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Scientific Claims Key to Standing Out in Crowded Supplement Markets

woman holding dietary supplements

News Release: Scientific claims can help manufacturers create supplements consumers value, with nearly four in ten more likely to buy products backed by credible data, research has found.

A report from Kerry, makers of immune health ingredient Wellmune®, notes that consumers of healthy lifestyle products have more choice than ever. It finds that the growing popularity of everyday foods with functional benefits has not diminished the popularity of dietary supplements. In fact, over the past five years global launches of vitamin and supplement products have grown at a CAGR of 13%.

The report also tracks the rise of new formats such as shots and gummies, which are particularly popular with younger consumers. Although gummies’ share of the market has grown by 31% since 2014, the traditional capsule and tablet formats continue to account for the majority of product launches, with 34% and 25% market shares respectively.

To explore how manufacturers can differentiate their products in this increasingly crowded market, Wellmune surveyed over 11,000 consumers in 14 different countries. Nearly four in ten (39%) said seeing claims based on research or scientific data would make them more likely to buy a healthy lifestyle product. This figure rose to above half in some regions, with 51% of consumers in Brazil and Thailand considering research data a top purchase driver.

Transparency was also a key factor in many regions. Almost half (48%) of consumers in China, and 50% of those in Mexico said they wanted to see the benefits of a healthy lifestyle product explained on the packaging.

John Quilter, VP & General Manager at Kerry, said: “The vast range of products now on offer is a sign of a healthy market but it can leave consumers drowning in choice. With immune health at the front of everyone’s mind, we wanted to explore how manufacturers can ensure their products stand out. We found that trust is key. Whatever the format, claims backed by strong scientific evidence enhance credibility, and consumers are more likely to be attracted to products with these benefits communicated clearly on the packaging.”

Meanwhile, the makers of Wellmune have said they are well-placed to help companies meet the increase in demand for immune health products caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. Even before the outbreak, immune health was a priority for consumers. Supplements with immune health benefits represent the third largest segment of the global market, with a value of $6.65 billion USD.

The research, carried out in 2019 before news of the pandemic broke, found that 34% of consumers would be interested in purchasing a supplement if it supported the immune system.

Wellmune is a proprietary beta glucan derived from a strain of baker’s yeast. It is supported by a wealth of peer-reviewed clinical research demonstrating its efficacy for everyday immune support.

John Quilter said: “This is obviously a time of huge anxiety for everyone across the world. Unsurprisingly, we’re seeing very high levels of demand for immune health products but we’re very well-positioned to help our customers meet it. We expect demand to be sustained into the future with consumers demonstrating increased understanding of the importance of immune health. Wellmune is committed to providing the best possible immune health ingredient through our dedication to safety, efficacy and scientific research.”


The full report, ‘Finding the Right Format: Format and Delivery Opportunities in the Dietary Supplement Market’, is available here.

Kerry Global Consumer Survey – Digestive & Immune Health, 2019
Mintel, GNPD, 2020

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