China Food

Neglected intestinal health: targeting the middle-aged and elderly, the most important group in the trillion intestinal Market

“ 
is an excellent entrance for nutrition regulation and chronic disease management.
 ”

Wen: Tan XueBei

Source: ageclub (ID: ageclub)

 
The intestinal health of the elderly is an undeveloped blue ocean.
with the increase of age, the intestinal flora of the elderly gradually decreases and the intestinal function declines. Studies show that many diseases including diabetes, cancer, obesity and so on are related to intestinal flora imbalance, and these chronic diseases are mostly high incidence diseases in the elderly.
in addition, the elderly are the largest group of long-term medication. Many drugs that need to be taken for a long time have certain side effects on intestinal function. In particular, radiotherapy and chemotherapy do more harm to patients’ intestinal function, causing huge damage to their own intestinal flora.
based on this finding, ageclub interviewed the opinion leader “Mr. warm hearted” in the field of intestinal health in China. LAN Canhui, who graduated from the Department of biology of Tsinghua University, is the founder and chairman of the enthusiastic bowel Research Institute.
in 2015 he founded the WeChat official account, Mr. “warmhearted bowel”. He used “warmhearted bowel” as his pseudonym, and focused on releasing authoritative intestinal science and academic content. After several years of precipitation, the “enthusiastic bowel Research Institute” led by him has become a well-known platform with great influence and voice in the field of intestinal health.
LAN Canhui once said: the intestinal industry will be a trillion market in the future.
based on this point of view, we hope to discuss with LAN Canhui the combination of the elderly industry and the intestinal industry through this interview, and explore the business prospects of silver hair consumer groups in the intestinal industry.
the following is the content of the interview:
five common intestinal problems of middle-aged and elderly people
Q1:老年人的肠道有哪些生理特点与菌群特征?
老年人的肠道和其他器官一样,最主要的特征就是衰老。
所以老年人肠道的生理功能一定是下降的,比如对营养物质的消化、代谢、吸收,包括胃肠道里的激素、酶,肠道里的屏障功能、免疫功能等等都是衰退的,进而易导致肠道菌群发生改变、肠屏障功能失守、肠道炎症增加等问题。
有两个比较关键的概念:
  • First, the elderly are prone to functional problems in their intestines, such as lack of gastrointestinal motility, imbalance of flora, constipation and so on.
  • Second, the elderly have more diseases caused by aging and more organic diseases, such as polyps, tumors and intestinal obstruction. It is also a common phenomenon that intestinal physiological function disappears due to disease or surgical problems.
至于肠道菌群的特点,如果只用两个字定义,也是“衰老”。
因为衰老,大部分老年人的肠道微生物物种多样性会减少,菌群功能也会比年轻状态下丧失许多。
当然也有一些特别严重或者情况特殊的老年人,他们可能出现病原微生物增多、肠道菌群紊乱的情况,造成菌群多样性增加,但可能是病变状态,会引起慢性炎症。
举一个例子,一些人年轻时肠道里有正常的共生菌,到了老年却可能转化成条件致病菌,在肠道黏液层变薄、屏障功能失守的时候,也许会引起肠道炎症。
Q2:国内中老年人最常见的肠道问题有哪些?
一是肿瘤、息肉。从升结肠、横结肠、降结肠再到直肠,都是肿瘤高发的地方;
二是肠炎、便秘。有些老年人经常肚子痛,肠道里面可能有炎症,而便秘是非常普遍的老年难题。
三是炎症性肠病,包含两种:一种是溃疡性结肠炎,一种是克罗恩病。这是国内老年群体当前比较高发的疾病,它的特点在于反复发作而且难治,可能整段肠道都出现炎症。
四是腹泻。比如,老年人是长期用药的重点人群,一些抗生素类药物带来的腹泻,或者衰老相关的腹泻,也是经常发生的。
五是肠易激综合征。这种疾病以前大多难以确诊,或者易出现误诊。有些老年人经常肚子胀气、肚子痛,但是发现不了原因。他们吃饭、上厕所都是正常的,肠道也没有炎症,却处于稍微有点刺激,比如被辣的冷的刺激以后就很不舒服,或者吃了一些碳水化合物和膳食纤维以后胀气特别明显,这些很可能就是肠易激综合征的表现。
Q3:对于老年人而言,危害最大的肠道问题有哪些?
 
我个人觉得,危害最大的有两种情况:
  • One is tumors, such as colorectal cancer and rectal cancer, which may be directly life-threatening;
  • The other is constipation. Although it is usually not an emergency, some people even think it is not a serious disease, it is actually very harmful.
实际上便秘在老年人中是高发现象,如果长期不采取措施改善或者治疗,可能会诱发其他疾病。例如有些老年人上厕所时,因为过度用力,导致血压升高、血管损伤,甚至猝死在卫生间。而从人群层面来讲,便秘的发生率肯定比肿瘤要高很多。
所以从危害性来讲,我觉得便秘更可能是容易被忽视的一个问题。
Q4:在您看来,肠道健康对于老年人群有什么特殊的重要意义吗?
肠道健康对于老年群体的重要性是毋庸置疑的。但不仅仅针对老年人,对于任何一个群体的人而言,肠道健康都极其重要。
我们吃进去的食物,不管是健康的还是不健康的,都要靠肠道精细地消化、吸收,再通过循环系统把食物成分、代谢产物等营养物质输送到全身。
所以肠道健康了,意味着可能其他器官也是健康的。肠道不健康,其他器官大概率也不健康。甚至肠道健康了,人的精气神都会更好。
“the elderly are the most important group in the intestinal industry”
Q5: do you think the elderly are closely related to the intestinal industry? Why?
is too tight. On the one hand, the number of elderly people is huge; On the other hand, the elderly are the key consumers of intestinal health products.
healthy old people have diet and health preservation needs; Elderly people with diseases may have a great demand for drugs, ordinary food, health food and special medical food.
moreover, even if we say that diet and lifestyle are the most critical to improving intestinal health, it may be more difficult for older people to adjust their perennial diet and lifestyle. Therefore, some scientific, evidence-based, practical and effective product interventions, including some behavioral interventions, are valuable.
Q6: what are the combination points between the elderly industry and the intestinal industry?
makes an analogy or connection with the elderly industry. There is a basic judgment: as long as it is related to eating, drinking and Lasa, it can be included in the intestinal industry, which is very wide. Food is the most important thing for the people. The elderly pay great attention to food, so the elderly will be a huge market in the intestinal industry in the future.
in the past, when we defined the intestinal industry, we said that “the intestinal industry is about half of the big health industry”.
from this point of view, it will indeed cover all aspects. In the future, the big health industry in the elderly industry, I believe, is also more or less related to the intestine.
Q7: from the market side, what are the main types of enterprises for the elderly? What are the opportunities behind it?
the first is the industry with higher technical content, such as tumor screening. The intestinal problems of the elderly were monitored by screening and in vitro testing.
the second is special medical food. I am extremely optimistic about the future development of special medical food, because the aging of the elderly is comprehensive, not “headache cures the head, foot pain cures the foot”. At this time, we need to make comprehensive nutritional improvement.
the third is the conditioning and regulation of high-risk and chronic diseases of the elderly. From ordinary foods, such as common yogurt and milk powder for the elderly, to health foods, such as dietary fiber and probiotics, including some products with the same origin of medicine and food, they are valuable.
the fourth is some categories with strong service attributes. For example, special catering for the elderly, nutrition and exercise intervention and solutions in the elderly care process.
fifth is some wearable devices. They can monitor the changes of relevant nutritional characteristics and blood indicators of the elderly at any time, so as to provide individualized nutrition programs for the elderly, which I think is valuable.
from the current overall market in China, most enterprises involved in this field, including the relevant business departments of start-ups and large enterprises, have just started. In the next 5 to 10 years, we should see that more enterprises can make great breakthroughs.
Q8: how to view the market scale of the elderly group in the whole intestinal industry?
I think it is no less than the mother and baby group.
there is no specific data for the elderly group, but it can be judged from several major fields and directions. The elderly are not only the people with high incidence of intestinal diseases, but also the people with high incidence of various chronic diseases such as hypertension, hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia and so on. In the nutritional intervention of intestinal tract, there is actually a very large market for intervention against these chronic diseases.
if several groups of people are superimposed, including people with diseases, people with tumors, people with chronic diseases, elderly health care, etc., the elderly are still the most important group in the whole intestinal industry.
“the consumption of the elderly in the whole intestinal industry accounts for less than 1 / 10”
Q9: what is the proportion of the elderly in the consumption of intestinal friendly products at present?
I think the actual demand is not directly proportional to the industrial scale.
mothers and infants or other groups have strong consumption power to improve intestinal health through infant formula milk powder, solid beverage, yogurt, lactic acid bacteria beverage and other products. Although there are many products specifically for the elderly, they are not so focused on promotion because they are not as urgent as the needs of mother and child groups.
and the elderly receive more promotion and promotion of health products. If they specialize in intestinal health, they are likely to be buried in many nutritional and health foods or become less concerned categories.
therefore, although from a professional point of view, the elderly should focus on improving intestinal health, there are many enterprises and products specifically for the elderly. However, from the perspective of the whole market consumption, I personally think that at present, the proportion of the elderly group in the whole intestinal industry may be less than 1 / 10.
Q10: how to more effectively popularize intestinal health science and products for the elderly?
first, through truly professional and authoritative channels. For example, for the elderly in hospital, doctors can carry out health science popularization for them. In addition to medical interventions such as drugs, radiotherapy and chemotherapy, it is very effective to let the elderly know the methods to improve intestinal health.
the second is through advertising. But this method is relatively difficult. Domestic consumers have been brainwashed by various advertisements of health products for a long time and are gradually becoming rational, especially the elderly. At the same time, they face too many and miscellaneous products, which will be more chaotic and difficult to choose.
therefore, it is a good plan to promote intestinal health publicity through professional channels such as doctors and hospitals in the future, so that the elderly can follow the most authoritative suggestions, so as to establish their consumption awareness and concept of intestinal health for the elderly.
in addition, there may also be some market space for standardized and scientific popular science and product promotion specifically for the elderly through innovative ways such as private domain traffic, live broadcasting and new retail.
“Combine hard technology with marketing to make good products speak”
Q11: you mentioned the marketing phenomenon of various health foods in China. For example, products with the concepts of “probiotics”, “prebiotics” and “dietary fiber” are very popular in the market in recent years, and some consumers question the concept of “IQ tax” or “speculation”. What do you think of this phenomenon?
this phenomenon is also overheated in the industry.
because the intestinal tract, including intestinal flora, is indeed very magical. Through metabolism, absorption and circulation system, it can be connected with most or even all organs of the body. Therefore, improving intestinal health can have beneficial value for many diseases. Many people in the
industry also take advantage of this to make their products seem to be all inclusive and omnipotent, which once led to the same criticism of prebiotics, probiotics, dietary fiber and other products as health care products.
of course, objectively speaking, some dietary fiber and prebiotics can effectively solve the problem of constipation in the elderly, and even improve the intestinal flora in improving or treating autism in children. The objective results of these scientific research and clinical demonstration will not be pushed down.
in any case, the development of the industry needs more scientific research to accumulate evidence-based evidence, enterprise self-discipline to do a good job in products and publicity, supervision to keep up with the rapid development of the industry in time, and more solid, objective and instructive authoritative popular science.
Q12: how to solve such excessive and exaggerated marketing problems, so as to improve the inherent bias of some consumers towards health food or related products?
we have been calling on the industry to exercise self-discipline and strengthen the supervision of all parties and the media in order to make the industry healthy.
at the same time, there should be more scientific evidence in the future. The industry stresses science and evidence-based, so that consumers can really look at it rationally, which is very important.
also has a good phenomenon. Now more and more big brands and leading enterprises enter the market. These big brands or international brands will bring some positive brand effects.
in the future, the intestinal industry may also have the phenomenon of head enterprises gathering. At that time, it may not be so difficult for consumers to make choices.
q13: you mentioned “research and development with the concept of marketing” in your speech. How to interpret it?
the development of intestinal health products should be scientific and evidence-based.
therefore, the premise of R & D is a responsible brand or a specially standardized enterprise, which makes the products reliable through a scientific and evidence-based way. The next step is how to avoid “the smell of wine is afraid of the depth of the alley”.
can we put the language of consumer education into the product, so that good products can speak! Good strains, product innovation, formula and intestinal health technology, whether they can have a good name, good slogan and positioning, and whether they can spread through reliable channels… These are all issues that enterprises must solve. Many enterprise leaders in
intestinal field come from professional institutions, such as professors and doctors from the Chinese Academy of Sciences or university research institutes. They are often professional in technology and scientific evidence-based, but they are not good at marketing innovation. The so-called “research and development with the concept of marketing”, I hope that more products or brands that are both scientific and evidence-based and well-selling will emerge in the future.
q14: is there any case or experience sharing on “good product + good marketing”?
in 2017, we made a formula for Beijing Sanyuan food. The formula is composed of a very well-known and effective probiotic, six other probiotics and six different prebiotics, which are put in yogurt. This product is called “166 yogurt”, which is a very typical case.
first of all, its research and development is very rigorous. It has made formula and evidence-based in the national Mother and infant dairy engineering and technology research center, and also made clinical verification. In 301 Hospital and Henan Provincial People’s Hospital, the efficiency of clinical verification for people with constipation is very high, so it is a “good product”.
in terms of product name, “166” – “1 + 6 + 6”: one main probiotic plus six other probiotics plus six different prebiotics. Its selling price is also 16.6 yuan.
this is my favorite method: the product itself is very hard, and Sanyuan is also a well-known dairy brand. At the same time, it is attached to the product in the simple digital marking mode of “166-1 + 6 + 6”. For consumers, the product is effective and easy to remember. This product is easy to remember.
it is difficult to do R & D with marketing concept at any time. However, as long as the person with a heart or the team has the ability, it can skillfully combine hard technology with marketing concept, so as to create a brand effect with more core competitiveness.
Q15: how to evaluate the future trend and Prospect of the middle-aged and elderly intestinal industry?
I am extremely optimistic about the whole intestinal industry, and the elderly belong to special groups. As long as they are special groups, there will be a lot of demand in the future.
ageclub is the first industrial media focusing on business innovation and venture capital incubation in the elderly industry in China. It provides business consulting and incubation venture capital incubation services for large companies / start-ups entering the elderly industry. At present, it has invested in and incubated a number of elderly entertainment / e-commerce / technology companies.
original title: exclusive interview | neglected intestinal health: targeting the middle-aged and elderly, the most important group in the trillion intestinal market, reprint authorization and media business cooperation: Amy (wechat: 13701559246);
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