefits that these offer, it is really focused around the skin, firmness, firmness, hydration and strong antioxidant play in terms of growth rate, hydration and moisturization are the highest claims. But from the perspective of dosage, capsules and tablets account for the highest proportion of interest followed by oral, liquid and powder.  


Currently, collagen is the top ingredient or nutrient by volume but what we are seeing is by growth rate, this growth is plateauing. It’s at negative 1% and this is very consistent with what we are starting to see and hear from customers across other countries because the collagen market has become very saturated and is increasingly commoditizing, with the price lowering. For consumers, this creates some unwillingness to continue paying premiums, but also there's some confusion around the best type of collagen because there are so many different offerings and they don't know which brand, which origin, which type to focus on. 


One of the ways that some of the customers are trying to overcome the stagnation and growth is by bundling collagen together with other functional skin ingredients. Here we believe probiotics is an option for this opportunity because probiotics are also widely used in topical cosmetics and skincare already, particularly by some of the big global brands we see like Estee Lauder, or some of the Korean beauty brands.  


Stretching probiotics into oral beauty is actually a very natural evolution because they're already seen commonly in skincare. And this would enable the kind of supplement or foods category to create a very easy line extension and multiple stacking of benefits because consumers want multifunctional or multitasking products.  


However, to maintain the respectability and the premium value of this category, vigorous, quality checks and scientific validation is still very key. Nutiani develops quality ingredients with the science backing because clinical validation is a key criteria for any of our existing products, but also our future launches to ensure that customers who are purchasing from us have that confidence that through our extensive R&D processes and our key research partnerships with different universities across the world, that they know that they're buying well researched products with the effective dosages that really deliver the benefits they say they will. 




1. IPSOS Nutiani. (August 2021). Consumer Wellness Research.





New solutions, unique benefits and emerging trends. No junk.
Please enter your first name
Please enter your last name
Please enter your company name
Please enter a valid email address
This content is exclusive to authorized users only. Please reach out to your account manager if you have any concerns

Thanks for subscribing!

Oops, something went wrong