Growing Consumer Awareness of Immune Health Globally
The pandemic has spurred global interest in immune health, with record numbers of consumers reaching for dietary supplements as well as functional food and beverage products that have immunity claims or associations. Data from FMCG Gurus’ recent COVID-19 survey1 gives us a chance to see what consumers are thinking about immunity right now, a full year after the pandemic began.
One positive outcome of COVID-19 has been an increased awareness by consumers of their overall health, and evidence shows this may have staying power. In all countries surveyed, at least three out of ten consumers that increased their supplement use for either overall health or immune health plan to continue the habit.
Here’s a look at what consumers are thinking about immune health in three regions across the country—North America, Asia Pacific, and Europe:
In North America, 69% of U.S. consumers who are concerned about COVID-19 are concerned about the impact on their health and wellbeing, compared to 66% of Mexican and 56% of Canadian consumers—a difference that may be due to the higher transmission rates in the U.S. and Mexico. Of those concerned, similar numbers of Americans and Canadians are concerned about developing serious health problems as a result of catching the coronavirus (68% vs. 69%) and about their immune system, in general, being impacted (38% and 39%). Those numbers are higher in Mexico, with 77% of consumers concerned about developing health problems as a result of the virus and 43% are concerned with of their immune system in general being impacted. In addition, COVID-19 has made 67% of Americans, 63% of Mexicans, and 60% of Canadians more conscious of their overall immunity.
A large number of North Americans have also become more conscious of their mental wellbeing (67% of Americans, 65% of Canadians and 59% of Mexicans)—more than any other countries surveyed, indicating an opportunity to include functional ingredients for mental wellbeing in supplements for North America. While essential fatty acids, vitamins, probiotics, and proteins/amino acids are popular supplements in North America, U.S. consumers are nearly three times more likely than Canadians to take herbs/botanicals and prebiotics. Meanwhile, 85% of Canadian supplement users take vitamins—the highest rate of all countries surveyed.