Earlier this year, Euromonitor International conducted its 2019 Health and Nutrition Survey with over 20,000 respondents across 20 core global markets to investigate how consumer needs, habits and profiles had evolved globally. Findings published in its recent report 'Top Consumer Trends Impacting Health and Nutrition' indicated mental well-being; prevention rather than treatment; and active lifestyles were increasingly important for global consumers. It also showed the importance some regions placed on use of vitamins and supplements.
'Important' to overall health and nutrition
Latin America ranked second globally in considering vitamins and supplements 'important' to overall health and nutrition, with almost 60% agreeing with this statement. This compared to around 61% in North America and less than 45% in Europe.
In addition, just over half of Latin Americans considered vitamins and supplements 'generally safe to consume' and also believed they were 'knowledgeable' on the products.
The top three dietary supplements and vitamins consumed in the region were vitamin C (53%); calcium (50%); and multivitamins (42%).
Asia Pacific tallied the exact same top-consumed supplements, albeit with slightly lower consumption percentages.
Amrutha Shridhar, research consultant for Consumer Insights at Euromonitor International and author of the report, said convenience was the “driving force” behind why so many global consumers took vitamins and supplements and also why multivitamins featured so prominently.
Multivitamins held a top three spot in all global regions; ranking first in North America and Europe.
“Instead of focusing on one particular issue, multivitamins are thought to provide overall health and wellness, fitting into the ethos of living a balanced lifestyle and focusing on preventative care,” Shridhar wrote in her report.
Stress and anxiety impacting consumer lives
Shridhar said the survey also showed there had been an increase in the amount of stress and anxiety consumers felt daily, fueled by a rise in social media, fast and on-the-go lifestyles, and fluctuating political and environmental landscapes.
Almost 80% of Brazilians, for example, said stress and anxiety had a moderate to severe impact on their lives – the third highest ranking globally behind Poland and Italy – and close to 35% said they were currently experiencing stress and anxiety.
In Colombia, close to 75% said stress and anxiety had a moderate to severe impact on their lives and for Mexico this was just over 70%. Stress and anxiety, however, currently impacted less than 30% of respondents in both countries.
Shridhar said there was a clear opportunity for health and nutrition companies in countries that cited stress and anxiety as important or had relatively high levels.
“Though these markets might have a more concentrated consumer group interested in stress and anxiety relieving products, brands and companies should not overlook them. Consumers who are seeking these types of products may be more willing to spend money and try new products to relieve them of their stress and anxiety, as well as be the start to a loyal consumer-base,” she wrote.
'Mental well-being' the meaning of health
Globally, Shridhar said there had also been a “dramatic shift” in the attention given to mental well-being as consumers considered health “with a more holistic view” and no longer focused solely on looking good.
“Consumers are making active changes in daily behaviors with the aim to lead more balanced lifestyles and maintain mental health. Companies and brands need to adapt their products and services to support these initiatives if they want to resonate with consumers,” she said.
“Not only should products clearly outline features that support mental well-being, whether they help calm, save time or provide a restful night's sleep, but they also need to fit into the consumers' overall lifestyle changes.”
Mintel also recently identified a strong opportunity for functional bedtime biscuits in Brazil, as more consumers sought out products that supported emotional health.