Rockville / MD. (pf) The U.S. food and beverage industry has been impacted heavily by Covid-19. In 2020 especially, more people looked to improve their health and boost immunity to prevent or lessen the severity of illness. Consumers are buying more supplements or vitamins to protect their immune system due to Covid-19, and some are also buying food and beverage products to boost their immune systems. 2020 turned out to be a banner year: the market for packaged foods and beverages with claims for gut health or immunity grew more than 50 percent, pushing sales to USD 59 billion, as reported by Packaged Facts’ new report «Immunity Boosting Foods: Gut Health + General Immunity Improvement». Packaged food and beverage products in the scope of this report include those with prebiotics, probiotics, high fiber claims, and «superfood» claims such as «high in antioxidants» or «added vitamins/minerals» that may be beneficial for immunity or gut health.
Packaged Facts projects that sales in this market will decelerate over the next five years, although the pandemic boom in 2020 and 2021 will affect the market for years to come. More than two-fifths of consumers report that because of the coronavirus, they are buying food and beverages products to protect their immune systems more, and these consumers are also somewhat more likely than average to express greater concerns about the pandemic and to have experienced more negative personal effects.
Additionally, the pandemic has led to more time spent cooking at home. Extra time in the kitchen has combined with increased interest in gut health to give rise to more recipes and cookbooks focused on the GI tract. Nonetheless, functional packaged foods that may improve gut health or immunity are an especially convenient way for consumers. Some fermented products that are naturally probiotic have experienced fast sales gains in the last year, such as yoghurt, kombucha, kefir, and sauerkraut. Other products with ingredients that may provide gut health or immunity benefits continue to be released, such as sodas, nutrition bars, enhanced waters, and «super juices.»