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COVID-19 and beyond: An indelible immune imprint

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Fresh opportunities, seeded by major changes brought on by an unprecedented pandemic, await formulators who capitalize on consumers’ new attitudes toward immune health.

On Jan. 21, 2020, the first case of COVID-19 in the U.S. was confirmed in Washington state, followed by the first confirmed case of person-to-person virus transmission on January 30. In Washington on leap year day February 29, the virus claimed its first victim in America. And by the ides of March (15), the entire country was in lockdown.

In not even two months’ time from “business as usual” to worldwide pandemic, lifestyles and consumerism throughout the globe transformed. And more than likely, as 2021 approaches, things may never be the same. As such, fresh opportunities emerge, seeded by change.

IRI research (“COVID-19 The Impact on Nutritional Supplements and Self-care” April 17, 2020) showed tremendous spikes in purchase behavior from March 1 through March 15 (peak date), after which purchases began to slow. In health care, cold remedies shot up 27%, followed by vitamins at 19%.

Meanwhile, according to the IRI report, 59% of respondents stated they are purchasing more goods online than they used to prior to the lockdown, and 41.4% noted they were purchasing supplements and other health products online. Meanwhile, IRI multi outlet data showed aggressive consumer demand more for individual ingredient supplements than for multi/blends, which suggests consumers are looking to singular approaches to immune health.

Editor’s Note: This article was excerpted from the “Immune health: Empowering resistance” deep dive. Click the link to read it in its entirety.

Lisa Schofield is a veteran writer and editor who got her start interviewing rock stars for national music magazines. She now writes and edits content for B2B media and suppliers in the natural health product industry. She has served as editor for Vitamin Retailer and Nutrition Industry Executive, and prior to that as associate editor for Whole Foods Magazine.

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