World Microbiome Day 2024: 5 tips to create gut health products that consumers really want


By:  Talking Nutrition Editors



  • As awareness around the holistic health benefits of the gut microbiome grows – fueled by growing science, new technologies and rising consumer interest in gut health – there are increasing opportunities for brands to bring gut health products to market that go beyond digestive support.
  • In light of this year’s World Microbiome Day, we are sharing our top tips to help dietary supplement manufacturers create solutions that stand out from the competition and truly resonate with consumers.
  • Read on to discover what gut health consumers really want and how you can adapt your innovation approach to thrive in the market.   

World Microbiome Day, held on June 27, celebrates the wonders of microbial life and shines a spotlight on the fascinating gut health research being conducted globally. This field has flourished in the last ten years, thanks to the development of next-generation technologies that allow us to study the human microbiome in remarkable detail. Consequently, we have a much deeper understanding of how the gut microbiome impacts our overall health beyond digestion. Consumers are also waking up to these benefits, with 76% now recognizing the link between good gut health and overall wellness.1 This growing awareness has led to a boom in gut health solutions entering the dietary supplements industry. But in an ever-crowded market, how can brands develop products that consumers really want?

1. First, rethink your approach to gut health  

The theme for this year’s World Microbiome Day is “feeding your gut”. We regularly consume food that enters the gastrointestinal tract, but feeding the microbiome in your gut requires a different approach. The microbiome needs specialized fuel sources that are not always abundant in a normal diet. For example, probiotics – live bacteria that help to keep your gut healthy – can be added to food or taken as a supplement to nourish the gut microbiome. Similarly, prebiotics – non-digestible ingredients that ‘feed’ the beneficial probiotic bacteria – can also be taken to boost gut health. Many strategies using these ingredients aim to selectively feed the ‘good’ bacteria to help them thrive over the ‘bad’ bacteria. However, unlocking the full potential of the gut requires more than a single ingredient.

Taking an ‘ecosystems’ approach to gut health – rather than simply supporting ‘good’ bacteria – is the future of innovation in this space. Powered by our deep understanding of the gut ecosystem, we have adopted this unique strategy to enable a balanced gut environment that helps the microbiome to truly flourish. To this end, we focus on helping the entire gut ecosystem work in harmony to unlock its full health benefits. Here’s how:

  • We provide the right nutrients needed to support a healthy gut environment.
  • Our ingredients promote the growth of keystone species – microorganisms that act as a critical connecting network between bacteria.
  • We have the expertise and ingredients to strengthen gut barrier integrity, which is key to maintaining the homeostasis of the gut network and preventing the onset of inflammation and disease.
  • We continue to widen our understanding of how microbiome-independent mechanisms impact overall health.

By taking this ecosystems approach to gut health, we’re helping supplement brands bring natural balance to the gut so that it can deliver the holistic health benefits that it is truly capable of.

2. Make science a priority  

In addition to rethinking your approach to gut health, it is also important to consider the latest microbiome science – and make research-backed ingredients a key focus of your product development strategy. Market data from McKinsey & Company reveals that consumers are no longer jumping headfirst into the latest wellness trends without asking, “What does the science say?”2 This movement towards data-driven and science-supported solutions demonstrates that consumers are prioritizing efficacy. In fact, in the United Kingdon and United States, around half of consumers reported clinical effectiveness as a top purchasing factor.2 Creating products backed by research can also help brands differentiate and build trust and credibility within the industry. So the data has spoken – science sells. But ensuring gut health products truly resonate with consumers demands more than data alone...  

3. Think beyond digestive health

The shift in focus from ‘lifespan’ to ‘healthspan’ (disease-free years) is fueling demand for products that support long-term wellbeing. Given the links between the microbiome and overall health, there is an opportunity for dietary supplement manufacturers to develop gut-focused products that support health more holistically, to deliver benefits for immunity, brain health and mood.

For instance, the gut-brain axis is a well-established connection between the gut microbiome and the nervous system within the gastrointestinal tract and the central nervous system. Evidence suggests that the gut microbiome can influence the gut-brain relationship, potentially having a positive impact on mood, cognition and mental health.3 With brain health becoming an important priority for many consumers, creating gut-supporting solutions with brain health claims could therefore be a smart move for dietary supplement manufacturers.

Gut health brands could also consider using human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) to support immunity. HMOs are a collection of carbohydrate structures and the third most abundant solid component in human milk after lipids and lactose.4 They act as prebiotic agents to promote optimal microbiota development in infants.5 Recent evidence also reveals that HMOs can modulate microbial metabolism in the adult gut and may be able to prevent intestinal inflammation.6

Using advanced biotics is another approach that dietary supplement manufacturers could leverage to deliver more holistic health benefits. As pioneers in biotics, we offer a portfolio of research-backed, multi-ingredient and IP-protected biotic solutions for innovation in this space. Our Humiome® Probiotics deliver unique combinations of patented bacterial strains to support the digestive system and beyond. Whereas Humiome® Post LB is a safe, stable and easy-to-use postbiotic ingredient comprising two proprietary Lactobacillus strains, metabolites and fermented culture medium. This solution is scientifically proven to support digestive health and regulate immunity by supporting a healthy, balanced gut microbiome.7,8,9,10,11,12

4. Stay on the pulse of innovation

Pushing the boundaries of innovation is key to staying ahead of the curve in the gut health market. This could mean developing products with novel ingredients, such as HMOs, or using innovative delivery formats, like gummies and functional foods, to stand out in the ever-crowded gut health landscape.

One way that we’re helping customers achieve a competitive edge is with our new development in the biotics space – Humiome® B2, powered by our patented Microbiome Targeted Technology™ (MTT™). It is a next-generation ‘biotic’ with prebiotic-like functions. Unlike traditional vitamin B2 solutions, where the majority of vitamin B2 is absorbed in the small intestine, Humiome® B2 supports a healthy and well-nourished gut environment by releasing ~90% of vitamin B2 in the lower intestine and colon. Upon reaching the large intestine, Humiome® B2’s vitamin core dissolves to directly support bacterial metabolism, foster resilience and protect against oxidative stress. By leveraging this novel ‘biotic’ vitamin, brands can create efficacious and convenient gut health solutions, thanks to its low dose functionality – giving consumers what they really want.

5. Help to educate

Creating innovative, efficacious and science-backed gut health solutions is a must for brands looking to succeed in this competitive market. However, even the most advanced products will fall flat if consumers do not understand their true value. As such, translating the science behind gut health products into clear, tangible benefits is key. Companies should therefore try to educate consumers about the gut microbiome, gut health ingredients (like biotics), the distinct health benefits they offer and simplify the science. For instance, brands could promote more educational content, collaborate with gut health experts, create short videos or infographics to explain the science or even dedicate sections on their websites to provide accessible information for consumers. In doing so, they’ll also position themselves as thought leaders in the field and be top of mind the next time consumers reach for a gut health solution.

Feeling inspired by our top tips? Discover how we can help you unleash the full potential of the gut microbiome and deliver truly purpose-led solutions that consumers really want.


1 DSM Global Health Concerns Study 2023.

2 The trends defining the $1.8 trillion global wellness market in 2024. McKinsey & Company.

3 Fekete M, Lehoczki A, Major D, Fazekas-Pongor V, Csípő T, Tarantini S, Csizmadia Z, Varga JT. (2024) Exploring the Influence of Gut–Brain Axis Modulation on Cognitive Health: A Comprehensive Review of Prebiotics, Probiotics, and Symbiotics. Nutrients. 16(6):789

4 Bode L. Human milk oligosaccharides: every baby needs a sugar mama. Glycobiology. 2012;22(9):1147-1162.

5 Walsh, C., Lane, J.A., van Sinderen, D. et al. (2022) Human milk oligosaccharide-sharing by a consortium of infant derived Bifidobacterium species. Sci Rep.12:4143.

6 Schalich KM, Buendia MA, Kaur H, et al. (2024) A human milk oligosaccharide prevents intestinal inflammation in adulthood via modulating gut microbial metabolism. mBio.15(4):e0029824.

7 Tarrerias et al. (2011) The effect of inactivated Lactobacillus LB fermented culture medium on symptom severity: observational investigation in 297 patients with diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome. Dig Dis. 29(6):588–591. ​

8 Xiao SD, et al. (2003) Multicenter, randomized, controlled trial of heat-killed Lactobacillus acidophilus LB in patients with chronic diarrhea. Adv Ther. 20(5):253-60​

9 ​Elfrargy et al. (2014) Oral Probiotics Reduce Incidence of Necrotizing Enterocolitis and Sepsis in Neonates with Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy. Journal of American Science​

10 Tarrerias et al. (2011) The effect of inactivated Lactobacillus LB fermented culture medium on symptom severity: observational investigation in 297 patients with diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome. Dig Dis. 29(6):588–591. ​

11 Liévin-Le Moal V, et al. (2007) An experimental study and a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial to evaluate the antisecretory activity of Lactobacillus acidophilus strain LB against nonrotavirus diarrhea. Pediatrics. 120(4):e795-803.​

12  Salazar-Lindo E. et al. (2007) Effectiveness and safety of Lactobacillus LB in the treatment of mild acute diarrhea in children. JPGN. 44:571-576​

Published on

12 June 2024


6 min read

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