Consumers use functional food ingredients to be proactive about health, says new report from Kerry

March 8, 2019

Kerry has released a report called “Proactive Health: Consumer Demand for Functional Benefits.” 

Kerry (Beloit, WI) has released a report called “Proactive Health: Consumer Demand for Functional Benefits.” The report is based on research from an online survey, in partnership with BrandIQ, and included 1,000 U.S. consumers who are health conscious, read nutritional labels, and consider ingredients when purchasing products.

The main takeaway from the report is that consumers consider a balanced diet to be the ideal way to manage health, and foods or beverages with functional benefits are an important way to achieve specific results. For example, 58% of respondents cited eating a balanced diet as the primary way they manage their health, 57% cited physical exercise, 47% cited dietary supplements, and 41% cited eating foods with functional benefits. Overall, 65% of respondents said they sought added functional benefits from everyday food and beverages beyond their inherent benefits, such as “superfood.”

“Consumer focus on food and beverages to lead a healthier lifestyle has grown dramatically,” said Soumya Nair, director of market insights for Kerry North America, in a press release. “They want to future-proof themselves from short as well as long-term health concerns, with 69% of health-conscious US adults saying they are proactive with their health. Beyond weight management concerns, busy lifestyles have led to concerns with stress, energy, sleep, and gut health to rise up to the top of the list.”

Stress and weight are top of mind with consumers, both cited by 51% of respondents as personal health priorities, followed by 39% of respondents citing energy as a personal health priority, and just below that, sleep, with 38%. When it comes to stress, energy, and sleep, adaptogens and other “superfood” ingredients are highly regarded by consumers. The top five superfood ingredients, according to the survey were green tea, apple cider vinegar, ginger, ginseng, and turmeric. Turmeric, for example, has grown 179% in retailer product revenue since 2016, says the report. Overall, the number one ranking ingredient perceived to deliver functional benefits are omega-3 fatty acids/DHA.

For more insights, the report can be accessed here.