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Vitamins first priority for global consumers: survey


May 4, 2011
By Bakers Journal

May 4, 2011, New York – While food and beverage products may contain different vitamins, minerals and supplements, consumers value most those products that are a good source of vitamins, according to a global study by Ipsos Marketing.

Consumers from around the world were given a list of vitamins, minerals and supplements that could be found in food and beverage products and asked to rank which ones were most important for them to include in their diets. Vitamins were ranked highest (38 per cent) in importance among global consumers – with protein (18 per cent), minerals (15 per cent), fiber (nine per cent), Omega-3s (eight per cent) and antioxidants (six per cent) lagging behind.

At two per cent each, probiotics, soy and folic acid were ranked as least important.

“Recent scientific breakthroughs about the potential of vitamins to prevent and alleviate serious health conditions will open doors to innovation for food and beverage companies,” said Lauren Demar, global CEO for Ipsos Marketing, Consumer Goods & Shopper. “For example, while consumers may traditionally link vitamin D to bone health, there is mounting evidence that vitamin D may have a positive impact on a wide range of health issues, including heart disease, cancer and diabetes, to name a few. It is therefore imperative for food and beverage marketers to stay on top of the latest breakthroughs in health and wellness from the scientific community, and then find ways to translate these breakthroughs into viable innovation and communication platforms.”

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Ipsos data indicates that there are opportunities to market different nutrients and supplements to different consumer segments. For example, the perceived importance of vitamins and protein in one’s diet decreases with age. On the contrary, the perceived importance of Omega-3s and antioxidants increases with age.

Differences between countries exist as well. Protein is more important to consumers in China, India, Japan, South Korea and Turkey than it is to consumers in other countries. Minerals like calcium, potassium, zinc and iron are more important to consumers in Argentina, Hungary, Poland, Russia and Saudi Arabia than to their global counterparts.

“When innovating in the area of functional foods, it is important to look at demographic segments – consumers will have different needs based on their life stage, culture and environment as well as the nutritional products currently available to them,” said Demar.

The survey was conducted by Ipsos Marketing, Consumer Goods, Jan. 14 through 24. The survey runs monthly in 24 countries around the world via the Ipsos Online Panel system. In addition to Canada, the survey collects data from Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, China, France, Great Britain, Germany, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the United States.