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Consumers Consider Memory Loss and Sight Degeneration Bigger Health Worries than Diabetes and Cholesterol, says Canadean

12 July 2016

Memory loss and eye health are two of the most pressing future health concerns among today’s consumers, presenting a major opportunity for players in the nutrition and over-the-counter health space, according to consumer insight firm Canadean.

Canadean’s latest report finds that almost a third of consumers (32%) globally are concerned about experiencing memory loss in the future, and 27% are concerned about sight degeneration, putting such concerns above diabetes and cholesterol in terms of consumer worry. In this way, there is a clear opportunity for manufacturers to respond by incorporating cognitive and eye health benefits into food, drinks and supplements.

Top 5Health Concerns 

Melanie Felgate, Senior Consumer Insight Analyst at Canadean, comments: “As well as addressing current health needs, consumers are increasingly looking to the future, proactively seeking products that will reduce their risk of potential health problems. With memory loss and eye health the top concerns, manufacturers in the functional nutrition and healthcare spaces should focus on these key areas of innovation. For example, cholesterol-lowering spreads are commonplace, but what about everyday products which improve cognitive function? Coffee Blenders Think Cup in the US is an example of a brand already doing this, producing coffee pods with ginseng which, the brand claims, is clinically proven to improve memory.”

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In terms of the administration of health-enhancing ingredients, consumers prefer food and drink over pills. Only 14% of consumers globally consider traditional pills and tablets to be the preferable consumption format, with the majority opting for food and drink formats. Furthermore, just 18% consider pills and tablets to be the most effective consumption format, compared to 49% and 24% for food and drink respectively. 

Felgate continues: “This preference for, and perceived effectiveness of, food and drinks in comparison to pills, stems from boredom with traditional formats as well as the belief that food and drink can offer comparable health benefits to non-prescription medicines.”

Manufacturers might also benefit from personalizing health products. Globally, 41% of consumers have a favorable perception of products personalized to their needs. This sentiment increases among the most health conscious consumer groups, such as frequent exercisers (44%) and those who claim to actively use food and drink to improve their health (49%), highlighting the necessity for brands in the health space to take a more personal approach.

Felgate explains: “The need for innovation ever-more closely aligned to individual consumer requirements is growing, as the personalized health trend persists. Brands could personalize products by appealing to consumers’ specific age and gender, lifestyle preferences, or even blood type or DNA. We are already seeing brands like ManFlu – a range of cold and flu remedies for men - capitalize on this space, but in the future personalization will become increasingly more closely tailored to an individual’s own needs.”

Editor’s notes

Information based on Canadean’s report: Top Trends in Healthcare and OTC; Exploring the over-the-counter medication; vitamins, minerals and supplements; functional food and drink; and sports nutrition categories.

All information correct at time of publication and based on Canadean's research methodology.

For more information

Please get in contact if you have any questions to this or other Canadean reports. Analysts are available to comment. Contact the Canadean press office on +44 (0) 161 359 5822 or email

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