Concept Card: Probiotics Supplement Capsules
Concept Card: Probiotic and Protein Powder
In Thailand alone, ‘Probiotic’ as a search topic has increased more than 3 times since the start of the pandemic2, growing in tandem with interest in immunity and disease prevention.
Across Southeast Asia, consumers are turning to probiotics to support a range of health benefits, with 70% of consumers purchasing it to boost their immunity, and 71% to aid their digestive health3. Aside from these, probiotics have increasingly been linked to skin health, often in supplement or skincare products. Gen Z consumers are at the forefront of this trend; their top reason for using probiotics is to improve their skin4.
Consumers across markets have different consideration factors when buying probiotics.
Aside from these, other important decision influencers across SEA markets are health claims, product efficacy, and product benefits3. This means that manufacturers cannot lose sight of main draw of probiotics – how well it addresses the consumers’ health needs.
In Southeast Asia, probiotics are a new category of product. Most consumers are not familiar with the benefits of probiotics and perceive them as a natural health product. This can be attributed to the fact that most products marketed as probiotics in Southeast Asia (e.g., milk drinks) do not contain live cultures and are only labelled as containing “probiotic” ingredients such as bifidobacteria or lactobacilli.
While Southeast Asia’s consumers are becoming more interested in the health benefits of probiotics, manufacturers will need to do more to educate sceptical consumers about their benefits for gut health.
As consumers are taking a proactive approach to their health, they are also doing more research into foods and ingredients. Manufacturers can help consumers build their understanding of probiotics through education on the importance of strong gut health and feeding their microbiome with beneficial bacteria.
Linking probiotics with other familiar functional ingredients is also an effective way to build familiarity for consumers. 85% of SEA consumers saying they would consume a protein product that also delivered a probiotic benefit3. Aside from the digestive, immunity, and natural benefits mentioned above, functional claims such as high in protein or high in vitamins will help to differentiate the products in the minds of consumers.
Increasing awareness about immune and gut health will continue to drive the probiotics market. Consumers are taking a prevention-over-cure approach to their health, meaning they will search for ways to incorporate trending ingredients like probiotics into their diets to support their health goals.