The gut-health market is valued in excess of $1 billion. Primary ingredients include probiotics, prebiotics, enzymes, fibre, ginger, psyllium and green foods.
These were once seen only in supplements in the US market, but Dannon blew the doors off the market with its $100 million first-year launch of Activia yoghurt. And that's only the start.
"We see enormous interest in probiotics, especially among food companies, as American consumers rapidly become more aware of probiotics and their benefits," says Bob Berman, senior marketing manager at DSM.
As obesity rates climb, the market for gastrointestinal supplements and OTC products will climb by at least 8 per cent per year, according to data from Nutrition Business Journal and Mintel. Probiotics sales in the mass channels rose to $712.6 million in 2007, representing a $493.4 million increase since 2004. For the same year, the US prebiotics market was worth $68.9 million. Growth is expected to be strong throughout the forecast period, leading to revenues of $198.3 million in 2014.
Along with mounting awareness of disorders ranging from lactose intolerance to anti-gas, IBS, Crohn's, colitis as well as general good digestive health, probiotics are sweeping into food markets.
"The consumer, in general, wants food products to supply more health-focused ingredients instead of taking supplements," says PL Thomas' Rodger Jonas. "The ability to have a probiotic that survives most process conditions is essential to the introduction of probiotics into a wide variety of products."
Because Americans still haven't gotten comfortable with talk about 'digestion' or 'bacteria,' manufacturers get by on soft wellness claims. But probiotics are not even half the story. Prebiotics from the likes of BENEO-Orafti and GTC Nutrition are hopping on the bandwagon to improve the efficacy of the probiotics formulations. And digestive enzymes, which once led the category, are still viable despite being more or less steamrolled by the probiotics juggernaut.
"In the gut-health market, probiotics are not competitors to enzymes," says Scott Daniel, marketing manager at National Enzyme. "One does not replace the other."
Botanicals are also fighting to stay in the fray. Peppermint, ginger, garlic and more are also routinely used.
"From our experience here at Ecuadorian Rainforest," says that company's vice president Steve Siegel, "it really all depends on the preference of the client whether or not they would like an ingredient such as ginger, enzyme or probiotics. The great majority of our clients lean toward herbs because of their completeness, effectiveness and general safety."
QMatrix ActivAloe: A biologically active aloe vera ingredient produced with a patented process that results in a guaranteed polysaccharide level and molecular weight distribution. Clinically tested.
+1 512 327 0050
Austin, Texas, USA
Kollidon CL-F & Kollidon CL-SF: Two new tablet disintegrants particularly suited to the manufacture of very small tablets and tablets that dissolve in the mouth, thereby increasing the bioavailability of active pharmaceutical ingredients.
Ludiflash: A new pharmaceutical excipient that improves the quality of rapidly disintegrating tablets with a creamy mouth feeling. Tablets disintegrate in the mouth immediately, even without water, thus allowing patients to take tablets more easily and discreetly for rapid relief of symptoms.
+1 800 443 0627
Florham Park, New Jersey, USA
VitaSugar: An isomalto-oligosaccharide (IMO) mixture. Both a natural, reduced-calorie sweetener and a natural, soluble prebiotic dietary fibre. Diverse raw-material supply sources enable ingredient price stability for formulators and processors. Functional benefits include mouth feel, soluble fibre with 65 per cent base relative sweetness for digestive health, and weight management. GRAS food ingredient.
+1 780 466 1481
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Cargill Health & Nutrition
Oliggo-Fiber Inulin: Known as the 'invisible fibre.' Can incorporate into almost any food or beverage without affecting taste or texture. Research indicates that inulin may enhance dietary-calcium absorption, particularly among preteens and postmenopausal women. Recognized as a prebiotic ingredient that supports the natural, healthful bacteria in the lower GI tract.
+1 866 456 8872
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Draco Natural Products
Yumberry Extract, 20:1: Rich in cyanidin-3-glucoside, which studies have shown reduces appetite and positively improves hormones that govern fat metabolism. Also contains myricetin, which works similarly to resveratrol on the anti-ageing SIR2 gene.
+1 408 287 7871
San Jose, California, USA
GanedenBC30: A patented strain of probiotic bacteria. The hearty nature of GanedenBC30 allows for survival through the harsh manufacturing process, has a two-year shelf life and survives through the stomach to colonize in the intestines. GanedenBC30 is a kosher, self-affirmed GRAS probiotic ingredient.
+1 440 229 5200
Mayfield Heights, Ohio, USA
I Can Eat It
Blue Persian Salt: Looks like a regular fleur de sel with blue crystals. Perfect to decorate and salt at the same time.
Gluten Free Madeleine: French madeleine free of gluten, dairy, nuts and soy. Individually wrapped. Tastes great.
Green Szechuan: New spice coming to US market. Lemony taste with strength of regular szechuan.
+1 323 232 1300
Los Angeles, California, USA
DaltonMax700: A unique aloe vera dehydrated 200x powder from the inner fillet of the aloe vera leaf. Retains all the natural components found in the fresh, unprocessed leaf. Rich in long-chain polysaccharides, considered the major carbohydrate fraction obtained from aloe vera gel. This fraction contains greater than 50 per cent polysaccharides with a molecular weight greater than 1 million dalton.
+1 972 230 9155
DeSoto, Texas, USA
FiberAid: A naturally occurring, water-soluble polysaccharide that has positive influence on gut microflora, delivering prebiotic benefits. Can increase the production of short-chain fatty acids that lower colon pH, creating an environment favouring development of beneficial bacteria. Reduces ammonia in the gut and provides gastrointestinal health without typical side effects, such as gas and bloating.
+1 800 365 8324
BioCore Kids: A digestive-enzyme supplement created to nurture your child's digestive health and optimize food nutrition.
BioCore Optimum Complete: A broad-spectrum enzyme blend offering all of the activity in BioCore Optimum plus alpha-galactosidase, lactase and acid-maltase.
+1 800 825 8545
Forsyth, Missouri, USA
National Starch Food Innovation
Hi-maize Natural Resistant Starch
Nutriose Soluble Fiber
+1 800 743 6343
Bridgewater, New Jersey, USA
Nutriose: Derived from non-GMO corn or wheat, Nutriose is a novel soluble fibre with excellent formulation and process characteristics. Sugar-free, offers excellent digestive tolerance, and is stable to acid and heat processing. Can be easily used in a wide variety of consumer applications for sugar and calorie reduction as well as fibre enrichment.
+1 800 553 7035
Chia Max Omega-3 Low Fat Whole Grain: A 100 per cent natural omega-3, high-protein, high-fibre super food. Ideal ingredient in sports-nutrition bars and shakes, as well as baked goods. Pleasant, mild flavour that will not adversely affect a product's flavour profile. Highly stable and offers excellent shelf life and efficacy to consumers.
+1 352 357 2004
Eustis, Florida, USA