How botanicals are helping to build “the new normal”

Published: 5-Aug-2020

Unsurprisingly, demand for immune health solutions across the world increased significantly in the first half of 2020, explains Timothée Olagne, Category Director, Nutritional Ingredients, Givaudan

In the EAME region of Europe, the Middle East and Africa, for example, a Givaudan survey of consumers in February found that “strengthening your immune system” resonated with 93%.1

By April, 44% had consumed vitamins/supplements and/or food or beverages with health benefits during the past month.

More than half (53%) were interested in consuming more vitamins or supplements to strengthen their immune system, whereas 62% were interested in consuming more food or beverage products with immune health benefits.2 Reflecting this, the global immune health market has grown — with supplements, beverages and dairy being the main delivery forms.

Botanicals: combining “back-to-basics” with science

There are a number of reasons why botanicals, along with natural micronutrients such as fermented wholefoods, are booming. One is that they appeal to a back-to-basics approach and a sense of tradition. Yet, they combine that concept with scientific substantiation; many are backed by a wealth of research demonstrating immune health benefits.

Some of the immune health support ingredients that are likely to enjoy increased popularity in coming years are as follows:

Ginger has been shown to support immune health, along with digestion and blood circulation. Often combined with lemon, it is the leading ingredient when it comes to juice shot innovation. Naturex’s ginger is gently processed to preserve botanical properties with minimal off-notes.

Echinacea: The Native Americans used echinacea for a variety of health needs, and its immune-stimulating properties are supported by decades of research. In one randomised controlled trial, ingesting it resulted in a 10% reduction in overall cold severity.3

Fermented wholefood rich in zinc: Mineral micronutrients such as zinc are among the most common ingredients for products with immune health support benefits. In the EU, zinc carries several authorised health claims, including one relating to the normal functioning of the immune system.4 Naturex’s Ultimine offers an excellent source of zinc, delivering an 11 mg dose in a 200 mg serving.

Vitamin C from acerola: Vitamin C contributes to the maintenance of normal function of the immune system during and after intense physical exercise. The acerola cherry (Malpighia glabra L.) is known for its high content of vitamin C.

Suitable for applications such as gummies, chewable tablets and instant beverages, Naturex’s acerola is cultivated sustainably in Brazil, and our strict standardisation process means we can reach a high level of vitamin C (34%).

Trust: the foundation of the new normal

The habits and behaviours that have been reinforced this year — including increased demand for nutrition with immune health support benefits — are here to stay. Consumers will expect more from immune health products and will be more sceptical about their benefits.

The nutraceutical industry needs to maintain trust through a combination of tradition, transparency and scientific substantiation. Naturex’s botanical solutions offer all of these, making us a perfect partner for immune health brands looking to build “the new normal.”


  1. Givaudan EAME, “Food for Health,” online survey (February 2020)
  2. Givaudan EAME, "COVID-19 Online Survey," April 2020.
  3. B. Barrett, et al., “Echinacea for Treating the Common Cold: A Randomized Trial,” Ann. Intern. Med. 153(12), 769–777 (2010).

Disclaimer: This document is intended for business-to-business communication only. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The information provided and its uses must be checked for compliance under appropriate local regulations.

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