Results from the global survey show consumers are increasingly aware of their well-being, with a focus on immunity, and the potential connection between increased levels of environmental damage and the rise of COVID-19.
The market research company FMCG Gurus, on behalf of Beneo (Parsippany, NJ), surveyed consumers about healthy ingredients and label transparency amid COVID-19. Results from the global survey show consumers are increasingly aware of their well-being, with a focus on immunity, and the potential connection between increased levels of environmental damage and the rise of COVID-19.
These shifts mean consumers are interested in food and drink products that promote well-being and sustained energy, while minimizing impact on the environment.
Environmental and health concerns
Because of COVID-19, consumers are questioning the impact of environmental issues such as air pollution on respiratory issues, which would increase their vulnerability to the virus. On the shelves, this concern has manifested into 60% of consumers now being more attentive to the impact that their food and drink has on the environment.
“As concern for the environment continues to gather pace, it is important that we all play our part in promoting sustainable business practices,” said Myriam Snaet, head of market intelligence and consumer insights at Beneo, in a press releasee. “At Beneo, we actively support sustainable farming, to encourage biodiversity and reduce water pollution and soil erosion. We valorize 100% of our raw material to minimize waste and have reduced our specific energy consumption by 50% over the past 30 years. Looking to the future, we aim to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, thanks to our recent investments into upgrading and expanding our facilities.”
When it comes to consumers’ health, the survey found, as a result of COVID-19, 64% of consumers are now more conscious about their immune health, even if they previously thought they had a healthy immune system. As such, two-thirds (64%) of consumers are more interested in ingredients, or food and drink products, that provide protective or preventative health benefits. Along with protection and prevention, consumers want sustained energy—34% of consumers are now more likely to seek out food and drink products that boost energy in a sustained and balanced way—and a mood boost—more than half (55%) are likely to opt for food and drink to boost their mood.
One opportunity arising from sustained energy is the appeal of slow-release, low-glycemic carbohydrates such as Palatinose (isomaltulose), with 45% of consumers believing such carbohydrates are better for their health.
“The results of our latest consumer survey clearly show that beneficial ingredients and label transparency are now more important than ever before to consumers across the globe, as a result of the pandemic,” said Michael Hughes, director of insights at FMCG Gurus, in a press release. “People are exploring topics such as inner defense, staying fit and healthy, blood glucose control, as well as sustained energy and wanting to buy products with proven health benefits. Beneo is well equipped to help manufacturers tap into these key growth areas. The company’s prebiotic chicory root fibers and slow-release carbohydrate offer a range of scientifically proven health benefits that help support long-term health and can be communicated on pack.”