For a large and growing consumer base, maintaining a healthy immune system is an important part of their quality of life. Because of this, consumers are proactively searching for immune health products to help them achieve their health and wellness goals. While purchase interest for immune health products remains strong, we see a gap in product availability. To take a visual look at the direction consumer demand is moving, we created the infographic: Meeting the Needs of Today’s Immune Health Consumer.
The functional food, beverage, and supplement markets are large and growing. According to a Euromonitor global survey (2016), the functional food and beverage market is estimated to be $247 billion globally, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.6% through 2021; while the vitamins and dietary supplement category is an estimated $91 billion, with a CAGR of 3.3% through 2021.
What is driving this growth? It wasn’t too long ago that consumers of all ages and need-states were taking a reactive, quick-fix to their health and wellness. Today the story has evolved, and people are moving to a more proactive, preventative approach. This progressive approach to health and wellness is also bringing long-term immune health to the forefront of consumer concerns. A recent Canadean (2015) survey reports immune health to be the #2 most desired functional benefit consumers want in food or beverage. This is second only to general health and wellness.
A Canadean (2015) survey also found that while only 48% of consumers are actively buying immune health products, 87% of consumers are interested in purchasing foods and beverages with immune health benefits. So, while the intent to purchase immune health products is high, there remains an unmet demand for innovative products that can deliver safe, clinically proven, and natural immune health benefits.
Manufacturers that look to create immune health products geared towards children and families, aging populations, athletes/weekend warriors, and those with lifestyle stress, will be uniquely positioned to capitalize on this product gap. Whether innovating around one targeted benefit or formulating around multiple benefits, great opportunities exist using strategic nutrition to build immunity. Additionally, as the functional food, beverage, and supplement markets evolve, immune health ingredients that are safe, natural and clinically proven will lead to stronger innovation and resonate with consumers.
As manufacturers look for innovative solutions, Wellmune® — a natural food, beverage, and supplement ingredient clinically proven to help strengthen the immune system – can provide the product differentiation needed to capture the growing consumer demand for products that deliver real immune health benefits to consumer groups across all life stages.