SEOUL, March 31 (Korea Bizwire) – Increased consumer awareness about health is boosting the health functional food industry, and is now pushing the food industry to set its sights on probiotics.
Probiotics are showing noticeable growth among health functional foods, and since the domestic market is still in its nascent stage, competition to take the lead is fierce.
Probiotics are living germs that enter the human body through lactic acid bacteria. They are known to make the intestines healthy by boosting digestion, and help prevent lowered immunity.
According to the American market research company ‘Grand View Research’, the global probiotics market is larger than 33 trillion won, and is expected to grow an average of 7.2 percent annually reaching 60 trillion in 2022.
Sales in the domestic probiotics market increased 72.6 percent between 2013 (80.4 billion won) and 2014 (138.8 billion won). Probiotics currently rank fourth in the health functional food market, which is currently lead by hongsam (red ginseng).
According to research from the Korea Health Supplements Association, probiotics were also picked to be the health supplement worthy of attention two years in a row. The industry also expects the market size will exceed 200 billion won this year.
Food businesses are aggressively making their way into the promising market.
CJ announced plans to be reborn as a company specializing in probiotics as it launched a new lactic acid bacteria brand called ‘ByO Lactic Acid Bacteria’.
Yakult Korea is also setting foot in the market with its technology in lactic-acid fermented milk. Launching its probiotics brand ‘Bioliv’, Yakult Korea is coming up with various probiotics products.
Companies specializing in probiotics in and out of the country are also wading into the fray.
Biocare, the top probiotics company in Denmark, entered the Korean market with the support of the Danish government.
Korean probiotics company Bioeleven is importing products from Danisco, a Danish bioproducts company that was purchased by DuPont in 2011.
Ildong Pharmaceutical decided probiotics would be their new growth engine, and is launching new products through a new probiotics brand called ‘GQLab’.
Experts comment that the probiotics market is expanding as younger consumers are purchasing them as health supplements. “As the target consumers are young office workers and women in their 20s and 30s, the market has potential to grow continuously,” they say.
By Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)