Awareness and use of probiotics among the millennials in the United States: Drivers and implications
Background: Despite the substantial increase in the number of probiotic products available in the U.S. during the last decade and the potential for millennials to be a large market for probiotics, there is a lack of understanding about millennials’ awareness, use, and preference for probiotics. In this study, we examine the relationship between the millennials’ health and diet perceptions and health outcomes, estimate awareness and use levels of probiotics among the millennials, and identify the drivers of use of probiotics.
Methods: An online opt-in Internet panel is used to collect national level survey data on awareness, and use of probiotics from the U.S. population in the age group of 21 to 37 years old.
Results: The study finds that there is divergence in millennials’ perceptions about their health and diet and health outcomes; awareness about probiotics is high and probiotics use is common among the millennials; demographic, socio-economic, and life style related attributes are influential in millennials’ decision on the use of probiotics;, and shakes and yogurt are the most preferred carrier forms of probiotics among the millennials. The study also finds that income constraints and perception of good health status are the major factors hindering the use of probiotics among the millennials.
Conclusion: The study shows that millennials are already an important market for probiotics and there is substantial scope for expanding that market. The ability of probiotics to address public health concerns will depend greatly on how health care providers and probiotic industry will leverage these high levels of awareness and use by the millennials. Findings from our study provide insights that are helpful for probiotics product and market development and outreach efforts that will result in increased use of probiotics among the millennials with positive implications for public health and overall economy.
Keywords: consumer preference, probiotic industry, health policy, shakes, yogurt
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