Growing Microbiome-Based Business Opportunities in the Consumer Products Space

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Unmet needs in the microbiome space provide opportunities to engage for industry players across agrifood and personal care sectors, according to Lux Research

Boston, MA, November 11, 2021 – Over the past decade, microbiome research has accelerated, emerging as a hotspot for innovation, given its potential to impact a number of industries in the agrifood and health value chains. Despite staggering startup activity, developers have barely scratched the surface when it comes to aligning science and product development with the microbiome. According to new data from Lux Research, a leading provider of tech-enabled research and innovation advisory services, microbiome applications for consumer products are fast-growing opportunities with unmet needs that must be addressed to achieve success across the agrifood and personal care sectors. Lux’s new report, “Microbiome-Based Business Opportunities for Consumer Products,” focuses specifically on different gut and skin microbiome-modulating products, outlining technology trends and developments. In Lux’s analysis, five major categories emerged for gut and skin microbiome modulation:

  • Probiotics
  • Prebiotics
  • Synbiotics
  • Postbiotics
  • Bacteriophages

“Innovation momentum is growing for the gut microbiome and skin microbiome. While the gut microbiome and associated products like probiotics and prebiotics are well-known, the skin microbiome and oral microbiome are newer commercial opportunities,” explains Harini Venkataraman, Ph.D., Analyst at Lux Research and lead author of the report. “With increasing consumer interest in overall health and wellness, players in the food and beverage and personal care arena are looking to unravel microbial impacts on health. Mastering the microbiome is crucial for consumer product companies to not just survive but also thrive in the long term.”

Moving beyond the known, Lux Research has analyzed the unmet development needs in the technology value chain, highlighting opportunities for both upstream and downstream players in the food and beverage and personal care industries. These needs differ based on the microbiome-modulating product, presenting unique opportunities to engage for discovery, novel applications, scale-up, and formulation.

While the gut microbiome space is rapidly offering opportunities for diverse industry players to engage, identifying the right opportunities and ways to engage is crucial to success. Upstream ingredient companies with existing gut health offerings should evaluate ways to diversify their portfolios while focusing on strengthening their core offerings. The skin microbiome space is nascent, but the potential to disrupt the cosmetic and personal care industry is high. Unlike in the gut microbiome space, industry players have barely scratched the surface of the value of productizing the skin microbiome in consumer products.

Consumer education and transparent communication will play vital roles in the eventual adoption of microbiome-modifying products. Although brand owners have a higher liability in taking the lead here, providers of consumer product goods and raw materials have started adopting effective communication strategies. Overall, to thrive in the microbiome space, technology integration will be critical, and companies should engage with partners offering synergistic solutions to complement their offerings.

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