How Covid-19 is boosting millennials’ interest in vitamins

Consumer surveys show growing interest in vitamins and supplements across all age groups, but most strikingly among millennials, GlobalData Consumer reports.

Covid-19 has prioritized health in the minds of consumers around the world and is proving to be a factor in the growing interest in vitamins, especially among relatively young consumers.

Millennials are twice as likely to buy more vitamins as a result of the pandemic than their baby boomer parents. New research from GlobalData suggests this is due to a difference in perceptions about health, wellness, and the pandemic itself.

Covid-19 has fundamentally affected consumer health concerns. According to a recent GlobalData consumer survey, around 25% describe themselves as extremely concerned about their health. In this context, around 30% of millennials described themselves as extremely worried.

“Extreme” health concern / increased vitamin purchases

Source: GlobalData – Covid-19 Recovery Tracking Consumer Survey, October 12, 2020

Many consumers will try to boost their immune health with supplementation, but what is interesting is that it is younger consumers who are both the most concerned about their health and who buy more of these products, although they belong to a low risk population.

This response seems to confirm the stereotype of the millennial as being psychologically stressed, possibly sensitive, and evidence suggests that millennials seek psychotherapy more frequently than Gen X and previous generations.

The psychological explanations for this higher level of generational stress vary but focus mainly on financial issues, such as difficulty in finding a job, poor job security, wages that do not increase with the cost of living. expensive living and housing.

During the pandemic, these concerns worsened and appear to play a role in the increased emphasis on health. When faced with a new disease, consumers look for products that they believe are beneficial to health in order to prevent infections and strengthen their immunity. GlobalData may reveal that increased global concern over health and wellness correlates with increased vitamin purchases during the pandemic, with millennials leading the trend.

This week, Unilever further strengthened its product line in this area, with the acquisition of US company SmartyPants Vitamins. A year ago, ice cream owner Ben & Jerry’s bought out another vitamin company in the United States, Olly Nutrition. And, in the broader nutrition arena, Unilever also, through an agreement reached in April of this year, recently acquired the Horlicks food and beverage brand and other consumer health nutrition products from GlaxoSmithKline. (GSK) in India.

Speaking last month, Hanneke Faber, head of Unilever’s food division, said “functional nutrition”, as well as plant-based meat, were areas of focus for the group. “Before the pandemic, these would be great growth areas for us. They continue to be great spaces for growth during the pandemic, ”she noted.

In September, Nestlé chief executive Mark Schneider said the world’s largest food maker expects to double the dollar value of its health and nutrition business, Nestlé Health Science, by next year.

“Our Nestlé Health Science unit was in tears even before the pandemic. A few years ago, it was a 2 billion Swiss Franc (US $ 2.2 billion) company. We plan to double that figure to around 4 billion Swiss francs by the end of next year. Very strong organic growth, especially in vitamins, minerals and supplements, ”said Schneider, speaking following the acquisition by the Swiss giant of Aimmune Therapeutics, a US-based allergy treatment company. United.

Nestlé Health Science markets a range of products for a variety of health conditions and, within the unit, is the Canadian vitamin and supplement group Atrium Innovations, which the company acquired three years ago.

The movements of some of the biggest names in packaged food towards health products show the powerful and enduring presence of health and wellness concerns, which have been highlighted by the pandemic.

Markets should expect an increase in products containing vitamin D in particular, as vitamin D deficiency is associated with more severe cases of Covid-19 in the medical literature. This will become especially relevant during the fall and winter months in the northern hemisphere, when sunlight, the key to vitamin D production, is on the decline.

The pandemic has had a series of impacts on health issues. Globally, millennials seem to take the issue most to heart, which means companies that make supplements, health products, or fortified products should consider tailoring the products and marketing more to this group. target and their pandemic-specific health issues.

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