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The immunity market: what are the trends after Covid ?

The health crisis has drastically raised consumer awareness of the critical role of the immune system in preventing and maintaining good health. The back-to-back quarantines have also changed he eating and drinking habits of the population, with the growth of the immunity market.

This growing consumer interest in preventive health has profoundly changed the nutraceutical market and more generally the nutrition-health market. For example, we are witnessing a growth in the functional food market, particularly for the immunity segment, proof of the “foodification” of nutraceuticals.

The immunity market, still a growing segment

The immunity market continues to perform well in the French market. Immunity is the fourth best-selling promise behind sleep/stress, digestion, and vitality. Sales have increased by 3% to reach 120 million euros in 2021 [1].

At the global level, 27% of vitamin and mineral-based dietary supplement launches will have immunity claims in 2022 (compared to 20% in 2021)[2].

Well-established trends in the immunity market

Ingredients that are increasingly natural

Naturalness is still a strong trend in the immunity market. 33% of dietary supplements with an immunity claim launched in the last 5 years are formulated with plant extracts[2].

Some key ingredients are still leaders in the immunity market. This is particularly the case for conventional minerals such as zinc, vitamin C or vitamin D (1st category in growth in Europe)[1].

. Beehive products are also among the products in vogue for this promise. In 2022, 42% of French consumers of dietary supplements regularly consume beehive products such as honey, royal jelly, propolis or pollen[3].

Popular products

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From conventional galenic from to foodification

Despite a large variety of formats, ampoules (16%) and powders (13%) are the star formulations in the immunity market [4].

There is also a growth in functional foods and drinks positioned on immunity. Juices, fruits, yoghurts, and teas are frequently associated with immunity by consumers.

Consumers with strong expectations on this promise

More and more consumers concerned about their immunity

Immunity is a concern for consumers, particularly since the health crisis. It is the 3rd most important concern (30%) for which the French have acted this year, after improving sleep (38%) and hydration (31%) [5].

7 out of 10 new consumers of dietary supplements worldwide are looking to support their immunity [6], and products with an immunity claim are the second main reason for consumption of dietary supplements in 2022 for French people [3].

Ingredients that are well known to consumers

One year into the pandemic, the ingredients that global consumers most frequently associate with immunity include vitamins C, D and A, B vitamins, zinc, iron, omega 3, probiotics and protein [7]. Worldwide, 62% of consumers associate vitamin D with an immunity boost. Probiotics are also increasingly known and appreciated by consumers. The ban of the term “probiotics” being lifted, they therefore have a good potential on the immunity market, especially in France.

The products of the hive are also seen as traditional and natural ingredients. They are recognized to have an effect on immunity and are mostly consumed by people over 65 years old [2].

Clearly defined expectations

There is a growing trend towards naturalness. Consumers are looking for foods and herbs to naturally boost their immune systems.

Clinical evidence is a real plus in the immunity market for these consumers who are looking for efficacy. Many are beginning to consider a more holistic approach to immunity. Consumers are realizing that sleep, relaxation, and anxiety reduction are important criteria for sustaining good immunity.

Consumer education is the key to success

During the pandemic, many consumers were interested in methods to quickly boost their immune system. But it is important to let them know that other factors can play a role in immune system responses such as:

  • Poor nutrition
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Chronic stress
  • Lack of sleep
  • Age

It can therefore be interesting to put forward a holistic approach by offering services and advice beyond the simple product.

The immunity market is still growing and offers good prospects for innovation on the market, particularly in terms of galenic forms.

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[1] OpenHealth Company

[2] Mintel GNPD – Février 2017 – Janvier 2022

[3] Synadiet, Baromètre 2022 de la consommation des compléments alimentaires en France

[4] GERS

[5] Innova Market Insights / Enquête 11 pays – 2021

[6] DSM, Global Consumer Immunity Panel, March 2022

[7] FMCG Gurus. Enquête sur la COVID-19 – Février 2021.