Digestion leads nutritional health benefits in Brazil and Mexico probiotics

By Natasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images / image_jungle
© Getty Images / image_jungle

Related tags Probiotics Immunity Digestion Lumina Intelligence online reviews

Reviews of certain probiotic products are on the up in the Latin American countries. NutraIngredients-LATAM spoke to Emer Mackle, Market Analyst at Lumina Intelligence about the current probiotic landscape.

Consumers in Brazil and Mexico are increasingly reviewing products in the probiotic sector, latest data from insights provider on food and nutrition markets, Lumina Intelligence, revealed.

Products in Brazil and Mexico with a health claim either on-pack and/or on their website achieved a total of 1,773 reviews as of January 2020 and saw a 68% increase in reviews since December 2017. While those with no health claim only increased by 24%, Lumina Intelligence’s data stated.

Probiotic reviews in Brazil and Mexico

The product reviews analyzed are of probiotic products including probiotic supplements, cosmetics, juices and kombuchas, captured in Brazil and Mexico.

Commenting on the factors influencing the increase in probiotics reviews online, Lumina’s Mackle said: “Brazil is the driving force of this increase, with an impressive 153% increase in reviews from December 2017 to January 2020.”

However, Mexico does not follow the same trend, Mackle confirmed: “We actually saw a drop in reviews in Mexico during this time period due to website issues and product removals.”

Digestion dominates health benefits

The top three health benefits are the same in the two countries. Digestion remains number one with 1,832 reviews, followed by gut flora and constipation. The fourth and fifth most engaging health benefits in Brazil are immunity and wellbeing, respectively. In Mexico, immunity is in fifth place and muscle is fourth, the data indicated.

“For products with clear health benefits like digestion, the formulation of strains used and the efficacy of the product is key,” ​Mackle confirmed. 

Probiotic products that help with constipation are now the third most popular health benefit, surpassing immunity with an “impressive”​ 753% increase in reviews since December 2017.

“The health benefits that the product addresses are critical for consumer choice in probiotics,” ​highlighted Mackle.

Constipation ranks higher than immunity

Lumina Intelligence data revealed that both the percentage and absolute growth are higher for constipation than immunity from December 2017 to January 2020. The highest reviewed product to boast constipation benefits was Simfort, a probiotic supplement that received 216 reviews, the insight provider found.

Sharing insights on why constipation outpaces immunity, Mackle explained: “I believe one of the reasons consumers are engaging with Simfort is that it has a health claim on-pack and on manufacturer/retailer(s) websites.”

As the “health claim present on website(s) states that it benefits ‘constipation’, this directly communicates to consumers what benefits this product can provide,” ​said Mackle.

Local, lifestyle and labeling

Brazil & Mexico © Getty Images Ruskpp
© Getty Images / Ruskpp

Championing and supporting local businesses in the Latin American regions appears a key trend dominating probiotic health purchases. In Brazil, for example, 52% of probiotic supplements captured are manufactured locally. In Mexico, the percentage of probiotic products captured that originate from Mexico amounts to 40%.

Another core consumer trend at play when it comes to top health benefits in the probiotic sphere is the consumer desire for lifestyle change. Consumers “moving towards a more natural or clean-living lifestyle are likely to be influenced by probiotic products boasting wellbeing benefits”,​ Mackle explained.

Claims labeling also heavily influences purchasing. Of the products captured in Brazil that have a higher average star rating than those without (4.74/5 and 4.66/5 respectively), 85% have a health claim present on-pack.

Future delivery

In the future probiotics space, “delivery systems may become a deciding factor”. ​This reality may take place if the industry opts to “educate consumers”​ on how probiotics help ensure the “survival of the formulation — from manufacturing to the arrival at the intestines, alive”​, Mackle stated.

The most engaging delivery system in LATAM as of January 2020 was ‘Arrive Alive’, which  was stated on 36 products that achieved a total of over 1000 reviews, Lumina Intelligence found.

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