Consumers actively seeking clinically validated immune health supplements, says SPRIM

The study, which surveyed more than 1,000 people across the United States, Mexico, and Brazil showed that consumers are prioritizing scientific literature and clinical trials to determine product effectiveness when choosing dietary supplements for immune health.

The consulting agency SPRIM Global announced the results of a study examining the connection between COVID-19 and the changes in consumer’s dietary supplement purchasing behavior. The study, which surveyed more than 1,000 people across the United States, Mexico, and Brazil showed that consumers are prioritizing scientific literature and clinical trials to determine product effectiveness when choosing dietary supplements for immune health.

The study also found that 61% of global consumers who have purchased dietary supplements in the last 12 months either began or increased their purchasing for immune health supplements during the pandemic. Fifty-seven percent of consumers also claim to be concerned about their immunity due to the pandemic, and 83% say they take immune support supplements every day and buy more when they run out. When it comes to specific supplements they are buying, vitamin C is the mainstay immune health ingredient they look for, with vitamin D coming in second due to studies demonstrating the correlation between low vitamin D levels and higher risk of contracting a serious case of COVID-19.

“We’re seeing a shift in consumers’ priorities,” said Susan Dallabrida, PhD, vice president of consultancy at SPRIM Global. “While healthcare practitioner endorsement can be influential, U.S. consumers strongly prefer to also see scientific evidence and clinical research that substantiate a product’s efficacy, allowing them to evaluate that product on its own merit.”

Samir Behl, management consultant and former regional president of Europe, India, and Africa at Amway, supports Dallabrida’s assertion. “This study highlights the importance of providing concrete evidence on the health benefits of supplements for consumers who are increasingly wary of questionable claims promising curative or prophylactic benefits,” said Behl. “For a supplement brand to be successful long term, it's essential that credible information be provided to consumers, as well as to healthcare providers, in order to get their support or endorsement. Scientific data using the correct testing protocol to support product efficacy is essential in this regard.”