Rising inflation causes consumers to reprioritize wellness, growth persists in key areas

By Danielle Masterson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Getty images / Tashi-Delek
Getty images / Tashi-Delek

Related tags: Inflation, Dietary supplement

Brightfield Group tapped their social listening skills to gain insight into how the current economy is shaping wellness routines.

Nearly 40% of people prefer alternative medicine and 44% say they are trying to turn to modern medicine less, according to a new report from Evergi, a platform offered by market research firm Brightfield Group that provides market and consumer research for the wellness, food and CPG sectors.

So what does this mean for dietary supplements? The research found that sales for dependable ingredients such as B-12 and vitamin D, and alternative staples such as turmeric and ginger have increased this past quarter.

Dependability is key

“The category as a whole is steadily increasing, but the major growth is in a few key vitamins and supplements,” ​explained Brightfield Group managing director Bethany Gomez. “Over the past year, we’ve seen growth among people buying familiar, dependable vitamins that are well-researched, like multivitamins, vitamin D and C, and zinc. We’ve also seen an increase in herbal supplements turmeric and elderberry–and while they are a detour from modern medicine, both are products people are comfortable with.”

Gomez added that over the past quarter, Brightfield observed growth in more targeted supplements, such as weight loss supplements, mood improvers, and hair/skin/nails supplements.

The research found that B12, vitamin D, fish oil, as well as prebiotics and probiotics were popular among uber conscious, mid-income consumers.

“Those vitamins have known benefits, backed by years of research and science. In a time when people are having to tighten their wallets, they want to spend money on things they deem worth the cost, vs. trying out less researched supplements. These supplements (with the exception of pre/postbiotics) also tend to have a lower price point, meaning the cost-to-risk ratio is less. People want to spend their money on things they know work and that their body needs,”​ Gomez said.

evergi
Q2 2022 Evergi Summary: Report Growth persists in key supplements and ingredient categories

Brightfield is also noticing more conversations around ingredients like collagen and vitamin C, suggesting that the industry may see more growth in these categories in the coming months.

Other trends 

Enhanced waters were also up in Q2, with electrolyte and ionized/alkaline water both up 12%, suggesting that people are looking for more function in their hydration.

Sleep and energy have also continued to trend upward over the past 6 months. The survey noted that although there was a decline in the digestion need state in its consumer data, social communication continues to increase, suggesting an increase in consumer consumption in this area in the months to come. Growth in digestive health conversations were driven by increased discussions around gut health combined with probiotics and IBS.

Additionally, plant-based social conversations continue to show a slow decline as we enter Q3. Consumers following plant-forward diets, like vegan, vegetarian, and plant-based diets, make up about 10% of American consumers. This group has been slowly declining, with the report suggesting that finances could be behind the downward shift in plant based consumption.

“Don’t count the plant-based category out yet,” ​Gomez said. “There may be a slight withdraw from people now, but once their economic outlooks turn around, the interest is still there, and they’ll begin to explore again. “

Data collection 

Brightfield Group’s Evergi research uses in-depth survey data, social listening and expert analysis to investigate how the economy is impacting dietary supplement use.

The market research firm extracts social data from Twitter and Instagram posts utilizing keywords related to wellness. Posts are tagged by product type and subtype, medical conditions, ingredients, need states, and associated keywords. Evergi said it plans to add TikTok and other influential social media platform data in the future. Gomez said that they still use TikTok to stay on top of trends by curating their feed and manually searching for the latest and greatest fads. For example, aloe vera made it onto the report for the first time, most likely due to an previous TikTok trend touting the health benefits of aloe vera.

With in-depth survey data integrated with social media, users can filter and get answers on: consumer demographics, consumer attitudes and behaviors, brand affinities, usage and interest on a broad range of products and functional ingredients.

Predictions

Gomez said given the economic status, the market will likely see brands offering more all-in-one functional items

. “If you can buy a protein powder that also takes care of your daily immunity and energy needs, it’s a lot more appealing for people than having to purchase 3 different products or go without. Shoppers are focusing on smart spending to get through the economic slump, and we can expect people to keep having to make choices like this soon,”​ she said.

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