Claim to Fame: A Cross-industry Perspective on Product Claims During Coronavirus

August 2020

Health and hygiene have become top priorities amid the Coronavirus pandemic. As consumers take greater ownership of their health and protect themselves, their families and their homes from the virus, health and efficacy-related claims gain in importance. New consumer habits spur product innovation while companies try to realign these trends with wider sustainability goals. This report explores trending product claims in light of COVID-19 across home care, consumer health and packaged food.

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This report comes in PPT.

Key Findings

Change of consumer priorities for cleaning products

While consumers were seeking green cleaning products that are less harmful to the environment in the pre-COVID-19 era, consumers now put an even stronger focus on efficacy and cleaning power, creating a complex environment for manufacturers to navigate.

Efficacy expected to be the key driver for home care products in the future

Leading home care companies have heavily invested in adding sustainability claims to their products in recent years. As this requires time and resources, some players have taken another route to become a more environmentally friendly company through the acquisition of smaller, green brands. As performance claims are expected to drive sales in the future, this requires companies to rethink their innovation strategies in the longer term.

Immune system claims boost sales of probiotic supplements

Preventative health has become a key priority for consumers amidst the pandemic, accelerating sales of probiotic supplements in leading Western European markets. Immune system health and digestive health are the most prominent product claims for probiotic supplements in the region.

Mood positioning expected to spur innovation

Beyond a growing interest in products that support immune system health, probiotic supplements promoting mood and relaxation are expected to show promising prospects in view of the increasing popularity of the gut health concept.

Immunity-boosting claims take centre stage in packaged food

When it comes to food and beverages, consumers put a much stronger emphasis on healthy eating amidst the pandemic. Concerns about the virus have led consumers to seek products that help strengthen their immune system, and claims related to good immune system health are expected to inspire product innovation. Categories that have potential for new entrants with such claims include dairy and sweet biscuits, snack bars and fruit snacks.

Key findings
Health and hygiene have become top of mind for consumers
Increased importance of ethical claims in home care
Top 10 claims in 2019 dominated by ethical and healthy credentials
Inversion of sustainability and efficacy as a result from COVID-19
Established brands slower to adapt to environmental trend
New consumer priorities with implications for product development
Probiotic supplements see spike amid COVID-19
Immune system health claims dominate Western Europe
Brands with immunity claims set to prosper
Consumers take probiotics for a wide range of reasons
Mood and immune claims offer future growth in probiotics
Claims and nutrition labels have become a key element for consumers
Beyond baby food, snacks and dairy leave room for immunity claims
In France, immune health strategies differ depending on the category
Consumers are positively responding to claims linked to immune health
COVID-19 fuels immunity-boosting and efficacy-related positionings
Outlook for health, clean and ethical labels

Packaged Food

In packaged food we consider two aspects of food sales: 1) Retail sales. 2) Foodservice. Retail sales is defined as sales through establishments primarily engaged in the sale of fresh, packaged and prepared foods for home preparation and consumption. This excludes hotels, restaurant, cafés, duty free sales and institutional sales (canteens, prisons/jails, hospitals, army, etc). Our retail definition EXCLUDES the purchase of food products from foodservice outlets for consumption off-premises, eg impulse confectionery bought from counters of cafés/bars. This falls under foodservice sales. For foodservice, we capture all sales to foodservice outlets, regardless of whether the products are eventually consumed on-premise or off-premise. Foodservice sales is defined as sales to consumer foodservice outlets that serve the general public in a non-captive environment. Outlets include cafés/bars, FSR (full-service restaurants), fast food, 100% home delivery/takeaway, self-service cafeterias and street stalls/kiosks. Sales to semicaptive foodservice outlets are also included. This describes outlets located in leisure, travel and retail environments. 1) Retail refers to units located in retail outlets such as department stores, shopping malls, shopping centres, super/hypermarkets etc. 2) Leisure refers to units located in leisure establishments such as museums, health clubs, cinemas, theatres, theme parks and sports stadiums. 3) Travel refers to units located in based in airports, rail stations, coach stations, motorway service stations offering gas facilities etc. Beyond the scope of the foodservice research are captive foodservice units that serve captive populations around institutions such as hospitals, schools, and prisons. This is also known as institutional sales.

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