COVID-19 turbocharges
demand for elderberry

The COVID-19 pandemic has turbocharged demand for black elderberry, cementing the ingredient’s status as an immune health superstar.

Threatened by a pandemic pathogen, consumers sought out supplements designed to enhance their immune systems. Multiple immune-boosting ingredients such as vitamin D benefited from the focus on immune health but the uptick in interest in elderberry was particularly dramatic. One analysis found internet searches for elderberry jumped to 16 times their normal level early in the pandemic, versus a three-fold increase in interest in vitamin D. (1)

The increased interest in elderberry translated into strong sales growth. In the year up to the end of November 2020, sales of elderberry products in the US mainstream supplements channel grew 169% to reach $265.8 million, according to SPINS data. (2) Elderberry sales in the US natural supplements channel rose 72% to hit $53 million.

Those figures suggest growth in demand for elderberry outpaced the broader market for cold, flu and immunity supplements, which was estimated to increase by around 50% last year as the result of rising consumer interest amid the pandemic. (3)

The outperformance of elderberry is, in part, a reflection of the upward trajectory the ingredient was on even before the pandemic. Elderberry sales in the mainstream and natural supplement channels were 116% and 33%, respectively, in 2019. The pandemic accelerated that already rapid growth

With the pandemic entering a new phase, attention is turning to the immune health market that will emerge from the crisis. The available evidence suggests the increased demand for supplements will persist even as people are vaccinated against the coronavirus.(4)

The key post-COVID-19 takeaways:

  • Just 3% of shoppers plan to reduce supplement use after being vaccinated against COVID-19. 63% of shoppers plan to maintain their current supplement regimens
  • One-third of shoppers plan to increase their supplement use after being vaccinated. Natural shoppers are particularly likely to use more supplements after vaccination.

The findings point to a continued, perhaps heightened, demand for natural ways to improve health and wellbeing even as the pandemic abates. IPRONA is positioned to help brands meet that demand through our premium ElderCraft® European Black Elderberry Extract and wider range of extracts and custom compounds. Having spent 40 years perfecting our approach to fruits, IPRONA will be there for customers whatever 2021 holds. For further information contact us at extracts@iprona.com.
 
References
1.    Impact of COVID-19 on Vitamins, Minerals and supplements. https://www.lek.com/insights/ei/impact-covid-19-vitamins-minerals-and-supplements.
2.    Krawiec, S. How elderberry became an immune-health superstar last year. 2021 Ingredient trends to watch for food, drinks, and dietary supplements. https://www.nutritionaloutlook.com/view/how-elderberry-became-an-immune-health-superstar-last-year-2021-ingredient-trends-to-watch-for-food-drinks-and-dietary-supplements.
3.    Reynolds, C. M. The Analyst’s Take: Immunity supplement sales expected to reach $5B in 2020. https://www.newhope.com/market-data-and-analysis/analysts-take-immunity-supplement-sales-expected-reach-5b-2020 (2020).
4.    Polito, R. Monitor: Consumers plan steady or increased supplement use post-vaccination. https://www.newhope.com/market-data-and-analysis/monitor-consumers-plan-steady-or-increased-supplement-use-post-vaccination (2021).

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