Immune health probiotics: Spike in Chinese consumers’ interest over the past two years – Lumina Intelligence

By Tingmin Koe contact

- Last updated on GMT

Probiotics making immune health claims have been gaining traction amongst Chinese consumers even before the spread of COVID-19 as seen in the number of online customers reviews. ©Getty Images
Probiotics making immune health claims have been gaining traction amongst Chinese consumers even before the spread of COVID-19 as seen in the number of online customers reviews. ©Getty Images

Related tags: China, Probiotics, Market research

Probiotics that make immune health claims are garnering consumers’ interest globally, but huge growth was seen in China, with the number of online reviews for such products shooting up by nearly 1,300% in the past two years.

This is according to the latest report​ on “Immunity, inflammation, oral health, and respiratory probiotics” by Lumina Intelligence. 

The market insights platform operated by William Reed, the publisher of NutraIngredients-Asia, ​analysed the data of over 1,000 immunity, inflammation, oral health, and respiratory (IIOR) probiotics sold in 25 countries between Dec 17 to Jan 20.

The data showed that there is increasing consumer interest in probiotics that provide immune health benefits in the past two years, even before the spread of COVID-19.

Consumers’ interest was measured by the number of online reviews.

Although China has fewer IIOR probiotics available in the market (45, compared to 83 in India and 56 in Indonesia), it has seen bigger growth in consumers’ interest.

For probiotics making immune health claims, the number of online reviews in China had skyrocketed by nearly 1300% in the last two years.  

Worldwide, the growth was 786% to reach a total of 1.8 million reviews.

China-based companies, such as H&H and BY-HEALTH, were also the top two brand owners worldwide when it came to the number of online customers’ reviews.

Most reviews for H&H were related to its Biostime products that bear the claim ‘immune support​’ and for BY-HEALTH, most reviews went to its Life-Space products which make claims such as ‘supporting a healthy immune system’ ​and ‘supporting a healthy microbiome’.​ 

In another major market, India, the most reviewed brands went to Garden of Life’s women’s probiotics that makes the claims ‘supports women’s health’, ‘supports immune system and digestive health’.

This was followed by Wow probiotics which makes the claims ‘easier digestion, strong immunity, fuller nutrition.’

Proprietary Vs generic strains

Chinese consumers tend to leave more reviews for probiotics with proprietary strains than generic strains, while the opposite is true for other countries.

When it comes to proprietary strains, Bl-4 is the most common, found in 87 products, followed by La-14 in 80 products. DuPont, CHR Hansen, and Lallemand were the top three suppliers, with their strains found in 147, 88, and 58 finished products respectively. 

The magic number

In APAC, the average star rating for the IIOR products is 4.46 out of five.

“Products with a low star rating simply don’t generate large number of customers reviews. Without a large number of reviews, and with a low star rating, they will not be shown on the first pages of online retailers.

“When customers search for products, they will not get traction. Sooner or later, they are expected to be among the delisted,” ​said Ewa Hudson, director of insights at Lumina Intelligence.  

Find out more about Lumina here.

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