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Consumers questioning their immunity as a result of COVID-19

COVID-19 is something that is having a major impact on consumer attitudes and behaviours, especially when it comes to the topic of health. This is because consumers who were previously satisfied with their health and immunity are now questioning their vulnerability to disease and the ability to recover from illness.

 This is something that will drive demand for products with ingredients associated with boosting health. At the same time, concerns about the economy and tightened purse strings means consumers will turn to traditional items such as fruit and vegetables to try and minimise the risk of serious illness.

COVID-19 is a once in a lifetime pandemic that is having life-changing implications when it comes to the way that consumers think and behave. This is something that is intensified by the fact that there is a high degree of uncertainty when it comes to the virus, such as when it will peak and will there be a second wave. In April 2020, FMCG Gurus surveyed 23,000 consumers across 18 countries about their attitudes to coronavirus. The research found that 76% say that they are concerned about the virus, whilst 48% say they believe it will continue to impact their day-to-day lives for at least twelve months. When questioned about why they were concerned, 84% said because of the impact it will have on health and wellbeing.

Health is something that has been at the forefront of consumers’ minds for many years, but the concern about coronavirus is something that is forcing consumers to re-evaluate how healthy they truly are. For instance, 57% of global consumers say that they are now more conscious about their immune system as a result of COVID-19. This is despite an FMCG Gurus Immunity survey that was conducted in Q3 2019 finding that 54% of consumers said that they deemed themselves to have good immunity levels. Indeed, consumers are re-evaluating their vulnerability to disease and ability to recover from illness, and this is something that will directly impact on their eating and drinking habits.

As a result of COVID-19, 73% of consumers say that they will make attempts to eat healthier in the future. A similar amount (76%) said that they will make attempts to stay healthier. This is something that will drive demand for food and drink products with ingredients associated with boosting health. However, at the same time, 56% of consumers believe a recession is something of an inevitability due to the coronavirus, something that will tighten consumer spending. It must be remembered that consumers can deem healthy eating and drinking to be something of an expensive habit, meaning they will adopt a back to basics approach when it comes to nutrition. Indeed, when asked how they will eat more healthily, 58% said that they would increase intake of fruit and 41% said this for vegetables. This means that consumers will look for everyday food and drink products that they associate with having functional ingredients.

The reality is that COVID-19 will continue to have a serious impact on society for the whole of 2020 and beyond, something that will result in consumers taking a more proactive approach to health. This is something that will drive demand for better-for-you products deemed healthy and affordable—such as fruit and vegetables—as consumers look to minimise their risk of disease and illness.

These findings are based on an FMCG Gurus COVID-19 survey across 18 countries. For more information please contact info@fmcggurus.com  

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