From “Yangkang” to “A-flu” to the new round of “Eryang,” with the continuous outbreak of influenza throughout the spring, people’s attention and demand for immune health are also increasing. Not just in China but in the global market, people’s attention to immunity in recent years is driving the rapid development of the immune health market.
So in the immune health track, besides the well-known vitamin C, what other new ingredients and solutions are worth paying attention to? In the downstream market, what new products have emerged for reference?
Various Raw Ingredients Support The Development Of Immune Health.
According to a survey conducted by Innova Market Insights in 2022, nearly 40% of Chinese respondents indicated that they had taken actions to strengthen immunity. Among them, food, as a member that helps improve immunity, has also ushered in a new round of growth.
The same is true for global markets. According to The Business Research Company’s 2022 Immunity-Boosting Foods Global Market Report, the global immune-boosting foods market is expected to grow from 902.11 billion dollars in 2021 to 976.12 billion dollars in 2022. The compound annual growth rate reaches 8.2 %. The immune-boosting foods market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.6% to 1,306.78 billion dollars by 2026.
It is foreseeable that consumers’ demand for immune foods will continue to grow for a long period in the future, which will drive the continued growth of various immune ingredients. Which raw ingredients have the potential to become the “darling” of the immune health market?
What Are The Raw Ingredients For Immune Health?
Minerals, one of the seven essential nutrients for the human body, have critical physiological functions and certain effects on the body’s specific and non-specific immunity.
Zinc has a greater advantage in terms of colds and flu among the many minerals.
According to the 2022 U.S. Hot Raw Ingredients Sales List released by SPINS, a global market research company, only zinc is the mineral component among the top 10 raw materials in the cold and flu category. Its role in colds has also been confirmed by relevant research. A study published in the British Medical Journal showed that zinc could help shorten respiratory infections such as colds, flu, sinusitis, and pneumonia.
According to the products sold on the market, most immune products containing minerals will be combined with vitamins and other healthy ingredients to provide immune support. The dosage forms of the products are also diverse, including tablets, oral liquids, capsules, and other dosage forms, covering the whole age group from children to the elderly. And its application in products is also getting closer to people’s daily diets.
Smint Defensive, a foreign brand specializing in mints, adds zinc to its sugar-free mints and vitamin C, which can support immunity.
Overall, raw materials with high recognition, like vitamins and minerals, have been verified by science and the market. Doing consumer education can focus on how to find a suitable path from many powerful competitions and achieve differentiation.
In addition to common vitamin and mineral raw materials, with the improvement of people’s health awareness and the deepening of scientific research in recent years, more and more consumers have also paid attention to the relationship between probiotics and immunity.
According to ADM data, 58% of consumers worldwide know the potential benefits of microbes in the digestive system for their overall health. They link the microbiome to immune, metabolic, and mental health.
Among them, probiotics, as a member of the microbiome, are also well-known ingredients, and they also play an important role in improving immunity and promoting the body’s ability to resist disease. Many probiotic companies have launched probiotic products for immunity in recent years.
Probi®, the world’s best-selling probiotic manufacturer, has launched a probiotic immune concept product Probi Defendum® based on Lactobacillus plantarum HEAL9 (HEAL9™) and Lactobacillus Paracasei 8700:2.
The product starts from two dimensions of preventing colds and dealing with symptoms after a cold. According to Probi’s official information, Probi Defendum® can reduce the incidence and recurrence of common colds. And when you catch a cold, it can shorten the duration of the cold. For example, compared with the control group, the duration of the cold was shortened by an average of 2.4 days), improving cold symptoms, especially upper respiratory tract discomfort (nose and throat) symptoms, such as cough, hoarseness, sore throat, runny nose, nasal congestion, etc.
It is worth mentioning that this product has undergone several clinical trials, with more than 1,700 adults and children participating in clinical verification and testing to confirm its effectiveness. This solid scientific research will undoubtedly provide a strong endorsement for the subsequent application of the product.
According to the current market situation, most probiotic products mainly focus on intestinal health. However, with the continuous improvement of scientific research on microorganisms, the application of probiotics is also expanding in more directions, such as weight management, oral beauty, etc. With the increasing demand of consumers for immunity, it is believed that there will be more opportunities for probiotics in this direction in the future, and enterprises may plan ahead.
In the field of cold and immunity, the application of plant and herbal medicine is also a major trend in recent years. Herbal ingredients such as echinacea, elderberry, turmeric, and the familiar ginseng are raw materials that have attracted much attention in the immune market in recent years. Elderberry is especially very popular in foreign markets.
According to the data of popular functional ingredients in the U.S. market in 2022 released by SPINS, in the cold & flu category, elderberry is ranked Top 1 in the raw material list, with sales reaching 27 million U.S. dollars.
Elderberry extract mainly contains active ingredients such as anthocyanins, flavonols, and phenolic acids. At present, there are as many as 1,486 research papers on elderberry in foreign journals. It is relatively recognized for its potential for immunity. It has scientific data to support and consumer awareness market.
Last year, natural botanical ingredient supplier Nektium announced the launch of organic elderberry extract, a portfolio of elderberry products made from black elderberry ingredients from Central Europe that have been scientifically proven effective in treating upper respiratory symptoms.
Regarding end products, elderberry products come in various forms, including powders, drops (syrups), beverages, chewable tablets, gummies, etc., and the audience covers all age groups, from children to the elderly. The Australian immunity brand Sambucol has launched various products that add elderberry, focusing on improving immunity and relieving colds. Its immunity syrup, specially created for children, adds black elderberry, honey, Vitamin C, zinc, and other ingredients that are beneficial to immunity.
The plant-based ingredients represented by elderberry, as the role of natural and healthy attributes, are already loved by consumers. Adding the trump card of immunity, it is conceivable that many plant-based ingredients with immune effects will be a good development in the future.
Medicine and food
Corresponding to foreign plant and herbal medicines, the ingredients in the direction of domestic immune health also include medicinal and food homologous substances, such as ginseng, wolfberry, and Ganoderma Lucidum. These are also some of my country’s most frequently used raw ingredients for immune health food.
For example, ginseng contains various nutrients such as ginsenosides, polysaccharides, amino acids, proteins, and vitamins and is believed to enhance immunity. Currently, according to the search results of HowNet, there are more than 200 studies on the immunity of ginseng, covering many aspects, such as the mechanism of action and animal experiments.
Up to now, among the original health foods containing ginseng, the main health function claims include enhancing immunity. The products are diverse, including granules, powders, tablets, tea bags, capsules, ointments, etc.
Of course, in addition to some of the raw materials mentioned above, there are still many raw materials worthy of our attention in the direction of immunity, such as protein raw materials, algae raw materials, polysaccharide raw materials, oils, and their derivatives, etc. The raw materials of the track are believed to usher in faster growth as they can take advantage of the trend of immunity.
Let’s look at the current market. The differentiation is more important for mineral products and for raw materials such as probiotics and elderberries that have gradually emerged in recent years through continuous scientific research to obtain consumers. The trust of consumers is very important. Only by establishing consumer awareness can we better open up the market.
In short, there is no need to emphasize too much the potential of the entire track of immune health and consumers’ rigid demand for immunity. The ingredients mentioned above will also likely take advantage of the “immunity” wind and step into the sky. However, it still needs to be clear that The immune health track in the domestic market is still “seven points in the world” of vitamin C. It is a big challenge for the rise of more immune raw materials, and enterprises need to tell more about immune products through the popularization of upstream and downstream consumer awareness and product connections. The story of raw materials and ingredients, dig out the selling points of new raw materials, break this inherent pattern, and realize the diversification of immune health track products.
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