In Europe, brain health and gut health are high-growth markets, market researcher MMR finds


MMR based its latest insights on data from consumers in France, Germany, and the Netherlands.

Photo © is Danny

Photo © is Danny

Brain health and digestive health are two of the most promising health markets in Europe, according to new data from market researcher MMR Research Worldwide. The company shared its findings from data gleaned from consumers in France, Germany, and the Netherlands.

Brain Health Now a Leading Health Concern in Europe

Brain health is now one of European consumers’ greatest health concerns, second only to heart health. Dutch customers in fact rank brain health as their top health concern today.

MMR's sister company Huxly Global’s social media findings show that brain health–related posts grew 195% in the last year in Europe, overtaking posts about heart health. “The initiative also revealed that people’s main aspirations around brain health center on focus and performance, with conversations around nootropics, gut-brain axis, and biohacking all up significantly,” it reported.

“It’s a dramatic sign of the times,” said Andrew Wardlaw, MMR’s chief ideas officer, in a company press release. “Wherever we look, brain health is either taking the number one or two slot. This would not have been the case as little as five years ago.”

Brain health has the potential to become just as popular of a product market in Europe as it is in the United States. “Our experience in the U.S. is that companies are much more ready to develop functional products,” said James Gater, head of MMR Netherlands, in the press release. “The market for beverages that support cognitive function is much more developed, for example.”

But with attention shifting to brain health in Europe, MMR urged companies there to focus future product development on the cognitive-function space.

Digestive Health Shows Promise

Like brain health, digestive health is also an increasingly important concern among European customers, resulting in a rapidly growing market. In the Netherlands, for instance, digestive health now ranks fourth on consumers’ list of health concerns.

“Consumers are waking up to the paramount importance of maintaining a healthy gut,” said Wardlaw. “The evolving science around the gut-brain axis and the accompanying surge in social conversations all lead to gut health’s rising potential in people’s daily lives.”

Consumers Willing to Pay for Health Support

Other leading health concerns in Europe are heart health and immune health. MMR research found that consumers in Europe are willing to pay more for products that offer additional health benefits (48% of respondents in the Netherlands, 59% of German respondents, and 67% of French respondents).

“It will be important for brands to land innovation that communicates efficacy across the full user experience—from the sound of a pack opening to the residual mouthfeel. Efficacy must be felt as well as claimed to ensure longer-term adoption,” Wardlaw said.

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