Immune health isn’t merely of interest to consumers; it is one of the top five reasons why they take dietary supplements today, period. According to the Council for Responsible Nutrition’s latest Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements, published last fall, Immune Health is one of the top reasons consumers surveyed said they take supplements, alongside reasons like energy, healthy ageing, filling nutrient gaps, and staying well overall.
In the survey conducted on more than 2000 U.S. adults in 2019, 27% of those who use dietary supplements cited Immune Health as a reason they take supplements.
Market numbers also reflect this interest. According to market researcher IRI (Chicago), dollar sales in the immune health supplement category grew 12% in 2019 over the previous year.
Another consumer survey conducted by Kerry International (Beloit, WA) also saw high interest in immune health. “We asked consumers to choose five options from a list of 13 health areas and rank them in order of importance. Nearly two-thirds (63%) chose immune system support, ahead of healthy bones and joints, good digestive health, energy levels, and heart health support,” says John Quilter, vice president and general manager, ProActive Health, for Kerry International. Demand for immune support products is particularly high in Asia—specifically China, where 50% of survey respondents said they had used an immune health product in the previous six months, while 29% said they would consider doing so in the future.
So what does this mean if you’re an immune health product company? “This means that immune health markets are increasingly competitive,” Quilter says. “The best way to stand out is to use scientifically substantiated, well-recognised ingredients that can complement and enhance your brand.”
A number of brands are hard at work doing just that, choosing suppliers investing in research and helping manufacturers develop products that are not only efficacious but also encourage use and enticement through innovative delivery formats beyond traditional dietary supplements. Not only that, but ingredient suppliers and researchers are exploring the various pathways by which ingredients can support immune health—particularly, the way ingredients interact with the gut to impart immune benefits.
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