Food As Medicine
The Immunity Advantage in a Post-COVID World
The onset of the novel coronavirus outbreak accelerated already-rising consumer interest in food and personal care products that deliver a promise of enhanced immunity or other health benefits. Immunity boosting or otherwise functional botanical ingredients will be particularly appealing to consumers moving into a post-COVID world and the “next normal”.
Products with a “health halo” or better-for-you ingredients will resonate with consumers focusing more on their physical, mental, and immune health during and after lockdown. Brands can take a holistic approach to support wellness by using ingredients that provide antioxidants, improved sleep, nutrition, reduced stress, or gut health.
Ingredients with a Health Halo
As consumers pay closer attention to labels and seek immunity-boosting features; beverages, supplements, skin care, and food brands can all leverage
ingredients known to aid the immune system. Some ingredients we expect to see on the rise due to their perceived “health halo” or association with the Immunity Advantage scenario include:
These ingredients can be incorporated into new products that appeal to shoppers that fit the “holistic healer” profile. There is a lot of room for creativity in these launches. Developers can look beyond just the usual wellness categories into other applications where a consumer might be pleasantly surprised to find immunity-boosting ingredients.
81% of US consumers agree that healthy eating is about balance, not restrictions
Some brands are already starting to pivot in this direction. Innovation with digestive claims in sweet biscuit products has dropped over the last three years globally, while immunity claims have more than doubled (Mintel 2020).
Natural Colors and Functional Extracts
Functional claims continue to gain popularity in the better-for-you food and beverage space. Brands need natural ingredients that meet consumer demands for immunity-boosting, energizing, stress relieving, and other health and lifestyle-focused claims.
Since 2018, almost half of all immunity food
and drink new product launches have carried vitamin/mineral fortified claims, but functional claims have room to grow.
In order to support developers seeking opportunities with functional claims, we have developed functional extracts that are compatible and stable in systems with natural colors and juice concentrates. We started with stability testing in gummy and fruit snack applications, as these are a popular category for functional claims, and we are planning to expand our stability testing in 2021 to other applications.
Although these are shown in gummies, the extracts, juice concentrates, and natural colors are available for use in other applications as well. Ask the Ideation Team how Ginger, Yerba Mate, Green Coffee Bean, or Hibsicus Extract can elevate your next launch!