Consumers prioritizing immune health in light of pandemic, says new MarketPlace survey

August 25, 2020

A new survey from MarketPlace found that immunity and prevention are top purchase drivers for U.S. supplement users.

A new survey from MarketPlace (St. Louis, MO) found that immunity and prevention are top purchase drivers for U.S. supplement users. For example, while immunity ranked fifth on the list of consumer demands in 2019, updated research following the COVID-19 pandemic found that immunity moved to third place, after disease prevention/overall wellness and gut/digestive health. Additionally, 61% of U.S. dietary supplement consumers states they increase their supplement usage to support immunity.

According to the study, between March and June of 2020, supplement users were most likely to buy vitamin D (54%), vitamin C (53%), probiotics (35%), and zinc (21%). The strong demand for probiotics might indicate that more consumers are buying gut health products with immunity in mind, says MarketPlace.

Survey data also shows that the pandemic prompted dietary changes, with 44% of U.S. supplement consumers stating they changed their diets to boost immune health. Among those buying immune-supporting supplements, more than half said the pandemic prompted them to change their diet (51%), eat more fruit (54%), or increase usage of vitamin and mineral supplements (61%). MarketPlace also found that demand for sleep support supplements increased as well, moving from ninth place on a list of consumer demands to fourth, just behind immune health.

With the increased consumption of dietary supplements, consumer preferences for delivery formats are also shifting. The preference for pills has declined to 72% compared to 89% the previous year, while the preference for gummies grew to 59% compared to 45% the previous year. However, 70% of supplement users stated that effectiveness was important to them when deciding to purchase a supplement, point to a need for equally effective alternative supplement formats.

“Innovative formulations that address pill fatigue and increase the bioavailability of immunity-boosting ingredients, especially tea and yogurt applications, are growth opportunities for functional food and beverage brands and ingredient suppliers,” said Jon Copeland, MarketPlace’s research strategist, in a press release. “The data reveal seismic shifts in the wellness consumer’s lifestyle and outlook on personal health. We believe long-term demand will remain strong for preventive health and immunity support.”