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Natural Foods Merchandiser

In the Aisle: As COVID wanes, immunity support is a year-round supplement category

As COVID wanes, immunity support is a year-round supplement category
Consumers now consider immune support as important as the daily multivitamin—which changes how they should be marketed.

Sales of immunity-supporting supplements always spike after a sickness scare, whether it's SARS, Ebola or the wintertime cold-and-flu season. But a global pandemic that spans years? Game. Changer.

In 2020, sales of cold, flu and immunity supplements reached $5 billion for the first time—with growth soaring more than 50%. That means 10% of all U.S. supplement sales in 2020 were for immune health support. Vitamins still dominate the market, but there is strong growth in botanicals, as well as probiotics, that support immunity.

You know how cold-and-flu supplements were big sellers for a few months in the dead of winter? It's now a year-round pursuit, and consumers are seeing immune supplements as something akin to the new multivitamin.

"In 2019, pre-COVID sales in cold, flu and immunity were $3.43 billion, but the category is now over $5.5 billion in all forecasted years," says Claire Morton-Reynolds, senior industry analyst for Nutrition Business Journal, "in part driven by immune health now being a 365-day category, not just seasonal." That means a complete rethink of how immunity supplements are positioned and sold at retail, especially since immunity health has overtaken "vitality" as the go-to phrase that resonates with shoppers.

Big Bold Health HTB Rejuvenate Superfood

Leave it to one of the smartest guys in the nutrition industry, Jeff Bland, Ph.D., to bring to market a new ingredient and a fresh concept of immune rejuvenation. Himalayan Tartary Buckwheat is the newest superfood ingredient, which contains no gluten and is said to help train the body's immune system, much like one might train muscles to be bigger, stronger and faster. SRP: $65.00

GoodBelly by NextFoods Immunity To Go Fast Melts

The probiotic bacteria strains Lactobacillus paracasei 8700:2 and Lactobacillus plantarum, HEAL9, from Probi Defendum, have been shown in studies to decrease the duration and severity of colds. They can be poured directly into the mouth or poured into 4 ounces of water—stir to dissolve and down the hatch it goes. Flavored with natural strawberry flavor. SRP: $24.99

Natreve Wellness Immune Strength

This powerhouse formulation contains the fantastic immune system primer, the yeast beta-glucan branded ingredient Wellmune, plus a raft of top-shelf botanicals like astragalus, echinacea, elderberry and reishi as well as vitamins A, C and D and a healthy 25 mg dose of zinc. In addition, it's non-GMO, gluten free, soy free and vegan. The company also touts its bona fides as the first plastic-neutral and carbon-neutral wellness company. SRP: $29.99

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