Gut Health Brands Gain Traction in Europe


Gut health innovators are looking beyond our digestive systems, optimising for physical, nutritional, and mental health.

Trust Your Gut

Regarded as the gateway to everything from weight management and sleep efficiency to exercise motivation and better cognitive function, startups across Europe are leveraging the role of the gut microbiome in boosting overall health.

Transforming taboos into talking points and engineering products that work with the body, they’re unlocking solutions for consumers prioritising do-it-yourself wellness.

A rising epidemic. 40% of adults suffer from a gastrointestinal disorder, while 30% claim their digestive health has deteriorated over the past year, catalysed by poor dietary and lifestyle choices.

Cause for concern, consumers are researching ways to deepen their understanding and guide a proactive approach.

  • Two in three consumers now recognise gut health as key to overall well-being.
  • Globally, 43% of consumers have changed their diets to boost their digestive health.
  • 51% of consumers aged 18–24 are interested in products elevating digestive health, per Mintel.

But, despite growing awareness, only 27% of the population take the required steps to improve their digestive health, while two-thirds of consumers admit they still lack understanding.

You are what you eat. Undeterred, as scientific understanding of the microbiome deepens, trailblazing brands are working to bridge the science-to-practice gap through personalised and preventative solutions.

  • Unlocking new pathways with digital therapeutics, Germany’s Cara Care provides individual coaching plans, from food suggestions and “mind-gut” exercises like self-hypnosis.
  • Using a breathalyzer device, Ireland-based FoodMarble measures fermentation levels against the effects of meals, stress, and sleep in real-time.
  • Leveraging a combination of at-home health tests, artificial intelligence, and big data to deliver personalised insights, UK-based ZOE connects the dots between what people eat and the gut’s response.

Beyond tracking, The Nue Co. ($35.5M), Her One (€5.5M), and Heights (£2M)—as well as the US’ Seed Health ($40M)—have raised growth funding to develop probiotics engineered to elevate the microbiome while attracting millions of subscribers for their daily supplements.

And, as conscious eating takes hold with consumers, startups within the growing fermentation category are pushing into global retail, with everything from granola and snack bars to kombucha, kefir, and kimchi.

Looking ahead: There’s no doubt optimal gut health has a prominent role in the body’s interconnected systems. But, startups will need to take insights learned from the lab, formulating easy-to-understand, bite-sized solutions for a population poor in both nutrition and know-how.

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