Digestive Health Primarily an As Needed Consumer Category

While 60 million American adults use supplements for digestive health, most only turn to supplements on an “as needed" basis.

Heather Granato, VP, Partnerships & Sustainability

March 30, 2016

1 Min Read
Digestive Health Primarily an As Needed Consumer Category

While about a quarter of U.S. adult consumers are using digestive health products, they’re primarily used on an as-needed basis instead of for prevention. The most common reason for using those products is to address constipation and/or intestinal irregularity. This is just one of the findings from the inaugural Mind of the Consumer study, being presented at Ingredient Marketplace in late April. Developed in partnership with the Natural Marketing Institute (NMI), we sought to explore and understand consumer expectations and perceptions related to top health issues. The team also examined ingredient suppliers and their perceptions in regards to consumer demand, allowing comparison between what suppliers are doing compared to consumer needs. We noted across all categories, consumers are looking for safe and effective products that are less artificial and closer to natural. The digestive health category in particular saw consumers citing usage of foods—vegetables, fruits, high-fiber foods and whole-grain foods—to manage their digestive health above usage of supplements, including probiotic supplements. Among consumers who are not using any products/ingredients for digestive health, many cited concerns about product efficacy either based on past experience or just general disbelief.

The Mind of the Consumer findings are not just focused around digestive health, but also delve into sports nutrition, weight management, protein, omega-3s and probiotics. These insights will showcase areas of opportunity for finished product manufacturers so you can develop and launch new products successfully.

Interested in learning more? Join us on Friday, April 29, at Ingredient Marketplace for the inaugural presentation of the Mind of the Consumer research findings. NMI’s Steve French and I look forward to sharing insights across the focus areas and looking at where the areas of opportunity lie.

About the Author(s)

Heather Granato

VP, Partnerships & Sustainability, Informa Markets, Food EMEA division

Heather Granato is a 30-year veteran of the natural products industry, currently serving as vice president, partnerships & sustainability, in the Food EMEA division of Informa Markets. She is based in London, and leads efforts related to industry partnerships and broader sustainability initiatives for the Vitafoods and Food ingredients brands. She has been a presenter at events including SupplySide, Vitafoods, Food ingredients, Natural Products Expo, the Natural Gourmet Show and the Folio: Show. Her publishing experience includes Natural Products Insider, Food Product Design, Vitafoods Insights, Country Living's Healthy Living, Natural Foods Merchandiser, Delicious Magazine and WomenOf.com. Granato serves as the founding president of Women In Nutraceuticals, a global non-profit founded in 2022 focused on empowering women in the nutraceutical industry; she is also on the board of directors for the Organic & Natural Health Association. From 2016 to 2022, she was a vice president on the national governing board of Kappa Alpha Theta women’s fraternity. Granato was named to the FOLIO: 100 list of top media professionals in 2018, and was selected as a 2015 Top Woman in Media by FOLIO:. She received the 2014 Visionary Award and the 2018 Journalistic Excellence Award from the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA); and was honored with the CEO Merit Award for Content from Virgo in 2014. Granato graduated magna cum laude from the University of Richmond, Virginia, in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.

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