Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in greater global awareness over the importance of nutritional health in maintaining one’s body immunity and resistance against infection.
This is evident from the latest survey conducted by FMCG Gurus (Sep 2020) which showed that more than 60% of global consumers are planning to improve their overall health & wellness over the next 12 months. Consumers are now motivated to make positive lifestyle changes from dietary changes to better hygiene practices, and this includes adding nutritional supplements to their daily regimen.
Euromonitor International estimated that the total global dietary supplements market is worth US$76 billion in 2021 with a projected CAGR of 2.4% from 2021 to 2026.
ADM, a global leader in nutrition, recently shares with AFBR some of the major consumer motivations within the dietary supplement industry, as well as key growth opportunities in the future. The future is indeed bright as 49% of global consumers are willing to spend more on nutritional supplements (FMCG Gurus).
Consumers globally have developed greater awareness over the concept of holistic health with fastest growing segments within the supplements sector being stress, mood and sleep support. Roughly 76% of global consumers recognise the link between cognitive health and good overall health, and 51% plan to improve their cognitive or mental health over the next 12 months, according to findings from FMCG Gurus (2021). The following Chart 1.0 showed consumers’ top health concerns that they hope to address with nutritional supplements.
ADM has identified supplements that support restorative sleep, balanced mood, normal immune function, weight management and skin health as growth segments.
Key Challenges in delivering supplements that appeal to consumers
According to ADM, convenient formats that are easy to consume but still taste great will appeal to consumers across a wide age group from children to the elderly consumers. Supplements in capsules and tablet formats are found to be ‘unappealing’ to 43% of non-supplement users who have difficulty in swallowing.
In addition, supplements must also fit to consumers’ current lifestyles as 33% of global consumers find it inconvenient to establish a routine of consuming such products. As such, innovative convenient formats from delicious fortified drinks to gummies, drops and stick packs will be the products of the future. In this way, consumers can easily blend these products into their regular lifestyle diet.
Lois Mo, Marketing Director, Health & Wellness, APAC, ADM said, “ADM provides manufacturers with a range of innovative convenient formats including chewables, gummies, jellies, and shots that appeal to customers of all ages and demographics.”
The following Chart 2.0 showed the various supplement formats and their CAGR growth over the years.
Another area of consumer concern is environmental sustainability and they seek products that support this goal. Many consumers now prefer to choose products with clean and clear labels and sustainability credentials. FMCG Gurus findings in 2021 showed that 76% of global nutritional supplement users prioritise products that are 100% natural or free from artificial ingredients. As such, product developers who work with ingredient suppliers that focus on sustainable sourcing will be well-positioned to meet this ongoing trend.
In addition, 70% of global consumers said that they will be more attentive to natural ingredient claims due to Covid-19.
Mo emphasised that, “To help consumer look out for their body’s nutritional needs and ease their purchasing decisions, ADM provides manufacturers with ingredients including alternative proteins and natural functional botanicals that are sustainably sourced with clean and clear labels.”
The following Chart 3.0 showed the growth of dietary supplements by product claims over a 5-year period with ‘Free From’ added/artificial colors, flavors and preservatives enjoying the highest growth.
Global consumers are now looking for functional but natural ingredients to support their health concerns. These ingredients must also be scientifically supported on its efficacy. FMCG Gurus findings showed that 59% of consumers desire to see scientific evidence supporting the product claims, while 50% also want to be assured of the product safety.
Specifically when looking at just nutritional supplement users, roughly 73% of them desire for clinically demonstrated benefits supported by in vivo, pre-clinical and clinical research.
Mo added, “Immune and cognitive health have seen immense growth during the pandemic, and ADM helps consumers take a proactive approach to wellness by providing functional ingredients with a variety of benefits that are safe and effective to support their holistic health.”
Fun but Functional
Consumers now would like to enjoy their supplements as much as the daily food and beverages that they consume. About 58% of global consumers said that it is important for supplements to taste good. On the other hand, 63% of supplement users felt that existing supplement flavors could be improved. (FMCG Gurus)
With this duality of consumer needs for both taste and functionality, dietary supplements and functional foods are converging. Formulators can reach a new supplement audience with delivery formats that blur the lines of functional, enjoyable and fun. Gummies, a long-standing industry staple, and brands are now exploring other confectionery formats, such as chocolate and chewing gum. Using a combination of science backed ingredients such as prebiotics, probiotics, postbiotics, botanicals and plant extracts deliver added functional benefits. Plus, combining these functional ingredients with attractive colors and flavors can help elevate dietary supplements from a daily chore into something that consumers enjoy repeating.
Mo concluded, “Indulgent experiences should encapsulate fun flavors, colors and great textures for consumer of all ages to enjoy. To provide mindful indulgences that are both delicious and deliver better-for-you ingredients, ADM is welcoming this change through diversified formats with appealing taste and added functional benefits.”
The following research (see Chart 4.0) done by ADM showed consumer association of certain flavors and colors with the targeted benefits of the supplements.
Consumer attitudes, behaviors and priorities around health and wellness are being shaped by the ongoing pandemic. Although many people are taking a proactive approach to improve their health, many still need to be sold on daily nutritional supplements. To attract and retain the supplement consumer of the future, actions must be taken today to persuade shoppers that these products are convenient, affordable and effective.
As a global leader in nutrition, ADM helps health and wellness brands develop innovative products that align with consumers’ evolving needs.
For more information, click on:
Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM)