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What Makes a Quality Immune Health Dietary Supplement?

Market trends are reflecting a call for more quality immune health dietary supplements. With six in ten (58%) of global consumers surveyed by Kerry, the makers of Wellmune®, citing immune health as their top reason for purchasing healthy lifestyle products, the concept of ‘food as medicine’ is gaining traction, and is obscuring the boundaries between food, functional food and beverage and supplements.

People are being proactive about their health and wellness, including diet. But the demand for supplements and the blurring lines between functional foods, beverages and supplements is highlighting the fact that people believe they need to supplement their nutrition with products that offer specific health benefits.

Consumers are increasingly turning to foods and beverages that incorporate functional benefits to help improve immune health, but that does not mean that supplements are not still popular. On the contrary, the statistics show vitamins and quality dietary supplements are as vital as ever.

Alongside the rise of interest in immune health supplements is a variety of new formats emerging in the supplements market.

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Standing apart from the crowd.

Clearly the dietary supplement market remains viable, and is gaining traction. Globally, more than one in five consumers said they would be interested in purchasing supplements containing ingredients for immune health support.
In food and beverage categories typically associated with healthy living, like juices, dairy-based drinks and yogurts, the figure was even higher.

In fact, immune support was the top reason for purchasing healthy lifestyle products in every global region (up from third place in some regions in 2019). As many as 39% of consumers had used an immune health product over the past six months and a further 30% would consider doing so in future, suggesting a total potential immune health market of 69%.

As many as 3/4 of consumers in many major markets around the world have used or considered using immune health products within the last 6 months, indicating strong market potential.

Interest is also growing in other need states that are complementary to immune health. For example, growth in sales of supplements for sleep (up by nearly two-thirds over the course of 2020) and mood/stress (up by 40%) are also showing strong gains. Immune health claims often overlap with other positioning’s, with particularly high growth in such ‘dual action’ products in the cognitive and children’s health categories. Similarly, the link between mental wellness and immune health is now widely recognized by consumers, so benefits like stress relief and sleep also align well with immune claims.

Product differentiation is key to new formats.

Alongside the rise of interest in immune health supplements is a variety of new formats emerging in the supplements market. While the vast range of products on offer is a sign of the growth of dietary supplement trends, it can leave consumers drowning in choice. Retailers present shoppers with a wall of supplements, which makes it difficult for products to stand out amid the cacophony of claims. From a manufacturing perspective, perhaps the biggest R&D challenge in the nutraceutical space is to develop products that meet the needs of an increasingly diverse range of consumers, in formats consumers desire.

So what differentiates a quality immune health dietary supplement from the others?

  • Efficacy: Obviously a product has to confer its stated benefits in order to stand out in the dietary supplement market. This is not always an easy obstacle to overcome. With 40% of consumers saying they believe that brands can make
    misleading claims around ingredients used in products, there is still work to do.
  • Trust: Trust is a vital factor for consumers. To ensure validity in the marketplace, supplement companies should emphasize a product’s efficacy using claims that are backed up by science. A recent global survey shows people trust ingredients that are supported by credible research. Claims based on research or scientific data are key considerations for consumers of healthy lifestyle products.
  • Regional awareness: Certain regulatory considerations exist in different regions of the world, making it mandatory that manufacturers understand these nuances. For example, in Europe, research shows there is currently strong interest in well-recognized ‘hero ingredients’, given the regulatory environments surrounding functional ingredients.

It is also important to clearly communicate product safety to provide reassurance to consumers, such as highlighting a product’s GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) status in the U.S. market as well as novel food approval in Europe and China.


Staying well with Wellmune.

Wellmune can help you be well and stay well, because it is:

  • Aligned with consumer desire: Demand for immune health support products is high globally, and in line with quality dietary supplement trends. As a well-recognized, highly credible and versatile ‘hero ingredient’, Wellmune is perfectly aligned with the immune support needs of modern consumers around the world.
  • Flexible: Wellmune is highly flexible, which means it can be included in many different immune health dietary supplement delivery formats including pills, capsules and tablets to emerging applications like gummies and liquids. Because Wellmune can also help support energy levels and mental clarity, and protect against the harmful effects of stress, it is an ideal candidate for the growing market of supplements that support conditions related to immunity.
  • Clinically supported: A proprietary beta glucan derived from a strain of baker’s yeast, Wellmune’s immune health benefits are clinically supported. Supported by a wealth of peer-reviewed, published human clinical research that demonstrates its efficacy for everyday immune support. Wellmune also has regulatory approval in major markets around the world, including GRAS status in the U.S. and novel food approval in Europe and China.


Get more insights about the supplement market by downloading our white paper: Format for Success: The State of the Global Immune Health Supplements Market. Or contact us to get in touch with one of our global supplement experts.

Innova Market Insights, 2021
FMCG Gurus, 2021
Kerry Taste Charts, 2021
Kerry Global Consumer Survey – Digestive and Immune Health, 2021
Euromonitor Passport, January 2019

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