National Study Shows Big Jump in Lutein Awareness

Harleysville, PA (November 20, 2003) – The health story on the antioxidant lutein is gaining wider understanding among more American consumers, according to new market research.

The Natural Marketing Institute’s (NMI) fifth annual 2,000-consumer survey (The Health & Wellness Trends Study) reveals that consumers have strong and growing awareness of lutein, with 61.2% of Americans stating they are aware of the nutrient, up 22% from 50.2% in 2001. In fact, lutein awareness in the general population surpasses such hot-button items as trans-fats (59.7%), for example.

Consumers also are increasingly seeking products containing lutein in the stores where they shop. Nearly one-third (29.2%) of American shoppers state “it is important” for their stores to carry foods and beverages enriched with lutein,” up 22.2% from those selecting that same answer in 2002.

The beneficial properties of lutein, linked to possible risk reduction involving blue-wavelength light damage to the eyes and skin, are also gaining a foothold in the American psyche, as 43.4% of Americans say that they would be interested in buying foods and beverages with lutein to support eye health and skin health. This aligns well with high levels of concern among Americans with preventing vision and skin problems: according to NMI, 77.1% of consumers report that they are concerned with preventing vision problems, while 61.6% state concern with preventing skin problems.

“This research helps validate the growing consumer perception of lutein as a nutritional agent that may positively impact important health conditions in the eyes and skin,” said Amy Cone, marketing director for Kemin Foods, maker of FloraGLO® Lutein.

Consumers also appear to recognize the benefit of using branded ingredients, with over one-third of consumers (35.4%) stating that they place more trust in nutritional food/beverage products with branded ingredients.

The full research results, based on responses from over 2,000 U.S. adults conducted in August 2003, are now available from NMI, a strategic consulting, market research and business development company specializing in health, wellness and a sustainable marketplace.

Kemin Foods manufactures and markets FloraGLO® Lutein, a natural ingredient used in hundreds of vitamin and dietary supplement, food, beverage and cosmetic products around the world. It is the only patented, purified, crystalline lutein product with GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) status among a variety of food categories.


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