COVID-19 is a once in a lifetime pandemic that has fundamentally changed the way that consumers think about their health and dietary plans. Even though the pandemic has peaked in many regions, consumers remain conscious about their health – especially as they think a second wave of the virus is inevitable.
Given the popularity of bakery products across the globe, there is a real opportunity to target consumers with fortified products that are high in health boosting ingredients such as protein.
In April, May and July, FMCG Gurus ran three waves of surveys across 18 countries and 23,000 respondents, to understand consumer attitudes and behaviours when it comes to the pandemic.
The research found that it is not just consumers with underlying health conditions or those associated with more vulnerable demographic groups who are concerned with their health and wellbeing.
On aggregate, 62% of consumers say they have become more conscious about their health and wellness in general, while 60% say they have become more focused on their immune health. As a result, 81% of consumers say they are planning to lead a healthier lifestyle, while 79% say they plan to eat and drink healthier.
Fortifying baked goods
When it comes to trying to improve diets and lifestyles, consumers across the globe say they are taking a variety of steps to achieve this.
For instance, 36% of consumers say they have made attempts to research different ways to eat and drink healthier, while 38% say they have been actively seeking out food and drink products that contain functional/fortified ingredients. In comparison, only 17% say they sought to achieve this with supplements.
Consumers associate a variety of ingredients with boosting immunity, placing iron (82%) and vitamin C (79%) at the forefront. Additionally, 74% of consumers partner protein with boosting health.
This shows that when it comes to improving health, consumers are more likely to turn to everyday foods rather than supplements, which creates an opportunity for the bakery industry from a fortification perspective.
Given that 74% of consumers say they believe a second wave of the virus is inevitable, this is something that the bakery industry should look to capitalise on.