GlobalData: Uncertainty during COVID-19 increases demand for immunity-boosting products

Ongoing research around protective immunity against COVID-19 has not yet helped to define ways of how the public can protect themselves from the illness, minimize the symptoms, and avoid re-infection. Consumers feel overwhelmed by the contradictive information on vaccines, testing and antibodies, leading to increased demand for products with immunity-boosting claims, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

GlobalData’s COVID-19 tracker consumer survey on 3 June found that 80% of global consumers claim they are quite/extremely concerned by COVID-19 and a further 23% admit to stockpiling or buying significantly more vitamins and supplements when asked about their current shopping habits.

Personalization-seeking shoppers are likely to be on the lookout for specific vitamin and extract blends that could be incorporated in immunity-strengthening routines. Choosing an immunity-improving supplement may provide consumers with some sense of control and comfort in times of uncertainty. Focusing on illness prevention and purchasing a personalized supplement variety could be a step taken towards preparation for post-lockdown life.”

Nina Nowak, Senior Researcher at GlobalData

An increase of supply of certain supplements and ingredients may be expected in the category. For example, the common knowledge of immunity boosting properties of vitamin D and zinc could fuel their inclusion in new releases, especially as both have been widely discussed in terms of their capacity of reducing COVID-19 complications and potential virus replication-blocking properties.

Certain vitamins and minerals are being mentioned as possibly useful in preventing the COVID-19 infection. Although not enough research has been conducted yet to prove those claims, the public may pick this information and start to consciously seek certain supplement blends that feature the in-demand ingredients”

Nina Nowak

Brands may find it challenging to cater to consumers’ specific expectations without making statements that are not yet possible to support with research. A careful choice of product claims is crucial to get the immunity-enhancing message through while maintaining the integrity and honest brand message. This is especially important considering that 34% of global shoppers strongly or somewhat agreed they were confused about the on-pack marketing or health claims made by brands, with iGen and Millennials recording 39% and 40% respectively.

Nowak concludes: “New supplement launches that directly address COVID-19 are not expected anytime soon, however, a rise in immunity-boosting claims could be expected in the category together with a spike of supplements featuring substances rumored as enhancing the immunity against COVID-19.”

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