Keeping up with consumers’ changing expectations, evolving health concerns, and shifting priorities can make formulating successful and relevant products more challenging than ever.
It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic intensified these challenges even further as consumers quickly began searching for products to help them stay healthy. As a result, consumer interest in immune health exploded in the early days of the pandemic, prompting a wave of related product releases.
Now, almost two years later, market research shows that though immunity remains a top health concern for consumers, they are thinking about the topic in new ways.1
The most notable shift in consumer attitudes is a new focus on how immune health plays a role in overall, long-term health goals. As consumers look at health more holistically, they are taking a “prevention over cure” approach to immune health that acknowledges the importance of health maintenance.1 In fact, 42% of global consumers report that they are taking a long-term approach to managing their health.4
This change has prompted consumers to look for food, beverage, and supplement products with proven, multi-functional benefits that address their healthy lifestyle goals beyond just immune support.1 They also expect these products to include researched, natural ingredients.2
So, how do you satisfy consumers’ expectations for immune support products that serve as the foundation for their broader, long-term health goals? Here are 4 things you can do to adapt to the “new” immune health market with products that stand out from the traditional immunity-related offerings.
Branch out from typical “immune” health vitamin ingredients.
Develop products with a spectrum of antioxidants that support immune health and other health goals.
Use clinically researched ingredients to create these products.
Make it easy for your customers to aspire to healthy lifestyle goals.
1. Branch out from typical “immune” health vitamin ingredients.
The immune health market has typically focused on ingredients that deliver single, isolated minerals or vitamins like vitamin C to support immune health. Traditionally, immune health support products contained synthetic versions of these ingredients. Though vitamin C is undoubtedly crucial to immune health support, consumers are searching for more plant-based ingredients in their functional food and supplement products. In fact, a recent report from Mintel found that “in the U.S., 45% of adults would like to see more plant-based versions of vitamins, minerals, and supplements.”
Using a variety of fruit and vegetable ingredients that provide immune health supporting vitamins and antioxidants can help you create innovative products that meet consumers’ plant-based expectations.
2. Develop products with a spectrum of antioxidants that support immune health and other health goals.
The human body is complex, and the synergistic compounds found in a colorful array of fruits and vegetables help us support our health the way nature intended. This variety helps provide the antioxidant diversity the body needs to effectively fight free radicals that contribute to numerous health concerns.
Research shows that our bodies function well when our dietary patterns include nutritional balance throughout every life stage. A strong immune system is the foundation that allows our bodies to cope with various health vulnerabilities that arise throughout our life. Products that include a spectrum of antioxidants can help satisfy consumers’ desire to use immune health support and protection as the first step toward achieving other long-term health goals.
3. Use clinically researched ingredients to create these products
According to Mintel, nearly half of vitamin, mineral, and supplement users believe it is important that the products they buy are clinically proven.2 Another recent survey by FMCG Gurus reports that 85% of Generation Z respondents believe clinically proven claims matter, showing that even younger consumers care about science-backed evidence.3
To build trust with consumers, communicating simply and clearly on product labels about ingredients is critical. 61% of global consumers say they want product nutrition information to be as simple as possible.4 You can help consumers feel confident that your product is effective by using researched ingredients and telling the science story in a way that resonates with the public. This will help consumers overcome the skepticism they have developed over time about misleading product claims and labels and show them you are a trusted partner in their health maintenance goals.4
4. Make it easy for your customers to aspire to healthy lifestyle goals
One of the top steps that consumers reported taking to improve their immune health is to eat more fruits and vegetables.4 Another way to partner with your customers to meet their immune health and healthy lifestyle goals is to make fruit and vegetable nutrition more accessible and convenient.
A healthy lifestyle includes proper rest, exercise, and good nutrition. By making it easier to eat fruits and vegetables, you can help your customers find time in their busy schedules to devote to the other components of a healthy lifestyle. On-the-go, convenient products made with immune-supporting dried fruit and vegetable ingredients can be the nutritious and easy-to-eat solutions consumers are looking for.
How We Can Help
We know that product development isn’t always easy. Product formulators and marketers are expected to stay on top of consumer trends, manage timelines and expectations, and find innovative ways to stand out in a crowded market. That’s a tall order, especially considering how much time and effort it takes to develop a successful product.
That’s why we’ve done the work for you. FutureCeuticals offers a rainbow of dried fruit and vegetable ingredients and concentrates standardized to key antioxidant compounds that help support immune health. Plus, they’re ideal for consumer-favorite applications. Our ingredient offerings include:
- Citrus Fruits
- Leafy Greens
- Fruit and vegetable blends like Phyto-C®
What Phyto-C® Can Do for Your Next Immune Health Product
Phyto-C® is an optimized fruit and vegetable blend we created that delivers the antioxidant diversity of eleven superfoods that help support a healthy immune response. The formula contains natural vitamin C and polyphenols from:
- Acerola Extract
- Tart Cherry
- Organic Maqui Berry
- Organic Açai
- Organic Kale
- Green Tea Extract
- Green Coffee Bean Extract
- Turmeric Extract
A 150mg dose of Phyto-C® delivers 15% polyphenols and 20% of the recommended daily intake of antioxidant vitamin C. This makes it easy for you to bring the antioxidant, immune health support power of superfoods to finished products. As a blend of popular plant-based ingredients, Phyto-C simplifies sourcing and formulation, allowing you to successfully support your customers as they strive to meet their aspirational health goals.
Find out more about the evolving immune health market and what Phyto-C® could mean for your next product by reading our free guide to The Immune Health Evolution.
Or, connect with one of our sales reps to learn more about Phyto-C® and our other immune health support ingredient offerings. Let’s help consumers reach their health goals together!
1FMCG Gurus. “Top Trend 5 Better for You, Not Best for You.”
2Mintel. “Trends in Vitamins, Minerals and Supplements, 2021 Report.”
3FMCG Gurus. “Nutritional Supplement Trends by Cohort – North America. August 2021.”
4FMCG Gurus. “Top Ten Trends for 2021. January 2021.”