Woman pouring protein powder in drink

Active Lifestyle Consumers Reach for Micronutrients for Support

Active consumers are becoming increasingly aware of how important certain micronutrients are to keeping them healthy and feeling their best. Here’s a look at which micronutrients these consumers are looking for and how they help support a healthy, active lifestyle.

Why Micronutrients Are So Important

Micronutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, are non-caloric nutrients that the body requires in very small amounts to function properly. Essential micronutrients—the micronutrients the body can’t produce or produces in insufficient amounts—must be consumed through diet or supplementation. While true vitamin and mineral deficiencies are rare in developed countries, research indicates consuming sub-optimal amounts of essential vitamins and minerals is linked to fatigue, dehydration, or a decreased immune system.

For active consumers, getting enough micronutrients is about more than just staying healthy. Some micronutrients, such as B vitamins, are directly involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats to produce energy. Certain minerals also support optimal energy levels, such as iron, which is essential to transporting oxygen through the blood. During workouts, electrolytes like calcium and magnesium are particularly important for their roles in facilitating muscle contraction.

Which Micronutrient Benefits Consumers are Seeking

Some of the most important benefits consumers are looking for from micronutrients are1:

  • General health support
  • Immunity support
  • Healthy aging
  • Workout support

There is also a growing interest among active lifestyle consumers in micronutrients (and functional products) that offer muscle, joint, and mental health benefits.

Woman looking at supplement bottle in kitchen

Some of the most in-demand micronutrients, based on supplement sales, are vitamin C, vitamin D, and calcium, in addition to B vitamins and iron2. All are important for general health but also have specific functions that appeal to consumers—such as vitamin C for immune health and calcium with vitamin D for bone health. Even for consumers with general health in mind, it’s important to note that different populations may have additional requirements, such as iron for women and vitamin B12 for vegans. 

How Consumers Get Their Micronutrients

Despite the strong and steadily growing interest in micronutrient supplements, people consume the majority of their micronutrients through the foods they eat. Foods naturally rich in certain micronutrients include:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Legumes
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Meats
  • Seafood
  • Eggs
  • Dairy
  • Oils
Man and woman cooking in the kitchen

Enriched and fortified products also make an important contribution to consumers’ micronutrient intakes and can include:

  • Bread
  • Breakfast cereal
  • Pasta
  • Milk 
  • Plant-based milk
  • Plant-based meat
  • Juice
  • Nutrition bars
  • Nutrition shakes
  • Sports beverage mixes

Consumer awareness of micronutrients in foods is among the highest for citrus fruits (vitamin C), dairy products (calcium), and red meat (iron), in addition to nuts and seeds as a source of vitamin E. This somewhat limited awareness means that unless consumers are careful to regularly consume foods from all the food groups, they can easily fall short.

This understanding is an important reason many consumers like to include fortified foods and beverages in their diets. Fortified products also appeal to consumers who are simply too busy to plan and cook well-balanced meals each day. For active lifestyle consumers, who may have higher micronutrient needs due to their higher physical activity levels, sports nutrition products (such as bars and shakes) fortified with vitamins and minerals ensure they get the support they need.

Supporting a Healthy Future

Consumers’ increased focus on foods for health and wellness makes this an exciting time for the food industry. Thanks to options like our custom premix solutions and other easy fortification strategies, any product can be made a little healthier. When it comes to micronutrients, a little goes a long way! Our complete lines of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, botanicals and herbs provide a wide spectrum of health benefits and are ideally suited for many different applications.

Contact us to learn more about how our solutions can boost your products’ nutrition profile. 


References:

1.    Glanbia Nutritional Proprietary Research, Global Supplement Survey, May 2019
2.     Euromonitor, Top Consumer Trends Impacting Health and Nutrition, June 2019