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In the Aisle: 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.

Todd Runestad, Content Director,, Sr. Supplements Editor

March 22, 2022

2 Min Read
As COVID wanes, immunity support is a year-round supplement category

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

Related:In the Aisle: The continued rise of beauty from within

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

About the Author(s)

Todd Runestad

Content Director,, Sr. Supplements Editor, Natural Products Insider

I've been writing on nutrition science news since 1997. I'm The content director for NaturalProductsInsidercom and digital magazines. Other incarnations: supplements editor for, Delicious Living and Natural Foods Merchandiser. Former editor-in-chief of Functional Ingredients magazine and still cover raw material innovations and ingredient science.

Connect with me here

My daily vitamin regime includes a morning smoothie with a range of powders including protein, collagen and spirulina; a quality multi, B complex, C with bioflavonoids, >2,000IU vitamin D, E, magnesium, high-selenium yeast, PQQ, choline, alpha-lipoic acid with carnitine, coQ10, fish oil concentrate, probiotics and some adaptogenic herbs. 

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