Understanding mobility in 2022

8-Jul-2022

Mobility has a large impact on overall health; but, interestingly it’s a part of well-being that consumers don’t necessarily prioritise in the way other aspects of health have been addressed in the last few years, writes Emily Smith, Content and Editorial at FMCG Gurus

There are a few factors that contribute to this, such as consumers taking a reactive rather than proactive approach to mobility, a lack of research into what consists of good mobility and a sense that declining mobility is an inevitability of ageing.

An understanding of mobility issues

During the last 2 years, consumers have become more aware about how different aspects of health can impact overall well-being. They recognise how diet and exercise can affect the body’s ability to fight infection and are taking a more proactive approach to health and boosting the immune system.

However, mobility is an aspect of well-being that consumers do not pay as much attention to … despite a considerable proportion of consumers stating they have concerns about their mobility health.

FMCG Gurus found that 41% of global consumers wish to address their energy levels, which suggests that they’re focusing on short-term issues within the mobility market and there is an opportunity for brands to encourage a longer-term view. It’s also interesting to note that although 71% of consumers (globally) say that they are satisfied with their levels of mobility, many also state that they are suffering from a variety of mobility-related issues.

This shows that they may not fully understand the wider context of mobility and associate it with the basic notion of being able to get around. When asked to think about the word “mobility,” 92% of global consumers associated it with being able to walk free and easily, whereas only 56% stated they associated mobility with being free from aches and pains. There is an opportunity for the industry to educate and change the way consumers view this concept.

FMCG Gurus also found that 87% of consumers attribute poor mobility to ageing. However, there is a recognition that reduced mobility can be self-inflicted through poor posture, weight gain and lack of exercise.

With only 50% of consumers stating that good dietary habits can help to maintain good levels of mobility, the food and drink industry needs to do more to promote active ingredient claims and highlight the link between diet and good mobility health.

Additionally, more can be done to encourage consumers to take a more active approach to improve and maintain mobility owing to the impact this has on other areas of well-being, such as sleep health, cognitive health and immunity.

How can mobility issues be addressed?

As many consumers list problems with multiple aspects of their mobility, it is important to find ways to address and combat this; 48% say that they regularly suffer from tiredness and fatigue. Especially with the increased uncertainty of recent years, an inability to relax and sleep is something that many people struggle with.

Those with mobility problems feel that they are “ongoing and long-term.” This suggests that there is a degree of acceptance in consumers regarding their mobile health. The industry should do more to make consumers aware that poor mobility does not have to be something they have to accept by promoting products that can aid with sleep health … and how simple diet changes can impact overall mobility.

Although consumers are less likely to attribute poor mobility to their diet — as opposed to other factors — many do recognise that what they eat can impact mobility.

FMCG Gurus found that when making changes to their diets to address their mobility, 87% of consumers have increased their fruit intake and 85% have increased their protein intake.

They also see protein and calcium as ingredients that aid mobility and, therefore, the dairy and sports nutrition markets have an opportunity to capitalise on the need for mobility products whilst educating consumers on why an increase in such ingredients is beneficial to overall well-being. Brands should actively promote the importance of long-term health and should look to highlight how improving different aspects of mobility can impact overall well-being.

As consumers seek out products to aid their mobile health, it is important that information is readily and easily available for them to make an informed decision when purchasing products. Consumers will want to see science-led claims on the products they are consuming as reassurance that such products are beneficial to their health.

Additionally, with an increased concentration on health and protecting the environment, many consumers seek products with natural and authentic ingredients that they know and trust. Brands should ensure that labelling is streamlined and clear to provide information that can encourage consumers to address mobility.

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