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Global Survey Shows Immune Support is Top Health Goal

Worldwide, Demand is High

New research provides unique insight into consumers in 14 global markets, regarding benefits consumers want, in addition to purchase drivers.1​ The Kerry Global Consumer Survey on Immune Health surveyed consumers that were users or would consider using healthy lifestyle products, to better understand their opinions of foods, beverages and supplements that offered immune health support. The overarching finding is that, among these consumers, there were high levels of interest in immune health products around the world.

The survey  asked over 11,000 consumers in 14 global markets about their reasons for buying healthy lifestyle products.2​ Consumers were asked to select 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, improved energy levels and heart health support.
  • One in five (19.5%) listed immune system support as their number one reason for purchasing healthy lifestyle products, ahead of healthy bones and joints, heart health digestive health and energy levels.

With 42% of global consumers now proactively looking for products that can improve their health3​, this proprietary research conducted by Kerry shows the rich potential of the immune support space for manufacturers and brands in the well-being category.

The survey found demand for immune health products to be high across the world, but particularly in Asia. In China, for example, 50% of respondents said they had used an immune health product in the previous six months and a further 29% said they would consider doing so in the future.

Time of Day Matters

Diversity in food offerings that meet consumers where and when they want their immune health benefits is an important consideration when creating an immune health product. Breakfast’s popularity is reflected in the types of products and applications consumers said they would be interested in buying to obtain immune support benefits. The research reveals that, globally, 70% believe breakfast is the best time for consuming products with immune health benefits. Yogurt and yogurt-based drinks, followed by fruit and vegetable juices, were the categories where interest in immune health benefits was greatest.

Mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks are another prime opportunity, with each of these occasions favored by 39% of consumers globally as a good time to use products with immune support benefits.

Claims are Important

Consumer engagement is rooted in corporate transparency about a product’s health benefits. When asked specifically about Wellmune®​, a proprietary beta glucan derived from a strain of baker’s yeast, the majority (55%) of consumers worldwide correctly identified its immune health benefits. Over eight in ten (82%) said they considered the immune health claims made for Wellmune®​ to be believable, while over half (52%) said they would definitely or probably switch to a product with Wellmune®​ if their usual brand did not contain it.

John Quilter, VP & General Manager at Kerry, said: “Consumers all over the world are increasingly seeking ways to support their immune system, which creates huge opportunities for manufacturers and brands. Wellmune®​ is an ideal solution. It is clinically proven to help improve general immune health, can be included in a vast range of food and drink products, and boasts high levels of consumer awareness.”

Wellmune has been shown to help immune cells in the body move more quickly and recognize and destroy foreign challenges. It can also help protect against the effects of stress and promote healthy energy levels and mental clarity. Wellmune has a five-year shelf life, is highly stable and will withstand most processing conditions with no impact on efficacy.

Meeting Consumer Demand

As the survey makes clear, consumers are specific about their desires when it comes to immune health products. Consumers want immunity benefits in a variety of product formats at their preferred time of day. As well, consumers want to be sure of the claims manufacturers make for the benefits their products provide. Understanding these drivers is vital to developing the products that meet consumers’ needs.

To achieve these goals, manufacturers should use high-quality ingredients supported by scientific substantiation that meet consumer demand. Wellmune satisfies consumer interests. As a result, Wellmune has emerged as a strong player in the immune support space.

Wellmune offers a combination of sound scientific research and a strong co-branding proposition, delivering on consumer desire for transparency and driving purchase. According to the survey, a large number of consumers worldwide rate believability of the claims made for Wellmune highly, with many indicating they would buy or switch to a product containing Wellmune. Wellmune’s ease of formulation into a variety of products and its scientific backing make it a perfect partner for innovation in the healthy food and beverage industry.

Learn More

Findings from this proprietary consumer survey are available in the new White Paper ‘Consumer Research Supports Global Demand for Immunity Products’. Download it here​ .

[1] Kerry Global Consumer Survey – Digestive & Immune Health, 2019

[2] Kerry Global Consumer Survey – Digestive & Immune Health, 2019

[3] GlobalData, TrendSights Overview: Health & Wellness, August 2018