To monitor the evolution of European consumers’ opinions, trends and behaviours regarding probiotic foods and supplements, the International Probiotics Association – Europe (1) commissioned the market research company 3Gem to carry out a survey with a representative sample. The evolution of European consumers’ opinions, trends and behaviours regarding probiotic foods and supplements shows a strong interest in overall health and well-being. It also highlights the fact that consumers would like to be more informed on the labelling and in communications about probiotic food, and about probiotic microorganisms in food and food supplements. This is one of the key findings of the consumer survey conducted by 3Gem and commissioned by IPA Europe.
The online survey was carried out in 8 European countries (Italy, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, Poland, Belgium, Germany and Sweden) on a total of 8000 consumers (2) to assess people’s understanding of the probiotic offer currently on the market, and their use of probiotic foods and supplements in daily life.
The overall results indicate that probiotics are popular, even people who do not use or buy probiotics know the term.
It appears that for the majority of consumers the answer to “Do you know what probiotics and probiotic foods are?” is “yes” (63%). Women and men seem to consume probiotics almost equally. On average the peak consumption is in the 25-44 age group.
There is quite a substantial set of people who know the word ‘probiotic’, even though they say that they do not consume them. This is probably due to the large amount of information available on probiotics in online search engines on the web, mainly from commercial sources and news outlets. However, these sites often fail to paint a complete picture, so consumers may miss relevant information.
Executive Director IPA Europe
 IPA Europe is the European chapter of IPA, the International Probiotics Association; it was established in Brussels in 2015. The members of IPA Europe are Companies directly engaged in Europe in the manufacture of probiotic cultures or probiotic foods, supplements, and nutritional or therapeutic products. The IPA Europe mission is to gain acceptance of the term “probiotic” throughout Europe as a defined category and to create a favourable environment for probiotics in Europe.
 3Gem conducted this online survey in 8 European countries on a total of 8000 consumers. Per country: n= 1000 respondents/18+ years old/nat.rep. by age, gender, and region. In Italy, Denmark, the Netherlands and Spain the term ‘probiotic’ is (partially) allowed by National guidance/standards; Poland, Germany, Belgium and Sweden do not have national standards and follow the interpretation of the European Commission indicating the term probiotic as an example of health claim only.