While North America forms a comparatively small market for probiotics on a global basis, accounting for an estimated share of about 18% in 2016, demand for these products in the region is expected to register the fastest growth over 2017 - 2022 relative to other global regions. The United States is the largest probiotics market, with an estimated share of about 83% in 2016, and is also forecasted to be the fastest growing. This can be attributed to a greater acceptance of probiotic dietary supplements and focus on preventive healthcare in the region.
Probiotics is defined by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) as live micro-organisms, which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.
Prevention and cure of disorders such as lactose intolerance and inflammatory bowel disease are some of the benefits offered by probiotics, with rising health-consciousness levels and wider access to probiotic dietary supplements. The past decade has witnessed the launch of more than 500 food & beverage probiotic products, which have garnered exceptional response in terms of acceptance. Some of the factors that lead to digestive disorders, bloating and reduction in resistance to infections include poor and untimely diet, age and stress levels. Studies have revealed that consuming products enhanced with probiotics has been successful in moderating these conditions to a large extent.
Manufacturers and suppliers of functional foods, in particular, have gained wider margins because of the approval granted to probiotics. However, the players would need to focus on product innovations in order to account for greater market share in the dynamic and ever-evolving field of probiotics. In fact, companies, such as Japan-based Yakult Honsha and Denmark-based CHR Hansen have been successful in developing patented strains of micro-organisms, with the claim of having effect on specific health conditions. In addition, a raft of probiotic ingredient suppliers has also demonstrated success in developing bespoke strains of micro-organisms capable of being incorporated into a range of food products.
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