A recent survey of 3,008 consumers across three continents uncovered that interest in immune health support increased since the pandemic began and is predicted to continue longer-term. Among participants in Cargill’s recent global Feed4Thought survey, 84% of Chinese, 64% of American and 58% of British consumers noted that immune support has become more important to them since the start of the pandemic.
Other key findings from consumers surveyed include:
- Increased understanding of the gut health and immune health connection, with most indicating that immune system support and gut health are very important to them. More than four in five believe that good gut health can reduce the chance of becoming ill. In the U.S., more than half reported that healthy digestion will be more important to them in the next six months than it was previously.
- Most will take proactive measures to support their gut and immune health, including taking immune support supplements.
- 43% of U.S. consumers surveyed said they will take an immune health supplement in the next six months (an 8% increase since the start of the pandemic), while 46% of respondents in China (6% increase) and 33% of U.K. consumers (4% increase) reported they will increase their immune supplement use in coming months.
- Regional differences identified: While varied by region, the survey consistently found that Chinese consumers placed the highest importance on immune system support and gut health.
- In China, 78% of respondents said immune health support will become more important in the next six months, followed by 58% in America and 46% in the U.K.
- One in four U.S. and U.K. consumers and 40% of Chinese consumers reported that they began taking an immune supplement during the pandemic.
“Consumers are recognizing the benefits of taking action for their immune and gut health to support overall health and well-being,” said Chuck Warta, president of Cargill Health Technologies. “Our Feed4Thought survey is invaluable for understanding how consumer attitudes about immune and gut health have evolved and how we can better meet their growing demand for immune support supplements.”
Cargill sees health ingredients as one of the fastest-growing segments in nutrition and is focused on further growth to help its customers meet the needs of consumers. It is making significant investments in digestive and immune health for human health like its acquisition of EpiCor, the leading postbiotic brand, and Diamond V for animal health.