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Health and Wellness 2017: The Gut Health Mega-Trend


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rom "low-carb" to "smart carb", through "high- protein" and "plant-based protein", to "allergen-free" lifestyles: US consumers have been utilizing different strategies, in an attempt to manage their health through a more calculated consumption of food and beverage.

Today, the emergence of scientific evidence on the role of the human microbiome, and the importance of a healthy gut, meets a consumer who is thirsty for weight management and a bloat-free life. As a result, gut health is fast becoming a new lifestyle approach that will affect food and beverages, vitamins and supplements, and beauty.

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Health and Wellness 2017: The Gut Health Mega-Trend

  1. 1. Health and Wellness: The Gut Health Mega-Trend SCHIEBER RESEARCH
  2. 2. The Gut Health Mega-Trend | July 2017 2 Introduction From "low-carb" to "smart carb", through "high- protein" and "plant-based protein", to "allergen-free" lifestyles: US consumers have been utilizing different strategies, in an attempt to manage their health through a more calculated consumption of food and beverage. Today,theemergenceofscientificevidenceontheroleofthehumanmicrobiome, and the importance of a healthy gut, meets a consumer who is thirsty for weight management and a bloat-free life. As a result, gut health is fast becoming a new lifestyle approach that will affect food and beverages, vitamins and supplements, and beauty.
  3. 3. The Gut Health Mega-Trend | July 2017 3 Growth Engines: From Obesity and Allergies to Digestion Problems According to the most recent data by the World Health Organization, in 2014 more than 1.9 billion adults, 18 years and older, were overweight. Overall, 39% of adults aged 18 years and over were overweight and 13% of the world population were obese (11% of men and 15% of women). 41 million children under the age of 5 were overweight or obese. If rates of obesity continue to rise, it is estimated that by 2025 18% of men and 21% of women worldwide will be obese (Source: WHO 2016, The Lancet Journal 2016) In 2016 in the US, 174.11 million people say that they “watch their diet”, compared to 147.82 million who said they don’t (Statista, based on the U.S. Census data and Simmons National Consumer Survey (NHCS)). When asked why they are watching their diets (multiple answers allowed), 81% of consumers who are watching their diets said they were trying to lose weight (55% of consumers) or maintain weight (a further 26%).
  4. 4. The Gut Health Mega-Trend | July 2017 4 Source:  Experian (2016 Simmons Profile Report), 323,996 respondents * Number of consumers in millions U.S. population*: What are the reasons for watching your diet? Maintain weight 44.67 Blood sugar level 48.27 Cholesterol level 56.15 Lose weight 95.77 Food allergy 7.12 Heart disease 16.35 Calcium intake 10.59 Lactose intolerance 8.58 Fat intake 35.87 Diabetes 29.81 Salt intake 25.37 Hypertension 33.76 Other 13.77 Gluten intolerance 5.37 Gain weight 4.16
  5. 5. The Gut Health Mega-Trend | July 2017 5 “Leaky Gut” and Food Sensitivities According to a survey performed by Digestive Health in July 2016, 83% of consumers agreed they had experienced a digestive health ailment. Pew Research Center (Dec., 2016) found that 32% of US adults say they have mild, moderate or severe allergies (15%) or sensitivities (17%) to one or more foods. In addition to gluten free, which boomed in the past 5 years, and lactose/dairy free, glucose free is starting to gain interest due to the rising interest in FODMAP (an acronym that stands for Fermentable, Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols). Some people experience gastro-intestinal symptoms (similar to IBS) after consuming FODMAPs. Increasingly, lactose is perceived as hampering digestion and causing flatulence. Lactose-free milk grew 10% in 2015 (Euromonitor, 2016), with the U.S. being the biggest market (29% of global revenues). Plant-based milk is experiencing an even bigger growth (see our Plant Based Milk report for elaboration of May, 2017). This Google Trends analysis (June 2017) demonstrates that “gut health” and “bloating” are amongst the most growing search terms when it comes to managing health through food (US, last 5 years). Search terms that indicate consumers’ rising awareness to gut health, such as “leaky gut”, are growing too. best foods for gut health + 350% best foods for inflammation + 250% best foods for bloating + 200%
  6. 6. The Gut Health Mega-Trend | July 2017 6 Indeed, consumers, suffering from gastrointestinal symptoms, are turning to allergen-free diets in an attempt to decrease digestion discomfort, even if they were not diagnosed by a professional as intolerant or allergic. This demonstrates that (1) nutrition is widely accepted as a powerful tool for managing lifestyle symptoms and that (2) gastric discomfort is a rather common problem. Atthesametime,scientistsareuncoveringthesignificantrolethatthemicrobiome plays in human health, finding that our bacteria (or lack thereof) can be linked to or associated with: obesity, malnutrition, heart disease, diabetes, celiac disease, eczema, asthma, multiple sclerosis, colitis, some cancers, and even autism (source: The American Microbiome Institute, Inc.). The human microbiome refers to the assemblage of microbes that live in the human body.  While these microbes inhabit all parts of our body that are exposed to the environment, most reside in the gut where they have a constant supply of nutrients. The intersection between weight loss and digestion, combined with the latest discoveries in microbiome research and personal nutrition, is therefore the next big trend to happen in F&B health and wellness. “Leaky Gut” and Food Sensitivities
  7. 7. The Gut Health Mega-Trend | July 2017 7 Gut Microbiome: the Intersection between Science and Consumer Trends According to a study by Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science, published in the Cell journal in December 2016, when gut microbiota are healthy, they maintain regular daily cycles of activities such as congregating in different parts of the intestine and producing molecules that help the body function properly. A disruption of the gut’s rhythms upsets many of the body’s other circadian clocks, especially in the liver, one of the main metabolic organs, and can lead to a number of diseases. Gut health in general, and the gut-mind connection in particular, are gaining huge interest with books, magazines and TV shows discussing the subject. As scientists discover more about the role of gut microbiome in weight management and general health, start-ups are beginning to utilize those discoveries and offer tools for self monitoring and diet decision making. These start-ups are attracting a lot of attention from investors, as demonstrated in the following graph from the Wall-Street Journal. VC Investment in Microbiome Companies * Year to date (Sep. 2016) Sources:, based on Dow Jones Venture Source, Securities and Exchange Commission; the companies Venturecapitalinvestment,inmillions 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016* $ 700 600 500 400 300 200 100 0 1,200% 1,000 800 600 400 200 0 -200 Total amount raised by year (left scale) Change (right scale)
  8. 8. The Gut Health Mega-Trend | July 2017 8 The Result: a Gut-Health Mega Trend We believe that gut health will become a number 1 priority for health-conscious consumers, and diet plans that promise to re-build healthy microbiota, as well as products that help replenish friendly bacteria, will flourish. As presented by our industry-analysis Diamond Model: Bestin class: com panies are starting to reposition products around the guthealth claim M acro trends: obesity,using food as m edicine Innovatorsand D isruptors: m icrobiom e startups offernew applications “allergen free”/“free from ”, w eightm anagem ent,holistic approach on the rise,interestin personalized nutrition C onsum ertrends: GUT HEALTH
  9. 9. The Gut Health Mega-Trend | July 2017 9 Popular books on gut health differ greatly in terms of eating recommendations. Some encourage a vegan-oriented diet, while others look at Paleo-style diets, as a gut health strategy. It seems, however, that gluten and fluid milk might continue to suffer from a negative image. New opportunities arise in dairy, legumes, raw, and fermented foods: Fermented - kefir, kombucha, pickles, and kimchi - as well as cuisines that encourage the consumption of these components (e.g., Korean restaurants) – will rise. Probiotics – after years of decline in the perception of probiotics, supplements and products rich in pro- and pre-biotic fiber will be on trend again. In addition to yogurt and dairy-free fermented products, ingredients such as artichokes and beans will benefit from the trend. Fiber will be the next nutrient in focus, after protein. Since gluten-free is recommended by many gut-health popular books, we believe that legumes can benefit from this trend, as can chia and flax seeds. The Result: a Gut-Health Mega Trend
  10. 10. The Gut Health Mega-Trend | July 2017 10 Clorox launched a Burt’s Bees protein and gut health shake mix, to benefit from both trends. Pepsico responded to the gut health trend through Tropicana Essentials’ Probiotics line, as well as the Nov. 2016 acquisition of KeVita. Beverage Marketing Corporation reported that the kombucha market increased nearly 41% to $534 million in 2016, led by GT’s Kombucha (Millennum Products Inc.). In the 52 weeks ending August, 2016, the company’s Organic Raw Kombucha experienced a 37.5% growth in dollar sales to $ 20.2 million, according to IRI. The Result: a Gut-Health Mega Trend Activated by Living intentions: The company offers “activated foods” describing it as “a merge between sprouted, plant based super-foods, with live probiotics and healing herbs.” Products range: popcorn, cereals, nut blends and seeds
  11. 11. The Gut Health Mega-Trend | July 2017 11 GanedenBC30, developed by Ganeden, is a spore-forming probiotic – which means that, similar to a seed, its genetic material is protected by a hard shell. The company claims that the spore safeguards the probiotic from the heat, cold and pressure of manufacturing, allows for stability during the product shelf life and protects the cells from the acid and bile they are exposed to during transit through the digestive system. Once it is safely inside the small intestine, the probiotic germinates and colonizes to provide benefits. MELT Organic has teamed with Ganeden to launch Probiotic MELT Buttery Spread, a butter substitute with a digestive health claim. NuGo Free Dark Chocolate Crunch bar is enhanced with GanedenBC 30 probiotic, to support a healthy digestive and immune system. Lifeway, the leading US kefir brand, recorded 4.5% growth in 2016 to $ 123.9 million. The company has launched innovations that are based on growth trends such as protein and kids – but we believe the company has to defend its positioning in the probiotic field amidst new competitors. The Result: a Gut-Health Mega Trend Purely Elizabeth, a growing ancient grain granola brand, has launched a probiotic version combining GanedenBC30.
  12. 12. The Gut Health Mega-Trend | July 2017 12 From Microbiome to Personalized Nutrition The concept of personalized nutrition creating new options for consumers looking for a customized approach to managing their health. The start ups in this field usually utilize digital technology, most prominently through mobile apps. Habit – a new startup company “positioned at the intersection of health, technology and food”, aims to lead the personalized nutrition revolution. Habit is currently being tested in the Greater San Francisco area and was recently funded by Campbell Soup Company.
  13. 13. The Gut Health Mega-Trend | July 2017 13 In December 2016, Mayo’s Center for Individualized Medicine revealed it is participating in a Series A financing round for DayTwo Ltd., of Tel Aviv, Israel. The amount of the investment wasn’t specified. The goal of the collaboration and venture investment is to move the DayTwo Personalized Nutrition Solution through clinical trials and into the U.S. market.  The startup’s tech platform taps medical and machine-learning research performed at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, developed nan algorithm for predicting individualized blood glucose response to different foods based on gut microbiome information and other personal parameters.  From Microbiome to Personalized Nutrition Ubiota:“Manypeopleeatprobiotics,includingyogurt,tokeeptheirgutmicrobiota healthy and in balance. Now, uBiota's Personal Metagenomics Kit (PMK) can help you track if your diet and probiotic regime are having the effect you want. You can order a PMK now and start your exploration.”
  14. 14. The Gut Health Mega-Trend | July 2017 14 From Microbiome to Personalized Nutrition The algorithm was further refined by DayTwo and the Weizmann Institute, and the company asserts it can now predict blood sugar response to thousands of different foods and meals. Once it gains market clearance, it will be marketed as a “significant health benefit” for those seeking to balance their levels of blood sugar, which is linked to energy dips, excessive hunger, weight gain, and increased risk for diseases like obesity, diabetes and hypertension.  “DayTwo analyzes your microbiome to predict blood sugar responses to thousands of different foods.”
  15. 15. The Gut Health Mega-Trend | July 2017 15 The gut health mega-trend will create new opportunities for food and beverage companies. The trend pertains to restoring the microbiome, reducing ongoing damage, and building a better microbiome. To learn more about how a specific industry stands to benefit – or lose – from this trend, please contact us. In Conclusion Thryve will send “High-quality and affordable probiotics & non invasive microbiome testing kits delivered monthly to your door.”
  16. 16. The Gut Health Mega-Trend | July 2017 16 How can we help? Schieber Research is a market research and competitive intelligence firm that helps companies recognize new opportunities, innovate, and grow. Founded in 2009, and with offices in New York and Tel Aviv, Schieber Research has served hundreds of companies worldwide, from startups to private equity firms to major consumer goods manufacturers. We provide tailor-made research, ongoing competitive intelligence and reports on industry and consumer trends. We developed a special methodology to monitor, analyze and facilitate market trends, and our worldwide network of field analysts monitors developments in retail and consumer goods on site. Wehaveworkedwithclientsfromdiverseindustries,including:foodandbeverages,automotive, finance, pharma, retail, beauty and personal care, hospitality, home appliances and digital. Founder and CEO Hamutal Schieber is an expert on consumer goods and innovation, and frequently writes for major business publications and lectures at business schools. She is a graduate of the Hebrew University Faculty of Law and has over 16 years of experience in market research. CEO Hamutal Schieber founded the company in 2009. Our offices are in New York and Tel Aviv. Visit us at
  17. 17. Contact us: Tel. 212-403-2819 1001 Ave of the Americas, New York, NY 10018 All rights reserved © Schieber Research, LLC 2017. If you wish to reprint or use, please contact us.