How consumers are arming themselves in their fight against health threats


How consumers are arming themselves in their fight against health threats

All around the world, consumers are re-inventing how they approach health threats and wellness-related decisions. Our Global Health and Wellness report explores consumer sentiment across 17 diverse global markets to help understand the global state of health, wellness, and well-being. It showcases a universal hierarchy of needs that empowers a deeper understanding of how consumers are currently prioritizing their health and wellness needs  

This hierarchy, applied to the current state of health and wellness, brings to light a total view of consumer health needs. It highlights unique differences in the innate order to which consumers are prioritizing their health needs: those that are protective, preservation-focused, aspirational, evolving, and altruistic in nature.

Protective needs are the most basic and essential of health and wellness need states. Consumers strive to thoroughly protect themselves against immediate health threats to their own well-being. In this article, we provide a snapshot into the enduring and emerging ways protective health needs are being met.

Am I safe & protected?

Globally, 63% of surveyed consumers ranked protective needs as high in importance.

For 71% of global consumers, protective needs have become more important over the last 2 years.

Source: NielsenIQ Global Health & Wellness Study of 17 markets, September 2021

Antibacterial products are important for consumers wanting protection from health threats

Since the onset of COVID-19, protective needs have stood front and center thanks to a universal desire for protection from germs. In the U.S. market for example, measures from September 2021 show that U.S. products with antibacterial agents continue to drive strong double-digit sales growth compared to two years ago – vastly outpacing the growth witnessed among products that are free from antibacterial agents. Antibacterial product innovation has stretched beyond the traditional soaps and hand sanitizer categories. Lysol Laundry Sanitizer was so successful, it was a NielsenIQ BASES Top 25 Breakthrough Innovation in 2020.


growth for products with antibacterial agents


growth for products free from antibacterial agents

Swift pace of innovation in the UK for household cleaners

It’s interesting to note that the pace of innovation within the household cleaner category has slowed in the U.S., whereas household cleaners in the U.K. have seen 47% growth in the number of innovations that have hit the market this year compared to last. Future opportunities may be foreshadowed via the innovation performance of other markets.

Immunity building attributes are one to watch

Demand for products aligned to immune system health has been supercharged by the pandemic. Consumers want more than a momentary immune “boost”, and instead want to forge a continuous path to immune system building, long-term.

Beyond the traditional realm of vitamins and supplements to strengthen immune health, consumers are turning to categories such as beverages when seeking to protect themselves from health threats. Companies around the world are tapping into this growing consumer priority. In Japan, for example, Kirin has expanded its portfolio to include the immune boosting brand iMUSE, which is backed by a proprietary functional ingredient found in their supplements, yogurts, chocolates, jellies and beverages. The entire line is sold in ready-to-consume formats, making it easier for consumers to incorporate into their daily routines. In the U.S. market, “immunity tea” is among the top searched term related to immunity, and sales of beverages that support immune system health are growing at 46% year-over-year.

Beyond protecting against health threats: Chart showing the growth of products that provide immune support

Take a deeper look into the global consumer health and wellness revolution

Understanding how consumers’ protective health needs are being met is only part of the story. The opportunity for companies looking to meet and exceed the growing expectations of wellness-minded consumers is to figure out where your brand fits and sits along the entire hierarchy of health and wellness needs. Our Global Health and Wellness report takes a deep dive into how consumer needs have been reshaped around the world, what is trending, and what the budding opportunities are across the new, broadened spectrum of global well-being.

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