Gaps in the market: Brands must appeal to the mindful consumer

By Olivia Haslam

- Last updated on GMT

Mindful consumer © SolStock / GettyImages
Mindful consumer © SolStock / GettyImages

Related tags Eye health mental fatigue Mental health Sleep stress management

The side effects of digital lifestyles are increasing focus on eye health, mental energy and sleep success, revealing significant market opportunities to address these growing concerns, according to a new report from marketing and branding firm Healthy Marketing Team.

“Immunity is no longer consumers' top health concern, and brands need to address multiple benefits in order to stay relevant,” Peter Wennstrom, founder of Healthy Marketing Team, told NutraIngredients. 

According to data from strategy and insights firm Industry Transparency Center (ITC) presented in the report, 27% of new product launches in 2022 had immune health support claims, but only 12% of global dietary supplement consumers reported immunity as a health priority.

“It’s an over-saturated market, and even of those 12% prioritizing immune health, 9% of consumers take supplements to address that —a relatively high portion of consumers.”

The report suggested the solution for brands is to look at the gaps where consumers have concerns but aren’t being served, such as mental health and performance, and to educate them on the effectiveness of natural supplements for symptom reduction and prevention.

Immunity and beyond

People are gaining interest in a more holistic way of dealing with wellbeing, Wennstrom explained. While the COVID-19 pandemic had consumers prioritizing immune health above all else, this has evolved into the ‘new normal’, and brands no longer see the same success by catering only to immunity. 

Combining immunity with other ‘resistance’ benefits to attract consumer interest, is the solution, and some brands are beginning to extend their products into broader categories, he noted. 

Bioritmon’s ITA Energy Defend by Italian supplier Dompé, formulated with probiotics and vitamins B6, B9, B12 and D, is marketing itself as a solution for fatigue via the immune system.

Similarly, U.S.-based NatureMade's Wellblends is a sleep and immune gummy product, that aims to support the immune system while improving sleep quality with a combination of elderberry, melatonin, zinc and vitamins C, E and D.

Mental health and energy

The understanding of mental health has come from the grassroots up, where initial conversations were about de-stigmatizing depression and anxiety through treatment with drugs and medication, explained Wennstrom.

This has now evolved, and many consumers prioritize mood and relaxation to fight daily stress and gain focus and mental clarity. Mental well-being is now the number one global health concern, according to data in the report, noting hectic lifestyles that rely solely on digital interaction. 

However, of the 29% of consumers concerned about stress and anxiety, only 6% take supplements, and of the 22% who are concerned about mood, only 8% take supplements.

The opportunity for brands is to offer products that help consumers feel balanced and focused, using uplifting language that appeals to a positive routine and mindset, noted Wennstrom. 

UK-based Innermost has launched The Focus Capsules to fill the gap, aiming to boost cognitive performance and processing speed and reduce mental fatigue, with ingredients such as ginseng, L-tyrosine, Bacopa monnieri​, CDP-choline and Rhodiola rosea​. 

For mood balance, nervous tension, calmative and balanced stress response, Australian brand Swisse sells Ultiboost Mood— a blend of St. John's wort, ginseng, ginkgo biloba, magnolia vine, tyrosine, folic acid and vitamin B6 and B12. 

Sleep Better

“Sleep is now an indicator of quality of life, especially with the use of smartwatches that measure our sleep quality,” Wenstrom said. 

Consumers are seeking natural solutions and bedtime rituals that support day-to-day life, which is an evolution from taking ‘anti-insomnia’ medication to mitigate lack of sleep due to long working days and stress. 

But as 23% of consumers are concerned about insomnia, and only 3% report taking supplements, the opportunity is to market natural sleep enhancers and rituals as essential components of attaining a high quality of life, he noted. 

Restful Nights by Lumity is a powdered supplement that promotes falling asleep more easily and achieving deep sleep, using ingredients such as pumpkinseed oil, magnesium, Curcuma, manganese and vitamin D3. 

Similarly, JSHealth from Australia sells PM+ to ‘support sleep and help calm your mind’ with lavender oil, magnesium, chamomile and passionflower.

Eye Health

Moving beyond brain health, the report noted that eye health is an increasing concern for younger generations due to screen time strain.

“Before, caring about eye health was only necessary for aging consumers with eye problems, however, we’re now seeing an increasing interest in preventative supplements for people who engage in extensive screen-based work and experience eye fatigue,” Wenstrom said. 

This is likely to further appeal to younger generations, as eye health affects younger demographics engaged in gaming and digital working professionals.

Screen Eyes capsules from UK-based Dr. Vegan’s contain lutein, meso-zeaxanthin, zeaxanthin, bilberry and added vitamins for daily protection against age-related macular degeneration, digital eye strain, fatigue and stress. 

And U.S. brand Performance Lab  sells Vision, promoting high-speed focus, motion detection, night vision and protection against damaging blue light rays, screen glare and sunlight. It contains blackcurrant, bilberry, lutein, zeaxanthin, astaxanthin and saffron. 

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