Consumers Shift to Immunity Boosting Foods as the Pandemic Rages Unabated
Progressive Grocer|February 2021
RECENT SCIENTIFIC DEVELOPMENTS IN THE FIELD OF BOTANICALS TO IMPROVE IMMUNE HEALTH HAVE CREATED AN OPPORTUNITY FOR MAJOR BRANDS AS WELL AS STARTUPS TO LAUNCH PRODUCTS CONTAINING THESE INGREDIENTS...

Over the last few months, consumers across the world have changed in massive proportions and are continually developing newer habits. Amongst them all, the most pronounced has been the massive shift in consumer perspective towards health and wellness. The last few months have seen consumers taking a more proactive approach to healthier eating and exercising more – for maintaining health and immune resiliency. They are now, more than ever, inclined towards wholesome and healthy food products that promise vitamins, minerals and other healthy immunity boosting ingredients.

While the proclivity for healthy products, especially immunity-boosting food and drink is not new, the pandemic has accelerated the trend manifold.

“We can see it in conversations we’re having with our customers and colleagues, and the kind of invitations we’re getting from suppliers to webinars and events, and it’s backed by our own research. We knew that interest was already high in functional products – with consumers searching for terms such as ‘digestive health’ and ‘brain health’ – but recently we have seen a significant shift towards searches on products and ingredients that can boost people’s immune systems. There’s no doubt this has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” states Giancarlos La Rocca, Global Category Manager, Tetra Pak.

According to a research by London-based market research firm Mintel, the COVID-19 outbreak has prompted 45 percent of consumers in Europe to add more nutrients into their diet, while 29 percent reported being more interested in foods that can support your immune system since the start of the pandemic.

Google Trends data also shows an approximate 500 percent increase in searches for immunity in food and drink worldwide by week, following the onset of COVID-19.

La Rocca further adds that immunity-boosting food products fall into two basic categories – the first focuses on nutrition and ingredients and the second category encompasses products that can boost overall wellbeing.

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