Consumers turn to immunity supplements during COVID-19

The Clean Label Enthusiasts® research community at InsightsNow reveals demand for immunity supplements and functional ingredients during the continuing pandemic 

25 June 2020 – Chicago, IL  InsightsNow, a behavioral research firm, has released a new wave of research focusing on consumer perceptions and behavior regarding supplements and functional ingredients in today’s world. The study, “COVID-19 Tracker on Clean Living Behavior,” delves into insights from their proprietary, trend-identifying Clean Label Enthusiasts® (CLE) consumer research community.  

Study participants shared beliefs that supplements and functional ingredients are important for strengthening their immune systems against COVID-19. The research showed that consumers are looking for trusted sources for information about which products will help boost immunity.  

According to a CLE from the recent study: If the [supplement] information is backed by scientific research and data, I am much more likely to trust the information I am receiving. If the ingredients have been proven to show benefitsI am much more likely to try a supplement. 

It was also found that all-natural and organic supplement claims are perceived as valuable by CLE. They express that these claims give them confidence they are only getting what is necessary, with no fillers, in the products they choose to purchase. 

I look for supplements that are organic and do not have ingredients that aren’t necessary, such as additives and dyes. If someone I know and trust recommends a brand that I’ve never heard of, I will research it to make sure it only contains ingredients I’m aware of,” says a CLE. 

Some key findings from the study: 

  • Forty-two percent of CLE believe supplements or functional ingredients will strengthen their immunity, 48% think they might help, while only 10% do not think they will help.  
  • Seventy-five percent of CLE said that supplements are somewhat or very important in strengthening their immunity against COVID-19. 
  • Thirty-nine percent of CLE said they look for supplement and functional ingredient information on Google, 24% look to friends and family, 22% to doctors and medical professionals. 

The responses show that supplements and functional ingredients offer hope of immunity even though there is no “proof” they improve immunity. 

As one CLE states: COVID-19 is new, and we don't know of anything that help us build an immunity to it. However, building your immunity through a supplement or a functional ingredient can't hurt your chances.” 

Each week InsightsNow's Clean Label Enthusiast® community of primary shoppers reveals motivations for purchasing behaviors through an online shopping journal. The study gives insights into the swiftly changing landscape of clean-living behaviors during this time by tracking behavior pre-pandemic, current short-term shifts, and potential permanent changes. New study information is added on a regular basis to the InsightsNow COVID-19 Tracker on Clean Living Behavior. 

To learn more about the study and enquire about upcoming research topics, reach out to InsightsNow at michelle.andre@insightsnow.com.  

About InsightsNow
InsightsNow, an agile behavioral research firm, partners with clients across a wide array of industry verticals to grow marketing, branding and product development through custom, cutting-edge research technologies and innovative techniques. The company specializes in finding answers faster, improving speed-to and success-in market, and changing the way we all look at humans and human behavior. InsightsNow was named one of the most innovative market research firms in the world by Greenbook’s 2018 Grit Report. www.insightsnow.com 

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Media contact: Michelle Andre, 415-577-8634, michelle.andre@insightsnow.com. 

Recent meat shortage could offer opportunity for plant-based proteins

Recent meat shortage could offer opportunity for plant-based proteins

InsightsNow’s Clean Label Enthusiasts® research community claims to be prepared for meat shortages, due to the Coronavirus, by eating vegetarian or purchasing alternative meats

11 June 2020 – Chicago, IL – InsightsNow, a behavioral research firm, has announced the latest results of their ongoing study with their proprietary Clean Label Enthusiasts® (CLE) consumer research community, “COVID-19 Tracker on Clean Living Behavior.” These trend-setting consumers shared thoughts on how meat is becoming harder to find and more expensive due to complications from the current pandemic, and the effect on their shopping behavior.

According to a CLE from the recent study: “I feel prepared for a meat shortage because I am willing to eat plant-based proteins or any protein options I can find in stores. If I can't find fresh chicken or beef, I will eat other meat options like veggies burgers or beans. I really see a meat shortage as a chance to make healthier, more environmentally friendly, more resourceful food choices.”

Some key findings from the study:

  • During a meat shortage 60% of CLE would switch to a vegetarian diet. Currently, only 14% are following a vegetarian diet.

  • CLE who have never tried plant-based meats are primarily motivated to try because they believe it is healthier (29%), they are curious about the taste (31%), and they can avoid animal hormones (19%).

Plant-based meat alternatives have opportunity to grow market share during a meat shortage, as Clean Label Enthusiasts (CLE) are comfortable eating a plant-based diet and are willing to use plant-based meats in place of fresh meat with similar pricing. Supporting data includes:

  • Only 12% of CLE say they would pay higher prices (specifically twice as much) to continue eating fresh meat.

  • Eighty-two percent of CLE are open to trying plant-based meat alternatives.

For example, the study participants shared they are specifically looking for ground plant-based meat alternatives as a comparable alternative for burgers, tacos, spaghetti, and other dishes they regularly prepare.

“I imagine that ground chuck would be the hardest meat product to go without,” says a CLE consumer. “But I would not be upset if I could not afford to buy it for a period of time, because I would easily substitute it with plant-based patties and other frozen forms of plant-based substitutes.”

Results from this wave of the study show the majority of people (69%) feel prepared for a meat shortage because they feel confident and accepting of adjusting their diet to be more vegetarian and/or pescatarian, they already have a freezer stocked with meat, or they don’t eat much meat on a regular basis anyway. Consumers have already navigated a toilet paper shortage, face masks, and social distancing during this pandemic and the study found they are desensitized to the stressor of having a meat shortage.

As one CLE states: “My family has been eating less meat lately anyway…I'm perfectly happy eating plant-based proteins. I've wanted to experiment with a more vegetarian/vegan diet for a while and now would be a good time to do so.”

Each week InsightsNow's Clean Label Enthusiast® community of primary shoppers reveals motivations for purchasing behaviors through an online shopping journal. Data is collected each Friday – Monday and released Wednesdays. The study gives insights into the swiftly changing landscape of clean-living behaviors during this time by tracking behavior pre-pandemic, current short-term shifts, and potential permanent changes.

Each week, new study information will be added to the InsightsNow COVID-19 Tracker on Clean Living Behavior.

To learn more about the study and enquire about upcoming research topics, reach out to InsightsNow at info@insightsnow.com. 

Webinar 37: Global Health and Wellness Behavior

Presentation Date:   Thursday, June 18       2 pm ET, (11 am PT)

Presenters
Greg Stucky,  Chief Research Officer,  and Jaclyn LaPoma, Sr. Research Director, InsightsNow Inc.

In this episode we take you international to look at the global influencers of consumer health and wellness choice. We will reveal common insights as well as key differences which make countries unique.  We take a closer look at how COVID is fundamentally changing who and what we trust, why claims are more important now than before, and what type of health halos present new opportunities for brands to support people along their pre- to post-COVID Journeys.

We include information from China, Turkey, India, Germany, France, UK, Mexico, Brazil, Canada, and the US.

Please register and join us!

Webinar36: Immune Support & Health Management: COVID-19 Edition

Presentation Date:   Thursday, June 11       2 pm ET, (11 am PT)

Presenters
Kayte Hamilton,  Client Partner Director  and Mark Stephens, Associate Statistician, InsightsNow Inc.

In this webinar, we continued our coverage of Clean Label Enthusiasts® and the impact of COVID-19. Supplements and vitamins have been an ongoing topic within our CLE community and the coronavirus pandemic has had specific ideas regarding immunity and overall health management. Earlier in the 2020 we established that about 1/3 of CLE made dietary changes in response to COVID-19; what have those changes looked like? What does “immunity” mean during a pandemic, and what else is part of their conscious effort to protect it? Answers below.

Before we dive into those outcomes, let’s recap who Clean Label Enthusiasts® (CLE) are:

  • Classified as a behavioral segment, differentiated by their attitudes and avoidances of products with artificial ingredients and other additives that they believe are unhealthy
  • They tend to read ingredient labels and avoid brands due to these concerns
  • CLE comprise 32% of the US general population

Defining Immunity:

Grounding ourselves in a formal definition, we compared this to how CLEs define immunity and what they feel impacts their immune response:

Merriam-Webster Clean Label Enthusiasts®
A condition of being able to resist a particular disease especially through preventing development of a pathogenic microorganism or by counteracting the effects of its products. ·         The ability of the body to resist and fight off infections and diseases.

·         Immunity is the system that helps you not get sick. But if you do, your immunity helps you get well. Most of your immune system is tied to your digestive system.

·         A protective defense mechanism to keep you from getting ill. Eating healthy and adding antioxidants to your diet. Fresh vegetables and fruits provide a healthy immune system.

We see clearly that CLEs draw a conclusion between their body’s natural defense system (“immunity”) and their belief that they may be able to influence their body’s response through what they consume. It’s also apparent that immune-impacting decisions fall into two broad categories:

Protection

Some behavior shifts are about protecting that natural defense system; things like:

  • Staying away from others (abiding by 6-feet social distance guidelines)
  • Wearing masks and/or gloves when out in public (to help prevent picking up germs on their person)
  • Exercising more (belief that being in a physically fit condition keeps immunity in check)
  • Sleeping more (sleep is the body’s natural ‘reset’ button)
  • Washing hands (while always a good idea, this has been a particular call of action during common cold/flu seasons and has been even louder due to COVID-19)

Strength

In addition to protecting, CLEs believe there are two key ways to boost an immune response during a specific time period, like this pandemic:

  • Improved diet (eating more fruits (specifically ‘citrus’), vegetables, and whole foods)
  • Adding vitamins and/or supplements

I have been eating more veggies and fruits, and trying to stay away from red meat, as much as possible, and taking various minerals and vitamins, for an added boost.

Focus on Boosting Strength

Dietary Changes:

In early COVID-19 (March 2020), about one-third of CLE mention making dietary changes as a direct action to maintaining their health. In a follow-up survey in present-day COVID-19 (June 2020), that number is consistent; 37% of CLE have continued to monitor what they consume to assert some level of control of their immune response to the coronavirus. (This consistency is one example of the reliability level we see throughout our time spent with this behavioral segment.)

Supplement Consumption:

While not all supplements are valid for an immune response; we polled CLEs to identify specific vitamins or foods they believe to be connected to immunity. Out of the 36 presented options, a snapshot on how some of these performed are below:

6-11 webinar Supplement

We also took a closer look at three different options: Vitamin C, Orange Juice, and Oranges. While it’s well-know that oranges contain Vitamin C – how they performed in the immunity associated test indicates that the whole food itself is not as strong as a Vitamin C supplement.

6-11 webinar foods-immunity

Immunity Association Test Explained:

To gather this intel, we used our Implicit/Explicit Test™ to evaluate how quickly it took CLEs to respond to a binary (yes/no) response for the immunity association. As part of the Modes of Thinking behavioral framework; we calibrate this timed exercise individually to determine the implicit and explicit response. More about InsightNow’s implicit tool may be found here.

Buying Behaviors:

During quarantine, we noticed a shift in buying patterns from an in-store purchasing model to online ordering. Part of this shift is due to those under stay-at-home orders and some lack of availability in stores. We didn’t see CLEs “stock up” or “hoard” these important immune-boosting products. Instead, we saw an uptick in online ordering in present-day versus “before COVID-19” timeframes. In addition to their online buying, Amazon and Walmart were the two leading retailers; however, a sizeable portion of CLEs also choose to buy directly from the source in places like Puritan’s Pride and Vitacost and their direct-to-consumer websites. We also saw other all-natural/better-for-environment companies like Swanson’s get mentions for supplement sourcing.

Trust in the Supplement Category:

CLEs trust in who they look to for supplement information about the supplement category was not impacted by COVID: they truest the supplement companies/manufacturers themselves. Most of this confidence is related to an overall belief that as label readers, the supplement category is regulated in their complete list of ingredients necessary to be printed on all bottles/packaging. This combination makes CLEs feel they are transparent in their manufacturing and testing processes.

Usually [supplement company] information is backed up with research data and professional authorities.”

In Summary:

Some CLE have shifted their dietary behaviors to boost an immune system response to COVID-19. We believe this mindset is likely to continue as re-opening plans vary from state-to-state and the potential risk of a ‘second-wave’ is still on the horizon.

With this in mind, these CLEs are looking for ingredients such as Vitamin C, B12, and Zinc which they believe have a strong implicit association with immunity-boosting properties. In addition to supplements, they may also be looking for specific foods that mention these ingredients as part of their increased intake. Brands should consider highlighting these ingredients, specifically for online product listings, to grab attention of CLEs during this time.

Be sure to download the webinar to find out our final thoughts on the supplement & COVID-19 topic! For ongoing CLE & coronavirus reporting; subscribe to our tracker as we continue the conversation.

Coronavirus Impact on Food Behavior: Clean Label Eating on the Rise

As the novel coronavirus has made its way across the globe, we have watched the statistics mount describing its toll on human life and consumer markets. Much speculation is centering on what might become the new normal to help consumer product companies effectively pivot. As a behavioral research company, we are tracking not only coronavirus-impacted behaviors, but the whys underlying those behaviors. This disruption has led to two different research initiatives which are helping companies make those pivots.

First, we tracked a segment of U.S. primary shoppers called Clean Label Enthusiasts® throughout this initial period of the current crisis (and had been tracking prior to this disruption). These consumers are known to be lead indicators of broader shopping behavior change.

 

Secondly, we also took a November 2019 read of global primary shopper behavior as a baseline and compared it to a read in April 2020. This study compared the buying trends among primary shoppers in ten countries including the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Brazil, China, India, Turkey, France, Germany and the U.K.

Clean Label Enthusiasts

What did we find?

Around the world, interest in clean label products is on the rise. More than half of all primary shoppers in China, Turkey and Mexico are Clean Label Enthusiasts®—consumers who preferentially buy products that are free of artificial ingredients and that support ingredients from natural sources...

For the rest of the story, please add your email here.

There's more information:

  • What countries are seeing change in Clean Label eating and how much?
  • How is trust in news sources for food information different across different countries?
  • How has trust changed due to the pandemic?

CPGMatters Virtual LEAD Conference

Join us on Wednesday, May 20th at 2:30PM ET for the CPGMatters Spring 2020 Virtual LEAD Conference where we will be giving a presentation of “The Future of Clean Living; a Peak into Changes in Purchases and Behaviors in the face of COVID-19 ”.

Register so you can hear more about how the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted consumers, companies and the markets they serve.

Pre-pandemic clean living has been a key driver of consumer behavior across the spectrum of fast-moving consumer goods.  Will this trend continue into a post pandemic new normal?  This presentation will provide actionable insights into this question.

Insights will be provided from a unique tracker into the behaviors and motives of primary shoppers from a community of Clean Label Enthusiasts®.  The talk will also offer some foresight into what might be the future of clean living. This session will be led by our Chief Research Officer, Greg Stucky.

Bring your questions!

The Spring 2020 Virtual LEAD Marketing Conference is produced and hosted by CPGMatters. Sessions covering all aspects of LEAD (Loyalty, Engagement, Analytics, and Digital Applications) will be presented between 9:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, May 20th.

As a virtual conference, attendees can enjoy the live, interactive presentations from the comfort of their own office or home. You have the option of attending the entire day-long event, or simply log in for our session. Additionally, all sessions will be recorded and made available to conference registrants for on-demand playback at a later date.

We hope you can join us!

Webinar: Part 2 – How Clean Label Enthusiasts® are Changing Behaviors in Response to COVID-19

Presentation Date:   Thursday, May 21       2 pm ET, (11 am PT)

Presenters
:  
Greg Stucky, Chief Research Officer InsightsNow Inc.  and Amy Mahony, Sr. Researcher, Qualitative Insights

We're continuing to track Clean Label Enthusiasts® (CLE) through the extended time of social distancing disruption  due to Covid-19.

Taking advantage of the opportunity as behavioral researchers to study how people change, we're looking for indicators of what this means for companies doing well now and those trying to come back when "normality" resumes. We rarely see such a major behavioral disruption. Change will occur, the question is what changes will happen more quickly and which will take longer to materialize. Which behavior shifts are just short term and which will become long term change?

When we see large behavioral disruptors, people change their mindset, their motivations change, and their priorities change. Clean Label Enthusiast® behaviors provide lead indicators into the behaviors which are changing now and are indicators of future change.

This webinar looks more closely at how mindsets and behaviors are changing:

  • Changes in the Mindset of Consumers
  • Shopping Behavior Changes
  • Tradeoffs/Product switches and why
  • Key motivators for behaviors

Please register and join us!

InsightsNow Ongoing COVID-19 Report Release- April 2020

InsightsNow releases ongoing study of change in clean living behavior in response to COVID-19 

Research examines behaviors of Clean Label Enthusiasts® during the pandemic by looking at previous, current and future mindsets, trade-offs, and motivators 

23 April 2020 – Chicago, IL – InsightsNow, a behavioral research firm, has announced an ongoing study with their proprietary Clean Label Enthusiasts® consumer research community, “COVID-19 Tracker on Clean Living Behavior.” The study provides insights into the swiftly changing landscape of clean living behaviors during the novel Coronavirus pandemic by tracking behavior pre-pandemic, current short-term shifts, and potential permanent changes. Insightsnow's Clean Label Enthusiast® (CLE) community of primary shoppers, identified to be driving the clean label movement, provided responses to give lead indicators into changing behaviors now—and those anticipated in the future.  

By leveraging our existing community of trendsetters, we are able to find answers quickly during a time when brands must pivot quickly,” said Greg Stucky, Chief Research Officer of InsightsNow. “One of the key aspects of this study is how we are able to look deeply at a leading set of primary shoppers and evaluate their behavior over time, including pre-pandemic. We are also discovering how the current health situation is putting increased momentum behind the overall clean label movement.” 

Results show a timeline of behavioral changes in response to COVID-19.    

  • Starting the week of March 9 in the U.S., the CLE community started making changes to their diets due to the novel Coronavirus. 36% of CLE were already making changes in vitamins and supplements (65%), and diet and lifestyle (48%). 
  • During the last week of March, the study began to track consumer emotions regarding shopping for grocery and household items with 45% reporting frustration and worry, with satisfaction levels decreased to only 12%. By the third week of April emotions were improving with only 25% reporting frustration, and satisfaction up to 33%.  
  • Higher purchase rates during the first week of April occurred in some categories, 15% buying more eggs than pre-pandemic, and 13% buying more bread products and salty snack items.  
  • During the second week of AprilCLE reported their day-to-day behaviors continuing to evolve22% utilized at home delivery of groceries most often, up from 9pre-pandemic. There were increases in purchasing of comfort foods like desserts and sweets. 
  • By the third week of April emotions were improving with only 25% reporting frustration, and satisfaction up to 33%. The percent increase in online ordering is starting to level off with 26% shopping for groceries online most often.  

Behavioral data for this ongoing report is being collected from the company’s proprietary research community of Clean Label Enthusiast® (CLE)—primary shoppers with a specific set of behaviors around the clean living movement that influence their buying decisions. Some of these behaviors include inspection of front and back product labels, ingredient beliefs about clean products, and advocating for the food industry.  This ongoing study includes 500 members of the U.S. based community, with insights gathered through qualitative engagements and quantitative surveys. 

To view ongoing updates to the study, users can gain access here: https://lphs.insightsnow.com/subscribe-cle-behavior-virus

 

Webinar: “A New Formula for Disruptive Product Innovation-Part 2″

Using Behavioral Insights in Product Design Sprints

(Part 2 of 3 in a series)

Date:   Thursday, May 14  2 pm ET  (11am)

Presenters
:
 Dave Lundahl, CEO, InsightsNow Inc.  and Mark Crowell, CEO of CuliNex

We live in a time of change.  Nowhere is change more pertinent than in the food industry where challenges and opportunities are driven by changes in consumer behavior as well as advances in food technology and ingredient innovation.  In response to this change, new tools and approaches are needed for more rapid, iterative food product design based on behavioral insights.

Join us in this first in a series of webinars by InsightsNow in partnership with CuliNex where founders Dave Lundahl and Mark Crowell discuss a “new formula” for behavior-driven food product design.

In this webinar we'll:

  • Share how you'll accelerate product innovation using behavioral insights
  • Show powerful, yet simple tools, to help design for your consumers

 

Hope to see you there!       

The Team at InsightsNow     

Webinar: How Clean Living Enthusiasts® are Changing Behaviors in Response to COVID-19

Stay-in, Save Lives: couple cooking at home

Presentation Date:   Thursday, April 16       2 pm ET, (11 am PT)

Presenters
:  
Greg Stucky, Chief Research Officer InsightsNow Inc.  and Amy Mahony, Sr. Researcher, Qualitative Insights

As consumers progress through stages of adjustment to the social distancing disruption, a silver lining here is the opportunity for behavioral researchers to study how people change in response to this situation. We rarely see such a major behavioral disruption.  Everyone is asking when and now we'll reach a new "normal."  It is a time where behavioral researchers have an extremely important role to help companies and people cope with the impact of COVID-19.

Change will occur, the question is what changes will happen more quickly and which will take longer to materialize. Which behavior shifts are just short term and which will become long term change? And how will they affect my company?

Fear drives significant change. When we see large behavioral disruptors, people change their mindset, their motivations change, and their priorities change. Clean Living Enthusiast behaviors provide lead indicator into the behaviors which are changing now and are indicators of future change.

This webinar looks more closely at how mindsets and behaviors are changing:

  • Changes in the Mindset of Consumers
  • Shopping Behavior Changes
  • Tradeoffs/Product switches and why
  • Key motivators for behaviors

Please register and join us!