Immunity-boosting trend drives NPD from beverages to protein supplements
26 Oct 2020 --- Consumer demand for immune-strengthening products is driving NPD throughout the food and nutrition industries, particularly amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Notably, innovations from protein supplements to herbal teas and hydration drinks are being sold as aids against flu and viruses.
Immunity claims on product packaging rose by average of 15 percent per year between 2015 and 2019, according to Innova Market Insights.
Europe had a 41 percent market share of global F&B launches, including supplements, tracked with immune health claims in 2019, up from 34 percent in 2015. Market share increases were also seen in the Middle East and Africa, as well as Australasia.
Slight falls were recorded in the Americas, and a more profound fall in Asia of an average of 25 percent in 2015 to 19 percent in 2019. Supplements continued to be the leading category for products with immunity claims worldwide. This was followed by baby and toddler products, sports nutrition and dairy.
However, the fastest-growing markets showed a near reverse picture. While supplements account for the lion’s share of existing immunity products on the market, it is dairy, hot drinks and sports nutrition products that are rising to consumer demand.
New dairy products boasting immunity strengthening properties saw a CAGR of 29 percent between 2015 and 2019. Meanwhile, hot drinks had 22 percent CAGR, sports and nutrition 18 percent and supplements 15 percent.
Notably, the top immunity-related ingredients were vitamin C and selenium.
One brand new example of NPD in the immunity realm is a range of mix packets for hot and cold drinks from US-based Nutrient Survival, an “emergency food and beverage company.” The products contain mostly blends of vitamins, magnesium and zinc.
The company emphasizes its product’s uses during a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is driving general immunity and health concerns. “The threat of viruses has never been greater for us, even as we learn to make changes to our everyday lives to keep ourselves and others safe,” says Nutrient Survival CEO Eric Christianson.
“We just had to do more to help people defend their bodies by bringing together our proprietary blend of essential nutrients and other powerful ingredients in these new drinks to support boosting immunity and help with symptom recovery.”
However, this is given with a warning that the products are “not intended to treat, cure or prevent any disease.”
Similarly, Californian company Hydralate is launching a drink mix for hydration that touts its immune-boosting properties. Its product is “doctor approved” and contains vitamin C and elderberry.
Florida based Natural Cure Labs is also producing supplements it calls Liquid Immune Support. They contain a blend of herbal ingredients such as ginger, echinacea, goldenseal, garlic, ginseng, ginkgo, turmeric and cayenne. The ingredients are cold-processed to preserve their nutritional properties and stabilized in an alcohol-free, low water-activity tincture.
Meanwhile, Laird Superfood is unveiling a new plant-based protein powder labeled Renew, which contains naturally occurring amino acids. Protein extracted from pumpkin, hemp, cranberry and Sacha Inchi seeds is mixed with functional mushroom extracts to produce potentially immune-strengthening properties.
Research and dietary advice beyond NPDs
In other developments, the Harvard Pilgrim Health Center is teaming up with Foodsmart, a digital nutrition platform that offers online food ordering, immunity-boosting recipes and meal planning. Both organizations offer guidance on dietary nutrition to consumers wishing to strengthen their immune systems.
Together they have launched the FoodSmart Nutriquiz, an online application that helps monitor progress against health goals and facilitates personalization of meal plans and grocery lists based on eating habits, food preferences and allergies.
By Louis Gore-Langton
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