ROCKVILLE MD, October 19, 2021 – As the world has spent the past few years in a global pandemic with an array of COVID-19 variants further threatening public health, more people are looking to improve their health and boost immunity to prevent or lessen the severity of illness. The U.S. food and beverage industry has, therefore, responded with an increasing number products aimed at that consumer trend. According to PepsiCo, in the last year (between October 2020 and September 2021), 120 new products in the U.S. made an immunity claim on the label or via marketing, twice the number of the previous year.
In Packaged Facts’ February-March 2021 survey, more than two-fifths of consumers report that because of the coronavirus, they are buying food and beverage products to protect their immune systems more. Half of consumers say they are buying supplements or vitamins to protect their immune systems more because of the coronavirus.
While most products cannot claim to treat or cure a disease without the approval of the US Food & Drug Administration, they can mention the inclusion of ingredients that most people understand to be good for the immune system. Packaged Facts Food & Beverage analyst Cara Rasch noted, “Products such as those with added vitamins or minerals, prebiotics, probiotics, and “superfoods” that are high in antioxidants are often touted as beneficial for immunity. Sales of packaged foods and beverages with claims for gut health or immunity grew more than 50% in value terms from 2019 to 2020.”
Rasch continued, “In 2020, coronavirus fears led people to seek out products that could benefit their health. The rise of variants and concern about vaccine-resistant types has continued to boost sales this year as well. Consumers are bombarded by news of the pandemic, so they are increasingly looking for a proactive step they can take… even just a little boost to a food or snack they might already enjoy.”
Additionally, the pandemic has led to more snacking and eating at home. Packaged Facts’ June 2021 survey reveals that 29% of consumers report eating more snacks/treats during the pandemic, while 27% are increasing their eating frequency (number of meals/snacks per day).
Rasch noted, “Snacks that are considered to be better-for-you – healthier than conventional snacks based on health claims, nutritional content, or portion sizes – have been particularly important during the pandemic. Health has been a much larger focus for many consumers concerned about their immunity and ability to fight infections. That focus often extends to their families, especially children who are back in school and not yet eligible for coronavirus vaccines.”
Rasch continued, “Many consumers believe in the concept of “food as medicine” and find snacks with immune-boosting properties appealing as a way to make small changes with potential or at least hoped-for improvements in wellbeing.”
For more information, see Packaged Facts’ Immunity Boosting Foods: Gut Health & General Immunity Improvement report. This report analyzes current retail sales, projects future sales, and examines trends across the U.S. market for functional foods and beverages with gut health or immunity claims, considering the current and longer-term impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.
Also check out Better-for-You Snacks: Market Trends and Opportunities for more information about the better-for-you snack market. This report examines current retail sales, forecasts future sales, and investigates trends across the U.S. market for snacks with better-for-you claims
Packaged Facts, a division of MarketResearch.com, publishes market intelligence on a wide range of consumer market topics, including consumer demographics and shopper insights, the food and beverage market, consumer financial products and services, consumer goods and retailing, and pet products and services. Packaged Facts also offers a full range of custom research services. Reports can be purchased at our company website and are also available through MarketResearch.com.
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