In 2020, the number of online products with the “immune system health” claim saw a 47% increase across consumer health, packaged food and beverages in Western Europe. Concerns around health and the immune system emerged. Market players started seeing an opportunity to launch products positioned to tap into the preventative health trend.
Manufacturers have taken two different approaches to leveraging this trend to develop, position and market their products. First, they look to highlight the immunity-boosting capacity of products. Second, they offer wellbeing-focused products that use emerging ingredients such as adaptogens and CBD to boost their health credentials.
We identified three takeaways related to this trend: health is at the centre of consumers’ agenda, the immune boost trend represents sales boost, holistic wellbeing seeks to restore balance to body and mind.
Health takes centre stage
Targeted and holistic preventative health claims have been proliferating across several industries such as consumer health, beverages and packaged food in 2020 and 2021. Manufacturers tap into increased health anxiety and a widening definition of good health among consumers.
Based on Euromonitor International Voice of the Consumer: Health and Nutrition Survey 2021, stress, anxiety and sleep problems continue to rise. Consumers are increasingly accepting that more holistic health behaviours such as having adequate sleep (95% of respondents), engaging in physical activities (91% of respondents) and engaging in stress-relieving and anxiety-reducing activities (78% of respondents) can have a beneficial and even a preventative impact on their health.
Immune boost could also be a sales boost
Manufacturers are using different strategies to tap into the immunity-boosting trend. They add vitamins C and D, position probiotics as an immune health supplement and highlight the naturally occurring vitamins in their products.
According to Euromonitor International VIA attributes, in 2020, the number of online products with an ‘enriched with vitamins’ claim increased across all three industries (consumer health, packaged food and beverages) by 34%. In the UK, Perkier introduced a designated immunity-boosting snack bar in September 2020. Whilst in April 2020, Twinings launched a range of fortified teas within the cold infusion range.
The perception of health has evolved over the past three years, moving from avoiding illness and gaining physical strength, to achieving mental wellbeing and feeling good (Euromonitor International’s Voice of the Consumer: Health and Nutrition Survey 2021).
More product launches facilitate wellbeing through relaxation, stress reduction, mood and sleep enhancement by leveraging functional components such as adaptogens and CBD. Austrian drink manufacturer, AJA produces drinks with adaptogens. One of its new drinks focused on harmony highlights the drink’s capability to increase focus and reduce stress.
A holistic sense of wellbeing and striving for a balance of body and mind will continue to shape consumer health behaviours - driving both product and lifestyle choices. Whether food, drink or consumer health products meet these needs depends on how manufacturers engage with consumers’ evolving perception of health.
It will require agile and responsive product innovation supported by appropriate positioning. Our recently published report on Preventative health in Western Europe explores in greater details the various manifestations and drivers of this trend in Western Europe and why it is important for businesses. We discuss what aspects of the trend we expect to see in 2021 and beyond.