Cargill’s global Feed4Thought survey of 3,008 consumers across three continents uncovered that interest in immune health support increased since the pandemic began and is predicted to continue longer-term.
Among the respondents, 84% of Chinese, 64% of American and 58% of British consumers noted that immune support has become more important to them since the start of the pandemic.
Other key findings from consumers surveyed include:
– Increased understanding of the gut health and immune health connection, with most indicating that immune system support and gut health are very important to survey respondents.
More than four in five believe that good gut health can reduce the chance of becoming ill.
In the US, more than half reported that healthy digestion will be more important to them in the next six months than it was previously.
Most will take proactive measures to support their gut and immune health, including taking immune support supplements.
About 43% of US consumers surveyed said they will take an immune health supplement in the next six months (an 8% increase since the start of the pandemic), while 46% of respondents in China (6% increase) and 33% of UK consumers (4% increase) reported they will increase their immune supplement use in coming months.
While varied by region, the survey consistently found that Chinese consumers placed the highest importance on immune system support and gut health.
In China, 78% of respondents said immune health support will become more important in the next six months, followed by 58% in America and 46% in the UK.
One in four US and UK consumers and 40% of Chinese consumers reported that they began taking an immune supplement during the pandemic.
Cargill sees health ingredients as one of the fastest-growing segments in nutrition and is focused on further growth, such as acquiring EpiCor, a postbiotic brand, and Diamond V for animal health in 2017.