Opportunities for immune health in snacking

Global food and drink company Kerry and natural health ingredient manufacturer Wellmune have produced a report on the main health/lifestyle product purchase drivers from a survey of over 11,000 global consumers.

18 December 2019
breakfastfunctional foodgut healthsnackingstatistics

  • Globally, immune system support was the most popular reason for consumers when buying a health/lifestyle product (63%), followed by healthy bones and joints (59%), good digestive health (50%) and improved energy levels (48%).
  • 31% of consumers globally would be interested in buying snacks with immune health benefits.
  • The report says that, based on the stats, there is clear opportunity for mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks with immune support benefits, with 39% of consumers agreeing that the two time slots are the best time to consume products with immune support benefits
  • 86% of UK consumers have purchased a snack in the last six months, the highest percentage of those countries surveyed, followed by USA (85%), Brazil (83%) and Indonesia (77%).
  • In the UK, 20% of those surveyed said that they have used an immune health product in the last six months, while 34% said that they would consider using one. The report says that targeting specific UK consumer groups could be the key to unlocking the full potential opportunity.


The report concludes that the increase in interest in immune health comes from the continuing holistic health trend – a trend that we mention in our 2020 UK food trend in our recent Food Trends 2020 report.

Gut health, which is linked to a healthy immune system, is one particularly buoyant area for health and wellness products with the likes of quark and kefir coming to the fore over the past few years. Fermentation and the general cultivation of gut-friendly cultures (kombucha and granola being recent vehicles) are all the rage today, with snacking a booming category in the UK.

This week, our colleagues at The Grocer highlighted the fall of yoghurt in major supermarkets, indicating a lack of NPD and innovation, while we also saw an emerging potential for new health avenues in snacking, with focus on immune health yet another area of possible NPD to be considered.

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