Consumer Perception of Probiotics: Social Media

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Consumer Perception of Probiotics: Social Media

Key Takeaways

  • The brand has received very favorable reviews from customers on online retail websites such as CVS, Amazon, and Walmart.
  • In 2022, on the 9th Annual BrandSparkMost Trusted Awards, Culturelle was declared the winner of the award in the "probiotic supplements" category.
  • The volume of critical/negative customer reviews that the brand receives is low.

Introduction

This research report contains a detailed analysis of consumer perception of the probiotic brand, Culturelle. Culturelle offers various versions of its products intended for different audiences, such as Gummies for Men and Women, Chewables For Kids, Probiotic for Adults, Women's Healthy Balance Probiotic, and more. In select cases, slightly dated research has been incorporated into this report to corroborate the provided findings, as well as to provide historic evidence of the impacts of the findings to date.

Positive Sentiment

  • The brand's product line has received very favorable reviews from its customers on online retail websites.
  • Culturelle Daily Probiotic received a star rating of 4.7/5.0 from 16,067 global ratings.
  • Culturelle Kids Chewable Daily Probiotic For Kids (Natural Berry) received a star rating of 4.8/5.0 from 7,240 global ratings.
  • Culturelle Women's Healthy Balance Probiotic for Women received a star rating of 4.7/5.0 from 6,437 global ratings.
  • Culturelle Daily Probiotic Gummies for Men and Women received a star rating of 4.7/5.0 from 4,802 global ratings.
  • The features that customers appear to like the most about Culturelle's probiotics are that it is easy to use and that the flavor is tolerable.
  • The price of its probiotics is among the brand's strongest features; customers believe that Culturelle's offerings are reasonably priced and are of good value.

  • A common theme among positive reviews is that customers are generally pleased about the effectiveness of Culturelle's products in improving their digestive health.
  • One of the main aspects that make the brand stand out from its competitors is that its products contain 100% naturally sourced Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG). LGG has been clinically shown to strengthen the immune system and improve digestive health according to several studies:
    • A study of 245 adults who consumed LGG or a placebo to prevent diarrhea when traveling to different countries show that the group that took LGG cut diarrhea risk by almost 50%.
    • A study of LGG's ability to lessen or prevent antibiotic-associated-diarrhea in children found that 8% of those who took LGG had diarrhea, compared to 26% who consumed a placebo.
    • A study involving "287 youngsters from 10 countries found that LGG reduced infectious diarrhea by a day" compared to a placebo.

Culturelle Is Trusted By Consumers

  • Brandspark International is a research and consulting firm founded in 2001.
  • Every year, BrandSpark surveys thousands of North American consumers "to determine which brands are trusted the most."
  • Results from the past five years are as follows:
    • In 2018, on the 5th Annual BrandSparkMost Trusted Awards, Culturelle was declared the winner of the award in one category — probiotic supplement.
    • In 2019, on the 6th Annual BrandSparkMost Trusted Awards, Culturelle was declared the winner of the award in one category — probiotic supplement.
    • In 2020, on the 7th Annual BrandSparkMost Trusted Awards, Culturelle was declared the winner of the award in two categories — baby probiotics and probiotic supplements.
    • In 2021, on the 8th Annual BrandSparkMost Trusted Awards, Culturelle was declared the winner of the award in two categories — probiotic supplements (tied with Align and Nature's Bounty) and baby probiotics.
    • In 2022, on the 9th Annual BrandSparkMost Trusted Awards, Culturelle was declared the winner of the award in one category — probiotic supplements.

Negative Sentiment

  • The volume of critical/negative customer reviews that the brand receives is generally low; one-star reviews make up approximately 1% to 2% of total customer reviews on retailers such as Amazon and Walmart.
  • Some of its products received a slightly higher number of one-star ratings, such as the Culturelle IBS Complete Support; currently, the number of one-star ratings for this product stands at 5% on Amazon. This figure is still considered relatively low.
  • One-star customer reviews of their products appear to be due to issues such as adverse effects, manufacturing defects, and/or poor quality control.
  • Some customers view the brand in an unfavorable light because they felt that the results did not meet their expectations.
  • According to Yehuda Ringel, M.D., associate professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and gastroenterologist, "probiotics such as Culturelle are not useful to everyone."

Concerns (Titanium Dioxide)

  • The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is the agency of the European Union (EU) that provides independent scientific advice and communication "on risks associated with the food chain."
  • In 2021, following a request by the European Commission, EFSA updated its safety assessment of titanium dioxide (E171).
  • Professor Maged Younes, the Chair of EFSA’s expert Panel on Food Additives and Flavourings made the following statement, "Taking into account all available scientific studies and data, the Panel concluded that titanium dioxide can no longer be considered safe as a food additive."
  • Younes added: "A critical element in reaching this conclusion is that we could not exclude genotoxicity concerns after consumption of titanium dioxide particles. After oral ingestion, the absorption of titanium dioxide particles is low, however, they can accumulate in the body."
  • In 2022, the European Commission announced that titanium dioxide "will be banned as a food additive."
  • Some of Culturelle's customers are concerned about the inclusion of the additive on its product line.
  • As the European ban kicks in the summer of 2022 and more consumers become more aware of EFSA's position on titanium dioxide and its potential dangers, an increase in negative sentiment towards the brand may be likely if its products are not reformulated to exclude titanium dioxide.

Culturelle Clubhouse

  • The Culturelle Clubhouse serves as a "home base for customers to connect" with Culturelle and other members. Here, members are able to "participate in interactive digital experiences" such as discussions, tailored offers, activities, and more.
  • Leveraging Culturelle Clubhouse, the brand was able to drive authentic engagement and spark meaningful conversation with its audience.
  • Customer engagement is crucial as it can increase customer trust and loyalty, boost the brand experience, and improve customers' perception of a brand.
  • Findings show that when a consumer is loyal to a brand, 86% will recommend the brand to family and friends, and 66% of consumers are likely to write a positive review.
  • Culturelle has managed to obtain strong results from its Culturelle Clubhouse initiative:
    • Community members: 22,000+.
    • Consumer-generated impressions: 20 MM.
    • Increase "in consumers who always purchase the brand": +18%.
    • Net promoter score: 74%.

Research Strategy

For this research on consumer perception surrounding Culturelle, we leveraged the most reputable sources of information that were available in the public domain including Gartner, WebMD, and more. The research team analyzed consumer reviews from multiple independent websites (e.g. online retailers) in order to determine customer sentiment. In order to receive the most accurate consumer perception, we've included customer reviews that had received a high amount of "likes" as this action generally indicates that other customers are able to relate to the sentiment presented in the review. We also prioritized independent and reliable sources, generally avoiding sponsored/promotional reviews to reduce bias and to present a more accurate reflection of consumer perception of the brand.

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