At the end of March, CosmeticsDesign-Europe attended our sister site NutraIngredient’s flagship annual conference Probiota 2022 in Copenhagen – an industry event dedicated to all-things probiotics. And during the conference, Ewa Hudson, director of insights at Lumina Intelligence, presented the latest findings on growth in the probiotics e-commerce space.
Hudson demonstrated the growth of companies and products in e-commerce working in probiotics, with tracked companies up at 760 from just 300 in 2017; tracked products up at 1,700 compared to 700 in 2017; and health applications doubling in the same period.
“It’s exploding pretty much in every dimension,” she told CosmeticsDesign-Europe.
Customer reviews had also continued to rise fast, she said, with a “big consumer engagement” across all products, categories and health benefits.
So, what did all this mean for beauty?
Mood, stress and overall wellbeing
Hudson had spent time during her presentation highlighting the potential of probiotics targeting stress, anxiety, cognitive function, depressive disorders, mood and wellbeing and said these could be promising spaces to play into.
Reports of stress, as an example, had risen sharply amongst consumers worldwide, accelerated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, employment concerns, political and peace concerns, and continued worry about the climate, she said.
“We have a high level of uncertainty right now, probably the unprecedented level of uncertainty.”
Compared to overall skin health and skin microbiome management with probiotics in beauty, Hudson said the more immediate worries related to stress, sleep and wellbeing had, today, taken priority as opportune spaces for NPD. Though she added that skin health remained, and would remain, a key and large area for probiotics in beauty.
Taking menopause out of the taboo era
More specifically, Hudson said companies working in probiotics and beauty should start to carefully consider the menopause market more carefully.
“I think it’s a massive opportunity for probiotics,” she said, particularly in the development of probiotic-based products targeting stress, anxiety and sleep. The fact that women were already a “primary target” for probiotics in general already would also help uptake and engagement in this space, she said.
However, product development in the menopause beauty field – a fast-rising movement worldwide – had to be backed with strong and sound science and specifically target symptoms experienced by women pre, during and post menopause.
“This is basically (…) the third element of women’s health overall. We have probiotics supporting UTI conditions, we have probiotics supporting vaginal health, but so far menopausal symptoms have not been addressed. So, this would be completing the full spectrum.”
Probiotic beauty – topicals versus ingestibles?
Asked how opportunities compared between topicals and ingestibles for beauty and probiotics, Hudson said both were important.
“We know so much more about the gut – the gut-brain axis, the gut-skin axis – so there’s no escape. We can’t go back and not see that anymore (…) But at the same time topical applications will be very important as well. So, I think both will grow in parallel.”