Uncertainty during COVID-19 drives demand for immunity-boosting dietary supplements, says GlobalData

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 *223% admit to stockpiling or buying significantly more vitamins and supplements when asked about their current shopping habits.

Nina Nowak, Senior Researcher at GlobalData, comments: “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.”

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.

Nowak adds: “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”

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*3.

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.”

*GlobalData’s COVID-19 Tracker Consumer Survey – Week 10 (June 03) – Global

*2 GlobalData’s COVID-19 Tracker Consumer Survey – Week 10 (June 03) – Global – stockpiling/significantly more/and more responses combined

*3 GlobalData’s COVID-19 Tracker Consumer Survey – Week 10 (June 03) – Global – strongly/somewhat agree responses combined

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