Health is wealth: pandemic fueled market trends

Prioritising immunity and wellness

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the global demand for healthy, immunity-boosting ingredients has surged. Looking to the North American market and beyond, what are the key opportunities in this space and what is the longevity of this trend?

Over the past five years, the global health ingredient market has grown by $5.6 billion, with the pandemic fuelling demand for on-trend immunity ingredients. According to Jamie Rice, director of global data and insights at Food Trending, as countries around the world begin to reopen, the priority for many will still be on protecting immune health.

As the global population begin to travel and meet again, consumers will want reassurance regarding immunity and wellness. Over the next two to three years and potentially in the more distant future, immunity will remain a key trend that will be firmly at the forefront of everyone’s minds, Rice told Fi Global Insights

Covid-19 creating opportunity for the immune health market

According to Food Trending data, over the past year consumer demand for familiar, immune supporting ingredients such as turmeric, ginger and zinc has grown. 

More frequently, these ingredients are being used in packaged products outside their traditional category, such as chocolate, snacks, and hot beverages.

With Covid-19 still ever present, Rice predicts that less-known ingredients such as ashwagandha, and one-time-consumption products will gain traction among health-conscious, mainstream consumers.

Food Trending’s data shows interesting variation in regional preferences regarding the different ingredients that consumers are opting for. In Rice’s view, this makes for an exciting and pivotal time for the immune health market. 

Linking health and consumption

In attempt to improve health, limit weight gain and reduce susceptibility to illness, many consumers are revaluating and adapting their dietary habits. In North America particularly, lifestyle-induced health problems such as obesity and diabetes are on the rise, and consumers are becoming more conscious of the correlation between health, wellness, and consumption.

This awareness has been heightened by the global pandemic, which emphasized the importance of healthy diets for wellness and immunity. According to FMCG gurus, as a result of Covid-19, 57% of US consumers report that they have become more conscious about their weight. Additionally, 76% say that they plan to eat and drink more healthily post-pandemic. 

Health detox time

When seeking to improve their diets, consumers will look to both reduce the intake of perceived dietary evils such as sugar, and concurrently maximise the prevalence of health and immunity boosting ingredients. Despite this, the preference will be for products which are compromise-free from a taste and cost perspective.

This is likely to lead to a rise in the adoption of dietary habits centred around detoxing, such as swapping out alcohol for alcohol-free alternatives. The war on sugar will also continue with force, with consumers opting for reduced sugar and sugar-free options to traditional products.