The second calendar year of the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the global marketplace for consumer health much in the same way as the first, but with different effects on individual categories. Immunity-positioned supplements have slid slightly, while sports nutrition and weight management have returned to prominence. On the other hand, cough and cold remedies continue to suffer, reflecting further limitations on social engagement and movement seen in many countries during 2021.
The outlook for consumer health products during COVID-19 has been tied directly to the norms and behaviours that consumers have adopted. Social distancing, home seclusion and others have limited consumers’ need for many consumer health products. This effect will continue early in the forecast period, at least.
The drive toward immunity functionality in 2020 has morphed into a broader, more holistic perspective on healthy living that encompasses a wide range of need states. Consumers will continue to identify and combine health benefits not just to combat illness but also to meet healthy lifestyle goals.
COVID-19 has amplified the widespread need for mental health solutions, as consumers across cultures reported high rates of stress, anxiety and sleep disorders. Given the continued disruptions caused by the pandemic, it is likely that demands to address these concerns will be front-of-mind into the forecast period.
Though personalised approaches to consumer health products have not yet shifted from niche status, improvements on both the technology and pricing fronts will give the concept greater prominence moving forward. The proposition is moving to the mainstream, attracting larger players through acquisition and investment.
The concept of premium in consumer health is shifting during COVID-19, with more consumers clamouring for more detailed information on the products they are using, how these products fit with their lifestyles and ethics, and proof of their efficacy and purpose. This will only deepen, as brands will have to be transparent across their operations and educate consumers on their benefits.
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