Probiota Asia 2018

APAC consumer understanding that gut is the 'new super organ' growing

By Cheryl Tay

- Last updated on GMT

Deepak Gunvante is the expert consultant & partner APAC at The Healthy Marketing Team.
Deepak Gunvante is the expert consultant & partner APAC at The Healthy Marketing Team.

Related tags Probiotics Singapore APAC

APAC consumer understanding is growing with regards to probiotics' wide array of benefits beyond gut health, and across all life stages, our Probiota Asia summit in Singapore has heard.

Organised by NutraIngredients-Asia​, the event took place at the Hilton Singapore.

Speaking on the innovation opportunities, Deepak Gunvante, the expert consultant & partner APAC at The Healthy Marketing Team, which recently opened a hub in Singapore, said:“Obviously the gut flora is the new super organ, with thousands of species, and over 100 trillion of bacteria cells.

“The fact that 90% of the serotonin receptors are in the gut, it is like the second brain - it’s a completely different paradigm altogether. Moving forward, we can have perhaps even microbiome-based therapeutics in the future, we don’t know how far we can go as far as this is concerned,” ​Gunvante said.

At present, the functions of probiotics are already heading towards providing multiple benefits, aside from enriching gut health.  

Products catered for different life stages, in particular, early nutrition products to enhance immune system and brain development of infants are some examples cited that Gunvante has cited.

In addition to brain health, probiotics products that promote general wellness, prevent diseases and manage blood glucose level and cardiovascular health are also growing in number.

Product format wise, there is a growing preference for plant-based probiotics and the addition of probiotics into a wider variety of food formats, such as kombucha, soda and chips.

This was because these products fit readily into the consumers’ dietary habits as compared to pills and capsules, Gunvante explained.

As the market continues to innovate more products, he cautioned the industry to demonstrate product credibility.

Demonstrating clinical evidence and scientific data is the only way to establish credibility.”

Recounting past developments, he said that the knowledge and commercialisation of probiotics have exploded in the past 90 years – starting with the association of longevity with fermented milk in Bulgaria, and the world’s first successful isolation of probiotic strain by Dr Minoru Shirota, the founder of Yakult, in Japan. 

Market strategies  

Probiotics products have entered the market via two strategies in the past, Gunvante pointed out.  

The first route was technology driven. Under this development, after new products are produced, they were adopted by a small group of consumers who enjoy novel and trendy products.

As more consumers find the products useful and convenient, the products were subsequently accepted by the mass market. 

An example was Yakult, which was firstly introduced into the market due to its functionality. As it establishes its branding and as consumers recognise its advantages, it later became a mass market product, a “tradition” for maintaining gut health. 

Probiotics product can also enter the market in the reverse direction, Gunvante said, citing the growing interest in the probiotics function of traditional food, such as yogurt, kefir, and sour milk.

“There is the intersection of the two market strategies throughout history”,​ he added, concluding that probiotics products could enter the market in either direction.

Related news

Show more

Related products

show more

Seize the opportunities in muscle health

Seize the opportunities in muscle health

SYNBIO TECH INC. | 02-Mar-2023 | Technical / White Paper

The muscle health category addresses a far greater than sports nutrition and active lifestyle, age-related muscle loss affects 100% of the population.

Broadening formulation with Postbiotic LAC-Shield™

Broadening formulation with Postbiotic LAC-Shield™

Morinaga Milk Industry Co., Ltd. | 25-Nov-2022 | Technical / White Paper

Postbiotic emerges as a strong biotic solution for functional food and drink products, especially those that probiotic bacteria cannot thrive in. LAC-Shield™...

Pycnogenol® Helps Relieve Restless Legs Symptoms

Pycnogenol® Helps Relieve Restless Legs Symptoms

Horphag Research | 17-Oct-2022 | Clinical Study

New research shows Pycnogenol® French maritime pine bark extract provides a significant decrease in Restless Legs Syndrome symptoms, including crawling,...

Gold Tri.E® improves lipid profile

Gold Tri.E® improves lipid profile

Sime Darby Oils Nutrition | 09-Aug-2022 | Technical / White Paper

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin with antioxidant property, scavenging free radicals and reducing oxidative stress. Tocotrienol is one of the vitamin...

Related suppliers

Follow us


View more


Nutra Champions Podcast

Nutra Champions Podcast