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The use of vitamins, minerals, and dietary supplements (VMS) among Americans is on the rise. According to new research from Mintel, among the 78 % of Americans who are vitamin1 users, a third (34 %) have increased their usage since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, including nearly half (47 %) of Millennials. In line with consumers overall, Millennials say supporting their overall physical health (66 %) and immune system (62 %) are the top two reasons for VMS use. However, Millennials (43 %) prioritise VMS use to support their mental well-being more than consumers overall (34 %).

While sales of VMS surged during the pandemic, increasing an impressive 22 % between 2019-20 to reach USD 31.52 billion in 2020, growth leveled out in 2022 when sales grew an estimated 4.1 % to reach USD 35.64 billion. Sales are set to grow a further 5 % in 2023 when the market is expected to hit an estimated USD 37.44 billion.

Dorothy Kotscha, Health and Wellness Analyst, Mintel Reports US, said: “While the pandemic negatively impacted multiple areas of consumers’ lives, the shift it created in how consumers view and approach their health has benefitted health and wellness brands, particularly within the vitamin, mineral, and dietary supplements (VMS) space. Immune health concerns no longer only hold seasonal significance and consumers have a heightened focus on the importance of both physical and mental well-being. As greater attention is placed on one’s mental health, VMS brands can tap into this trend by focusing on formulas that contain brain-boosting and mood-regulating ingredients such as magnesium, vitamin D, curcumin, and L-theanine.

“Our research shows that consumers are taking lessons learned from the pandemic to create health routines around VMS products; however, there are signs of fatigue within the market. Usage of multivitamins, for example, has remained flat over the past year, indicating that interest is being directed elsewhere. Brands will need to focus on innovation and emerging health concerns in order to embrace changing consumer sentiment. Ingredient transparency will be increasingly important as consumers seek to understand the role ingredients play in their VMS products.”

Consumers show interest in single-letter vitamins and supplements

The majority of consumers take some sort of vitamin or supplement: 78 % take a vitamin and 64 % take a supplement. While use of vitamins remained flat over the past two years (77 % in 2021), usage of supplements increased by 13 percentage points, up from 51 % in 2021. Specifically, single-letter vitamins and mineral supplements have seen a gradual uptick in usage over the last five years: single-letter vitamin use increased from 47 % in 2018 to 52 % in 2022, while mineral supplement use increased from 33 % to 42 %. Mintel research shows that consumers are looking to optimise their health by focusing on vitamins and minerals they may be lacking for a more personalised approach, rather than a one-size-fits-all multivitamin.

“Customisation and personalisation are more important than ever as consumers are increasingly interested in broadening their approach to health. Single-letter vitamins may erode the widespread usage of multivitamins as consumers desire greater control over their VMS regimens. Major VMS players should take a close look at ways to offer customised products in a variety of formats and distribution channels in order to optimise the way that they meet their customers’ unique needs,” concluded Kotscha.

1Including multivitamins (products that contain a combination of vitamins in one), and one- and two-letter vitamins (products that contain only one or two specific letter vitamins such as vitamin C tablets)

Indena’s Quercefit® is an innovative 100 % food-grade delivery system of quercetin based on Phytosome® technology, which optimises quercetin bioavailability (up to 20 times and in the range of a diet rich in vegetables and fruits) with dose linearity. It has been proven to be an effective natural help to manage early stage conditions of COVID-19, in combination with standard care.

Although the emergency due to the pandemic is luckily decreasing at a global level, COVID-19 continues to be the focus for several scientific analysis. Quercetin Phytosome® has been the object of several human studies in the last two years1 – the most recent one issued in January 20232 – which demonstrated that this ingredient, in combination with standard care, when used in early stage of COVID-19, could aid in ameliorating the early conditions and helps keeping the immune system strong, mildening the symptoms and optimising the timing of molecular test conversion from positive to negative.

The most recent study involved a larger group of subjects (100 subjects consisting of 50 people in the quercetin group and 50 ones in the control group) completing the preliminary data anticipated and published in 2021.

Antonella Riva, Head of Product Innovation and Development & LCM of Indena S.p.A, commenting the study “Quercetin as a possible complementary agent for early-stage COVID-19: Concluding results of a randomised clinical trial” by Di Pierro et al., explains: “This randomised clinical trial investigated the possible adjuvant effect of an oral quercetin supplementation in mild to moderately symptomatic COVID-19 outpatients. The results revealed that subjects who received quercetin in addition to standard care, cleared the virus better (tested negative for SARS-CoV-2) and had milder symptoms as compared to the people who received the standard care alone. Moreover, participants in the quercetin group also showed statistically significant improvement in the serum levels of inflammatory biomarker LDH. Also the outcomes of our last study then – adds Riva – suggest possible quercetin supplementation effectiveness in the early-stage mild to moderately symptomatic COVID-19 outpatients and may help in optimising the clearance of the SARS-CoV-2 infection, mildening of the symptoms and modulation/control of the host’s inflammatory response. The study also supports the safety of quercetin supplementation in subjects with COVID-19 which has an unpredictable and complex course and hence may be potentially used as an adjuvant alongside routine care in the management of mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19”.

“We keep devoting resources to clinical research with the aim to get stronger and stronger scientific evidences about Indena’s ingredients. We’re very happy and proud to see such results from our Quercefit® and to give our contribution in helping people’s health which has had to face one of the most serious pandemics in recent years” adds Stefano Togni, Chief Commercial Officer of Indena S.p.A.

Quercetin, a flavonol not naturally present in the human body, is the most abundant polyphenol in fruits and vegetable and is widely used as a dietary supplement to boost the immune system and in general to promote a healthy condition. Quercetin is characterised by crucial pharmacological properties including, antioxidant and immune-protective effects, which allows it to be a potential candidate to support all unpleasant conditions.

1Di Pierro et al., Possible Therapeutic Effects of Adjuvant Quercetin Supplementation Against Early-Stage COVID-19 Infection: A Prospective, Randomized, Controlled, and Open-Label Study, International Journal of General Medicine 2021:14 2359–2366. https://www.dovepress.com/possible-therapeutic-effects-of-adjuvant-quercetin-supplementation-aga-peer-reviewed-fulltext-article- IJGM https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34135619/
Di Pierro et al., Potential Clinical Benefits of Quercetin in the Early Stage of COVID-19: Results of a Second, Pilot, Randomized, Controlled and Open-Label Clinical Trial, International Journal of General Medicine 2021:14 2807–2816. https://www.dovepress.com/potential-clinical-benefits-of-quercetin-in-the-early-stage-of-covid-1-peer-reviewed-fulltext-article-IJGM Rondanelli et al., Promising Effects of 3-Month Period of Quercetin Phytosome® Supplementation in the Prevention of Symptomatic COVID-19 Disease in Healthcare Workers: A Pilot Study 2022: 12 66 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35054459/
2Di Pierro et al., Quercetin as a possible complementary agent for early-stage COVID-19: Concluding results of a randomized clinical trial, Front. Pharmacol. 13:1096853. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2022.1096853

The Covid pandemic continues to shake up the international event calendar in the global beverage technology sector in 2022. After intensive consultation with the companies and associations represented on the BrauBeviale exhibition advisory committee, the event organiser, NürnbergMesse, has decided to suspend BrauBeviale 2022, from 8 – 10 November 2022. “By taking this step, we are reacting early to the concerns of the market, and ensuring planning reliability for the industry” says Andrea Kalrait, Executive Director of BrauBeviale and Beviale Family. The next BrauBeviale, therefore, will be held from 14 to 16 November 2023 in Nuremberg.

About the BrauBeviale:
The BrauBeviale is one of the leading international capital goods specialist exhibitions for the beverage industry in Nuremberg, with around 1,100 domestic and international exhibitors, and around 40,000 professional attendees from Germany and abroad. Alongside the Beviale Moscow, the Beviale Mexico, the Craft Beer China and the Craft Beer Italy, the BrauBeviale is part of the Beviale Family.

The fourth wave of Covid infections makes it impossible to achieve the special experience of the Green Week

The International Green Week 2022 (21 to 30 January) will not be taking place. The reason is the rising number of infections in Germany due to the fourth wave of Covid infections, as well as current and anticipated pandemic-related restrictions.

“The International Green Week thrives on people meeting each other and being able to sample, taste and discover things. Under the current circumstances, with face masks and physical distancing, we cannot fulfil the expectations of our visitors to the Green Week“, said Lars Jaeger, the project manager for the International Green Week at Messe Berlin.

Green Week supporting events to take place in a virtual format

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture is extending an invitation to the 14th Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA). From 24 to 28 January 2022 at this virtual forum, around 2,000 participants representing politics, business, science and society will debate food and farming policy issues. The focus of the GFFA 2022 is on ’Sustainable farming: food security starts with the soil’.

With the 15th Forum on the Future of Rural Development on 26 and 27 January 2022, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture will provide a virtual platform for exchanging views, discussion and exchanging knowledge on ’A strong honorary position – for a good rural life’.

The next International Green Week will take place from 20 to 29 January 2023 on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds.

The supply of early citrus fruits was increasing in São Paulo State (SP) in late March, while the demand from juice processors was lower, and businesses were facing a new period of restrictive measures to fight covid-19 in Brazil.

Although estimates do not point to an extremely high availability in April, supply should still be higher than that in March, since more early oranges should reach the ideal maturation stage to be harvested this month. As for demand, besides the new restrictive measures, logistic issues were constraining purchases from wholesalers and retailers in Brazil.

Among the major changes in food services during the covid-19 pandemic are the halt in school meals, which highly demands in natura oranges, and the closure of bars and restaurants, where the demand for juice is high. Thus, in March, fruits were mostly sold to supermarkets.

PRICES – Although orange prices were still high in March, underpinned by lower supply, they decreased late in the month. The average price for pear oranges in March was 38.71 BRL per 40.8-kilo box, on tree, 2.7 % down compared to that in February. For hamlin oranges (early variety), the average closed at 29.48 BRL/box, on tree, practically stable in the same comparison.

According to Cepea collaborators, some farmers anticipated the harvesting of pear oranges, aiming to take advantage of the current price levels – these agents are aware of the forecasts for higher supply of early oranges in the market from April onwards and, thus, fear quotes may drop in the coming weeks.

In the Brazilian market of tahiti lime, which is also largely sold to bars and restaurants, the decrease in the demand and the slightly higher supply pressed down quotes in March. Besides, the pace for exports and crushing slowed down.

The average price for tahiti lime closed at 20.60 BRL per 27-kilo box, harvested, 32.8 % down from that in February. However, despite this devaluation, prices are currently higher than that last year, due to lower production this season.

As might be expected, there are high levels of concern among Asian consumers about the impact COVID-19 is having, both directly on their own lives and also on a global scale. According to Innova’s COVID-19 Consumer Survey (conducted in March 2020), in China, India and Indonesia, personal concerns center on health, personal income and the availability of healthcare and products to buy.

Personal health, and the health of family and friends, tops the list of concerns across all three countries, with impact on personal income/finances ranked as second. Indian consumers were the most concerned. 73 % of Indian consumers say that they were very concerned about their own and that of their family’s/friends’ health. This is compared with 58 % in China and 52 % in Indonesia.

Concerns over more global issues are led by healthcare and financial/economic uncertainty. Healthcare ranks the highest in India, with 79 % of respondents very concerned. Financial/economic uncertainty came out first in China and Indonesia, with 55 % and 68 % of respondents, respectively, saying that they were very concerned. Consumers in all three countries were also concerned about the impact on food and job security.

Changes in behavior driven by the pandemic include more working from home, more social media and online entertainment and even exercising inside the home, with lower levels of leaving the house, visiting cafes/bars and restaurants, travelling for business and pleasure and using public transportation.

Health considerations have become more influential on purchasing decisions, with consumers trying to eat more healthily and consuming products in a bid to boost immunity. These include ingredients such as turmeric in India, chrysanthemum and cordyceps flower in China and royal jelly, ginger and mint in Indonesia. Familiarity, comfort and improving mood are also seen as increasingly important factors for food and beverage choices during the crisis. Health, shelf-life and cost are taking on a greater significance with regard to purchasing decisions, while factors such as flavor and indulgence appear to be declining in importance. Innova Market Insight’s research indicated that the main changes in attitude/behavior in India and China included more cooking/preparing of homemade food, more healthy eating and more eating/drinking products to boost immune health.

Fresh fruit and vegetables and juices and nectars are some of the top categories benefiting from this trend, as consumers look to them as a means of boosting health. At the same time, consumers claimed to be purchasing lower levels of less healthy, indulgent and highly processed options, such as ice cream, pizza and cakes and pastries.

There has also been an acceleration in the growth of online grocery shopping as movements are restricted and physical stores cannot easily be accessed. The rise in grocery apps in China, for example, encompasses developments in supermarkets, dedicated grocery apps and food delivery platforms. Restaurants have been quick to offer home delivery, but many consumers are also willing to order online and go out and pick up takeout. In China, 37 % of consumers claimed to be ordering more restaurant/café food online, while 34 % were picking up takeout food and meals more often.