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Study uncovers region's strong probiotic potential

By RJ Whitehead , 03-Oct-2012
Last updated the 08-Oct-2012 at 14:45 GMT

As markets for probiotics in Europe and North America come under pressure, a new study from Giract opens the lid on the industry’s prospects for growth in Asia.

According to the food research agency, the market for probiotic products in China was valued at EUR2.3 billion in 2011, and is expected to have doubled by 2016. 

The use of probiotics in supplements, a category that has grown from nothing to becoming a major market for probiotic cultures in only a few years, will continue to be a driver for growth. 

In India and Pakistan, growth will come from the pharmaceuticals market. Probiotics containing pharmaceuticals are growing at 15% per year,” said Dr Russell Ward, research and marketing director at Giract.

Standards must improve

But he warns that players in this evolving regional industry must take a more professional approach if they want to advance.

Producers really need to think about how effective doses can be delivered in places where the climate makes survival of probiotic strains a challenge. They need to understand whether their products deliver real benefits for the end-user and should do this before the authorities start checking. Prevention is always better than cure,” remarked Ward.

The study observed that probiotic products are often transported, stored and marketed under temperatures that often exceed 30C in some of the developing countries. 

Giract has analysed the market for probiotic cultures in the key countries of China, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Categories covered include dairy products, infant formula, supplements and pharmaceuticals. 

Market’s real potential

The study is based on a comprehensive analysis of the market, together with in-depth interviews with suppliers, experts, authorities and end-users. “Choosing the right segments in Asia represents a real opportunity for producers seeking to grow in their shares of the worldwide probiotics market,” Ward explained.

It includes an analysis of the importance of imported products and the strengths and weaknesses of local players. The key drivers and barriers to growth are identified and analysed to provide an overview of the opportunities for growth of probiotic products and use of probiotic cultures in these markets. 

This study provides vital information for suppliers and end-users in finding opportunities to develop their businesses in difficult times.” concludes Ward.

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