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How the Immune Health Dietary Supplements Market is Changing

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It’s more clear than ever  that people are now thinking differently about their wellness. From older adults who were impacted in disproportionately larger numbers by the recent global pandemic to younger age groups who may not have felt its effects as directly, staying healthy is a top concern across all age groups.

Prior to the advent of the current health environment, consumers had been investing in their health and well-being. One of the results of this increased focus has been a changing landscape of trends in the immune health dietary supplements market–both immediate and potentially long-lasting. While making positive changes to their diets is important to consumers, they are increasingly looking for additional immune support by turning to functional foods, beverages and supplements. Wellmune®, a leading yeast beta glucan, is a key component of many immune-supporting products that help can help consumers of all ages achieve their immune health goals.

Trend 1: Healthy as a way of life.

As consumers reacted to the pandemic, a few strong market trends emerged. Consumers focused on stockpiling supplies, and they did it in two waves.

  • The first wave focused on proactive immunity and health management categories, including vitamins and supplements, antiseptics, and homeopathic medicines.
  • This was followed by pantry preparation categories for quarantined living, which included shelf-stable categories.

different formats of supplements

The supplement industry is on track to surpass $50 billion in annual sales; 2020 growth potential could be the highest in a decade.

Recent immune health dietary supplement indicators now show that:

  • The supplement industry is on track to surpass $50 billion in annual sales; 2020 growth potential could be the highest in a decade.
  • 17 of the top 20 vitamin category product are immune-related.
  • Immunity supplement growth is projected to spike above 25% in 2020.
Immune health products that resonate.

Kerry, the maker of Wellmune, recently conducted a consumer survey that found that 47% of people take dietary supplements or vitamins to manage their health, which makes it the third most common approach to health management, behind eating a balanced diet and physical exercise. Among consumers trying to maintain their immune health, supplementation with products containing Wellmune is a great way to get both daily and long-lasting benefits.

immune health basics with wellmune
Immune Health Basics® is part of a daily routine to help support immunity.

Trend 2: Proactive pursuit of quality of life.

Among most age groups, a desire to appreciate and improve upon quality of life became more evident, as consumers increasingly focused proactively on supplements to support their immunity.

Baby Boomers, adults who came of age in the midst of the “Me generation” of the 1960s and 70s, have often been associated with a sense of being forever young. As Boomers became more aware of the pandemic’s effects on their age group, this ethos was replaced by increasing investment in their immune health. As a result, in the months following the outbreak of the pandemic, this demographic turned more frequently to functional products.

Immune health products that resonate.

Among older adults, age-related declines in immunity are a primary concern. Because Wellmune is suitable for formulation into a wide variety of supplement formats, it can help support the body’s natural defenses.

GeriaPlus product image
GERIA PLUS Defense® with Wellmune helps support immunity, especially in older populations.

Although Generation X consumers, ranging in age from 40s – mid-50s, weren’t hit as hard by the virus as their elders, trends that began gaining momentum even before the pandemic highlight a greater focus on health for this group as well. These consumers are looking to take a more proactive approach to their overall health and diets to stave off the threat of disease and illness later in life–even if they consider themselves healthy now.

Immune health products that resonate.

This active age group, busy working and sometimes taking care of parents and kids, often take the preventative approach to maintaining immune health by grabbing on-the-go solutions. Formats like sachets with Wellmune for mixing into beverages are a great way for busy consumers to support their immune health.

Emergen-C® Immune+ with Wellmune can help provide immune health support in a convenient format.

Trend 3: Loyalty and trust.

Both now and in the future, consumers will want brands and retailers to act in a responsible manner, and research-supported ingredients will earn consumer trust. In a recent survey among consumers in the US, Canada, the UK, France and Germany, 42% of respondents said that the way they shop will fundamentally change as a result of the outbreak. Whether shopping in brick-and-mortar stores and taking precautions to help reduce contact, or shopping online, one thing is certain: consumer mindsets have shifted to a greater focus on getting the best possible product to meet their needs.

Because shopping has become less of a leisurely activity and is now more centered on obtaining the essentials, consumers are relying on brand reputation. Reading labels and looking to manufacturers to be transparent about their products’ efficacy is now an even greater priority for consumers. Manufacturers can enhance and build on their brand reputation by formulating with ingredients that help consumers make the best choices for their immune-health needs.

Generation Z and Millennial consumers in their 20s and 30s are more likely to be impacted emotionally than physically as a result of the pandemic. Some effects could be felt as economic. As these generations deal with these outcomes on the housing market and the workforce, many will seek ways in which to enhance their well-being by adopting healthy lifestyle options, including supplements and performance nutrition, based squarely on trust, that help reduce the stress of uncertainty.

Younger adults are increasingly making preventative supplementation a part of their daily approach to maintaining health and well-being. Recent trends indicate that week-to-week percent increases in immune health dietary supplements continue. In particular,  performance nutrition has the highest increase over this time period.

One of the reasons performance products remain strong is that even though many gyms have been closed, active consumers are still working out, and seeking products that enhance their performance and support recovery. This strategy is a vital part of younger consumers’ response to a changing health environment.

Immune health products that resonate.
Claricell® Activia with Wellmune helps support immunity in active adults.

Wellmune helps manufacturers create transparency in their food, beverage, and supplement products with its well-researched yeast beta glucan that supports immune system health. Formulating with Wellmune can help manufacturers create products for active lifestyles that consumers can trust to provide the immune-health benefits they seek.


Kerry Global Consumer Survey, 2019
Nutrition Business Journal webinar: Supplements in the time of COVID-19: Historical Data, Current Trends and Future Opportunities
FMCG Gurus: The Impact of COVID-19 in 2020

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