Global health and nutrition survey reveals who wins shoppers' trust

By Nikki Cutler contact

- Last updated on GMT

istock | anetlanda
istock | anetlanda
Europeans are the least likely consumers to believe vitamins and supplements are safe and good for their health, Euromonitor International’s 2019 health and nutrition survey has revealed.

The newly revealed survey results show that, when compared with North America, Asia Pacific and Middle East Africa, consumers in Europe are least likely to say that vitamins and supplements are generally safe to consume and good for overall health and nutrition. They are also the least likely to say they are knowledgeable about vitamins and supplements.

Just over 40% of respondents in Europe agreed they were safe, compared to nearly 70% of those in North America.

Instead, Europeans were far more likely to say they get their vitamins and nutrients from food, rather than taking vitamins and supplements.

Who to trust

As well as revealing a general lack of trust for vitamins and supplements in Europe, the report outlines exactly where consumers like to go to get their health and nutrition advice.

Promisingly, a doctor or medical professional was the most popular choice (37%). However people revealed they were just as likely to go to a nutritionist or dietitian as they were to go to their friends or family for advice (32%) and these options were very closely followed by ‘online browsing’ (30%).

In fact, ‘online browsing’ was chosen as a nutrition information source more frequently than a fitness trainer, pharmacist or information and adverts from brands.

Thankfully for health experts in the field, celebrities and social media influencers ranked as one of the least frequently used sources.

Although people might choose to look in a wide variety of places for health information, when it comes to who they trust, health experts top the charts. 

Ranking low in the trust chart were:  Brand advertisement, chatroom, social media influencer and celebrity endorsements.

Sports nutrition

The report reveals that consumers are taking part in a wider range of activities in order to combat their sedentary lifestyles.

Amrutha Shridhar, research consultant, Consumer Insights Euromonitor International, says in her report that many consumers are also looking to curate their social media profiles to show their activities and create a fitter image of themselves.

“Exercising is not only considered an important method of preventative health-care, but for many consumers it is a significant part of their image.

“These consumers are looking to portray themselves as healthy and fit, often sharing fitness routines and personal exercise goals on social media to enhance their online image and presence.

“Sports nutrition brands and companies need to ensure that they have a strong social media and online presence if they want to reach these consumers.

“Marketing around the products also needs to be social media friendly. This includes eye-catching packaging that consumers will want to share or an experiential collaboration with a gym that provides both fitness and nutrition.”

When it comes to the most sought-after sports nutrition features, the report reveals that ready-to-drink, low sugar and clean ingredients come out on top.

 “Consumers want to give their bodies and fitness regimes additional support, but they do not want to make any sacrifices or trade-offs in their overall lifestyle,” ​argues Shridhar.

“This means avoiding non-natural ingredients, sticking to their regular dietary restrictions and keeping things as convenient as possible.”

Consumers were also asked about their reasons for consuming sports nutrition products. Strength and muscle tone came out as the top reasons for men (45%, compare with 38% for women), while hydration and rehydration was named as a top reason by 43% of men and women - making it the top reason chosen by women.

According to the report, recovery is a more important priority for men (42%) than for women (37%) while weight loss is far more important to women (36%) than to men (26%).

Mental health

In line with many consumer surveys of the moment, the report reveals a dramatic shift in attention to mental well-being.

When asked what is the meaning of ‘being healthy’, mental wellbeing topped the charts with 65% of respondents naming this as an important element, beating traditional perceptions of health including: Fitness and endurance, physical strength, avoiding illness, avoiding smoking and alcohol and Longevity.

Shridhar adds: “Mental well-being can encompass several areas whether it is feeling relaxed, calm, confident or self-assured, but most importantly consumers are looking to spend time on themselves.

“Companies and brands should strive to be part of the conversation around mental well-being, providing a product but also building a relationship with consumers based on understanding issues within this field. This could be done by partnering with experts such as fitness instructors, doctors and nutritionists, working with mental health professionals or creating their own community by encouraging consumers to be involved in product development as well as promotions.”

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