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How a holistic approach to health is driving opportunities in the global mobility sector

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Jaume Reguant, Healthcare Director, Bioiberica

Consumers are increasingly taking a holistic approach to their health, recognising that good health in one area can influence another. The aim for today’s health-conscious population – partly prompted by the coronavirus outbreak – is not to fix health problems but achieve overall feelings of wellbeing and prevent health issues from arising. In fact, 61% of consumers are interested in taking products for cognitive, digestive, heart, immune, skin and joint health, even when they are not actively suffering from problems in these areas.

As part of this movement towards a holistic approach to health, many consumers are starting to take a more proactive approach to mobility, as a result of the role it plays in how they feel more generally. Mobility, it seems, is moving mainstream, and the opportunities to innovate are aplenty. 

Why mobility?

Mobility issues are prevalent worldwide. Across the globe, four in ten consumers say they are not satisfied with their joint and bone health, while as many as three in four have taken steps in the last year to improve these areas. Such steps include addressing their diets, taking supplements, and doing more exercise.

But why are so many people seeking to improve their mobility? Put simply, movement makes us feel good. As part of the ongoing trend towards holistic health, consumers are looking to become physically active to improve their physical and mental health. In fact, 67% of people recognise a direct link between mobility and overall health.

The influence of mobility across all demographics

So, who are these people? If your thoughts first jumped to the older population, think again. Perhaps surprisingly, the number of younger people wanting to improve their joint and bone health is on the rise. Latest figures suggest that

  • 42% of those aged 65+
  • 39% of 35 to 44-year-olds
  • And 31% of 25-34 year-olds

…want to actively want to improve their mobility.

Perhaps even more interesting, however, is the cross-over between these consumer groups. With the rising quest for overall wellness, young people, adults, and seniors, have more in common than ever before. Companies looking to target any, or all, of these demographics must tailor their products accordingly, whilst acknowledging that some product positionings may bear relevance across the different groups.

Top reasons for improving mobility across the ages

Globally, healthy ageing is the top justification for wanting to improve joint health – 52% of people want to actively make health improvements as they get older. For younger adults, this is predominantly a preventative measure – they want to ensure good mobility for years to come. For older generations, though, it’s often about ensuring they can maintain independence and good health as they age.

Pain avoidance is a further driver, cited by 23% of people. For older demographics, this may be age-related pain, but for others pain can be the result of sports injuries or even inactive lifestyles. An additional reason for improving mobility, cited by 20% of people surveyed by FMCG Gurus, is making improvements in exercise and sports performance. This is a common trend across demographics, as both younger and older adults turn to physical activity to improve overall health and prevent issues that may make them susceptible to illness in the future.

This global picture is consistent across individual regions. The percentage of people that cite healthy ageing as their top influence in improving mobility is similar in Africa and the Middle East, Asia-Pacific, Europe, and South America – between 46 and 57%. It is apparent that, globally, there is a need for a reimagining of how we position mobility to support the pursuit of holistic, sustainable health.

Meeting the needs of multiple demographics

The challenge for manufacturers is how best to capitalise on the holistic trend to develop mobility solutions that are relevant to today’s wide-reaching audience. While demand for functional foods and beverages is largely driven by an increasingly busy, often younger target market, such products are equally suitable for older consumers, as an ideal way of supplementing their existing routine without adding additional pills. That said, dietary supplements aren’t going away just yet. They are easy to formulate and allow for the safe containment of multiple ingredients, making them good solutions to provide multiple health benefits – a plus for consumers pursuing overall health improvements. To meet these demands, innovating with emerging ingredients makes it easier for manufacturers to create combined supplement solutions in convenient formats that can be easily added to consumers' daily routines – whether in a pill, or a functional food or beverage.

Unlocking opportunities with emerging ingredients

Making comprehensive mobility solutions a reality requires cutting-edge ingredients that give manufacturers the ability to take their formulations further. Native type II collagen, such as Bioiberica’s Collavant n2 (formerly b-2Cool) – is one such ingredient. Having gained significant traction in recent years, it’s shown to be efficacious in supporting joint health at a low dosage (40 mg/day), which means brands can respond to consumer demand for easy-to-consume, convenient products. Recent research also demonstrates that combining native type II collagen (Collavant n2) with other joint health ingredients – including chondroitin sulphate, glucosamine hydrochloride and hyaluronic acid (Bioiberica’s Mobilee) – can deliver enhanced benefits for joint health. This opens up new opportunities for manufacturers looking to expand their portfolio and explore more holistic mobility offerings for consumers.

Meanwhile, Mobilee – the first hyaluronic acid matrix ingredient – also offers new formulation possibilities. Through the synergistic effect of its three naturally occurring components – hyaluronic acid, mucopolysaccharides and collagen – it enables food, beverage and supplement producers to develop products that simultaneously support joint and muscle health.,

The key to success, however, lies in the right formulations, in the right format, at the right time, and with the right positioning. With growing areas of crossover among demographics, future products are likely to focus on the overall benefits of mobility, bringing the desire to improve quality of life to the fore.

Want to know more about the latest mobility market trends and how emerging ingredients can help brands keep up? Download Bioiberica’s ‘Redefining Mobility’ guide to find out how!

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