Skin health, supplements and claims dominate probiotics in Brazil and Mexico

By Natasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images / ClaudioVentrella
© Getty Images / ClaudioVentrella
As probiotics reach and excel in new and existing segments in Latin America, we take a look at two of its leading marketplaces: Brazil and Mexico, with Lumina Intelligence’s Market Analyst, Emer Mackle, to find out how innovation is transforming the nutritional ingredients area.

When analyzing probiotic supplements, probiotic juice, probiotic cosmetics and Kombucha in Latin American markets, it is apparent that skin health leads the way for probiotic appeal and uptake in both Brazil and Mexico.

“Of all probiotics captured, those positioned to benefit skin health saw the highest average number of reviews per product in Brazil and Mexico in December 2018 (93 reviews), driven by probiotics cosmetics,” ​enthused Emer Mackle, Market Analyst, Lumina Intelligence.

Narrowing the Gap between Functional Food and Cosmetics

In fact, online engagement relating to the associated benefits of all other probiotic categories in Brazil and Mexico trailed behind. Cardiovascular health, immunity, digestion, weight management and wellbeing all had less than an average of 20 reviews each in December 2018. These review figures demonstrate consumers’ interest in, and perceived demand for, skin health in probiotics, along with showing the overlap between nutrition ingredients and cosmetics in both Brazil and Mexico.

“Cosmetics are a major growth area of the probiotic market in Latin America,” ​Mackle revealed. Although only 6.5% of probiotics captured in Brazil and Mexico by Lumina Intelligence were cosmetics, these impressively contributed to over 30% of reviews in December 2018.

Probiotic cosmetics has experienced a surge in reviews, amounting to an 80% increase between December 2017-18. Mexico is a key high-growth market in this area, having seen a rise of 263% in probiotic cosmetics. In addition, Mexico achieved the third highest average star rating per product for kombucha of all 20 researched countries, indicating a continuous interest in functional food in the area.

Health Benefits in New Formats

Supplements as a category also received over 3,300 reviews in December 2018, led by formats such as powder (1,343 reviews) and capsules (1,184 reviews).

When it comes to what is most important to consumers when selecting probiotics, their demands are based on several factors. Insights service, Lumina Intelligence, saw supplements command positive online engagement levels in Brazil and Mexico in 2017, for example. Their popularity was led by the most traditional health benefit adopted by the sector: digestion.

Supplement demands are evolving, however. Between December 2017-18, the segment witnessed an increase of 30% in reviews. In December 2018, supplements relating to digestion were then followed by immunity and well being, indicating the widening interest in the other health benefits probiotics can offer.

Labeling Claims

Free from and ethical claims achieved higher average star ratings in December 2018 — free from claim(s) at 4.72 at ethical claim(s) at 4.77 — than those without those respective label claims. Data shows that probiotics with no free from claim stood at 4.58 out of 5 and no ethical claim(s) at 4.61.

Commenting on the potential for continued success in Latin America, Mackle believes the future is positive: “The LATAM region offers many opportunities for further growth in online customer engagement. With the population gravitating towards the natural concept of probiotics, label claims, particularly free from and ethical claims, this creates highly attractive positioning for customers.”

Lumina Intelligence​ is an insights service covering the probiotics, sports nutrition and sustainability markets, brought to you by William Reed. With data from 20 countries, Lumina provides in-depth ingredient analysis, product labelling information and post-purchase reviews.

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