COVID-19 Drives Prioritization of Immune Health

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Arnhem, Netherlands—In October 2020, Innova Market Insights released its annual Top Ten Trends report to gives retailers, brands, and manufacturers insight into consumer demands. Coming in at #5 on the list: Immune Health. Innova reported that anxieties over COVID-19 will continue to be a key focus for 2021 and beyond, and offered more insights into immune-supporting ingredients that will be in demand.

“Ongoing anxiety stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to push consumers toward prioritizing their immune health,” said Lu Ann Williams, Insights Global Director at Innova Market Insights, in a press release. “Immunity-boosting ingredients will play a significant role for the coming year, while research and interest in the role of the microbiome and personalized nutrition as ways to strengthen immunity will accelerate.”

Six in 10 global consumers are increasingly looking for food and beverage products that support their immune health, according to Innova’s Consumer Survey 2020. The company reports that one in three consumers say their concerns about immune health increased in 2020 over 2019.

Additional highlights from Innova’s research:

  • 54% of global consumers said they have spent time educating themselves on ingredients and procedures that could boost their immune health in the wake of concerns over COVID-19.
  • The top elements that consumers feel are most important to achieve immune health include choosing foods naturally high in nutrients (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants);  getting enough sleep; and being physically healthy.
  • There is an associated increase in interest in botanical ingredients.
  • Use of immune health positioning for food and drinks is rising, with 1.65% of global launches over the first 10 months of 2020 using this type of claim, up from 1% five years ago.
  • Rising numbers of launches in a range of food and beverage categories are focusing on the use of terms such as immune health, immune boosting, and immunity support. Product launches are led by baby  and toddler products, and particularly milks and formulas, according to Innova. Next comes sports nutrition (particularly sports powders) and dairy products (particularly drinking yogurt/fermented beverages).
  • The link is also increasingly being made between probiotics/prebiotics, digestive/ gut health and immune support, with consumer awareness of probiotics on the rise. Regarding prebiotics, Innova reports that they recently have started to move into the mainstream. Innova reports a 20% global growth for food and beverage launches with prebiotics in 2018 over 2017, as well as a further rise of over 13% for 2019. Prebiotics are featuring in combination with probiotics, and across a range of food and drinks launches, led by baby & toddler products.
Related: The Immune Boom
Immune Health & Beyond: What’s Trending in Raw Materials
Immunity Market: How to Communicate and Engage In-Store & Online ​

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