Fighting fatigue: DSM reveals top NPD-driving consumer health concerns at Vitafoods Europe 2019
DSM reveals findings of its recent global consumer surveys, highlighting shifts in consumer concerns from weight to energy levels
08 May 2019 --- Recent studies conducted by health, nutrition and sustainable living company DSM, surveying in total 25,000 respondents, found that low energy concerns have overtaken weight management for consumers seeking optimal health and wellness. The company hopes the findings will help support manufacturers in bringing innovative products, inspired by consumers’ needs, to market.
Despite the prevalence of consumers worrying about their low energy levels, only a very small percentage of participants take supplements for the problem, Maria Pavlidou, Head of Marketing Communications, Human Nutrition and Health EMEA at DSM, tells NutritionInsight on the show floor of the ongoing Vitafoods Europe 2019, in Geneva, Switzerland (May 7-9). “This shows us there is a clear opportunity for the supplement industry to develop products that are corresponding to this need and to increase the awareness of how the right supplement can help you,” she adds.
DSM Global Health Concerns 2019
The DSM Global Health Concerns 2019 study, a follow-up to the company’s 2016 research, analyzes the insights of more than 17,000 consumers across 23 countries. The study was conducted to identify consumers’ most current health concerns. Data from this year’s survey shows that energy levels (tiredness) are among the biggest concerns for individuals globally.
In this year’s report, tiredness replaces weight as the number one health concern for consumers in EMEA (67 percent), compared to DSM’s previous study and was closely followed by disease prevention (64 percent) and eye health (62 percent). Among parents of children aged under 16 years, almost 70 percent are most concerned about their children's’ immunity, followed by the quality of their nutrition – especially for picky eaters – and prevention.
“Weight is still very important, it remains in the number three top health concern in Europe, but now [low] energy has overtaken weight,” says Pavlidou.“We wanted to understand what people who are worried about their energy are doing about it and what this may mean for the supplement industry.”
The DSM Global Health Concerns study 2019 sought to quantify awareness and attitudes towards dietary supplement usage. Data shows that there is a significant increase in usage in the EMEA region compared to previous research (37 percent in 2019 vs 28 percent in 2017), with products primarily taken to boost overall health (56 percent), improve immunity (46 percent) and increase energy levels (41 percent).
Over the last three years, supplement usage among consumers in Europe alone has risen to almost 10 percent, Pavlidou notes. “We asked consumers what they take supplements for and we found that the number one reason is immunity and general well being. So there is really an opportunity there for supplement manufacturers,” she further adds.
DSM Naturalness Research 2019
DSM Naturalness Research study 2019, interviewed over 8,000 consumers from 16 countries worldwide, to discover what consumers think about the concept of “naturalness” in the context of purchasing decisions. The study’s findings may provide deeper insights into future NDP, which caters to rising consumer demands for cleaner food, beverage and health products.
Results from the study reveal that over 80 percent of the global population strongly agrees with the statement: “natural products are better for me.” In addition, 40 percent of those interviewed consider that “naturalness” is important when buying a dietary supplement.
“As an industry, we have a definition of what we think is ‘natural’ and regulatory bodies in different countries also have their own definition,” Pavlidou tells NutritionInsight. “But the really interesting thing is, how does the consumer perceive natural?”
“What are the natural attributes for a supplement? It is, of course, no artificial, preservatives, no artificial sweeteners, etc.,” says Pavlidou. “There are different things that increase the product’s ‘naturalness’, for example – having actual fruit pieces inside and also botanicals that consumers can recognize without difficult chemical names.”
With findings from this latest research, the DSM team set about brainstorming how to help manufacturers capture these trends. At Vitafoods Europe 2019, the company is showcasing a range of new consumer-driven product forms and customizable natural nutrient premixes at this week’s ongoing show. Such prototypes can give the industry an insight into what kind of applications could be targeted to respond to consumer health concerns.
“One example [of the newest formulations] is Energy Booster – an effervescent tablet for energy containing carnitine, taurine, caffeine and guarana. It’s a really clean natural formulation capturing one of the top health concerns of health consumers in our region,” says Pavlidou.
Alongside Energy Booster, the company is showcasing Young@Heart, which offers “complete cardio protection for normal blood flow, blood pressure and cholesterol” with dietary antiplatelet Fruitflow, garlic and potassium.
By Benjamin Ferrer, with additional reporting from Lucy Gunn
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