Brightseed survey identifies 27% of U.S. American adults as “bioactivists”


The company describes “bioactivists” as people “who believe ‘food can be as powerful as medicine’ and who would pay a premium for novel bioactive health solutions.”

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A new consumer survey conducted by Brightseed (San Francisco) has identified 27% of American adults as “bioactivists.” The company describes “bioactivists” as people “who believe ‘food can be as powerful as medicine’ and would pay a premium for novel bioactive health solutions.”

Brightseed, whose Forager A.I. artificial intelligence technology is helping to speed the discovery and validation of bioactive compounds for health, conducted its survey on more than 2800 U.S. adults in 2022. The survey sought to explore whether consumers understand what bioactive compounds are and how they can benefit health. According to the company’s press release, their research showed “there is a significant subset of consumers who are engaged in a new horizon of science-based, natural solutions for health: bioactives.”

The company further describes bioactives as “compounds that promote growth found in plants, fungi, and microbes that have the potential to reshape the nutraceutical industry and help consumers achieve their health goals.” An example of this type of ingredient is Brightseed’s own Brightseed Bio 01 novel hemp fiber ingredient for gut health, which the company discovered using Forager A.I. At the upcoming Natural Products Expo West trade show in Anaheim, CA, in March this year, the company will introduce its latest version of Brightseed Bio 01: Brightseed Bio 01 Organic, a new, certified-organic version of the ingredient. Says the company, “Developed from upcycled hemp hulls and formulated to optimize bioactive content, Brightseed Bio 01 is the only dietary fiber on the market that contains two bioactive compounds, NCT and NFT, that show promise to support gut barrier integrity in preclinical studies.”

According to Brightseed’s consumer study, up to 27% of respondents classify as “bioactivists.” Says the firm: “This finding presents a new opportunity for functional food and beverage brands to innovate products aimed at this early-adopter segment.”

It also points out that “the research also measured sentiment, interest, and knowledge of health and nutrition, which is where the bioactivist segment emerged—a new category of consumer representing more than a quarter of U.S. adults.”

Bioactivists are consumers who are more likely to prioritize nutrition as a proactive way to maintain good health. Specifically, “While 62% of general consumers reported they are interested in learning more about bioactives, bioactivists—highly motivated, health-conscious consumers who prioritize nutrition as a proactive health measure—were significantly more engaged.”

The report noted that “In addition, half of bioactivists reported they are dissatisfied with the market’s current natural solutions for health, and more than half (52%) said they would pay more for bioactive-containing products.”

Brightseed’s vice president of marketing, Michelle Masek, added, “Our findings show these bioactivist consumers are hungry to find bioactives on the labels of their trust brands.” Brightseed’s vice president of bioactives, Alina Slotnik, added, “Health-conscious consumers are trained to seek out products containing certain label claims, vitamins, minerals, or classes of antioxidants, but our findings show that there’s a huge unmet opportunity to address the needs of bioactivists who are drilling deeper in the science. Bioactive ingredients are the next generation of health ingredients and a novel way to deliver differentiated benefits.”

The company also notes “recent natural product industry analysis” showing that when looking for healthy products today, shoppers are more interested in “the healthy components within” versus removal of the “bad,” like trans fats and added sugars.”

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