Consumers want to improve bone health with calcium and vitamin D enriched food products

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 29th April 2015
Consumers want to improve bone health with calcium and vitamin D enriched food products
Consumers want to improve bone health with calcium and vitamin D enriched food products

Two in five UK consumers want to improve their bone health, presenting ample opportunity for food and beverage brands to help prevent or manage this rapidly growing health concern, according to market research organisation Canadean.

However, Canadean said there was still work to be done in convincing consumers of all ages about the importance of calcium and vitamin D.

UK consumers concerned about osteoporosis

According to a new survey from Canadean, one in three UK consumers is concerned about osteoporosis and 41 per cent want to improve their bone health over the next twelve months.

Canadean said this desire was particularly high among consumers aged 55 and over, highlighting a big opportunity for brands to launch products enriched with calcium and vitamin D.

“Awareness of osteoporosis is improving, leading older consumers to keep an eye out for food and drink products designed to help them maintain their bone health,” said Veronika Zhupanova, Analyst at Canadean.

Brands should engage consumers on ‘deeper level’

Canadean said that 217.3 billion tonnes of dairy and soy products were sold globally in 2014. This number is expected to reach 262.7 billion tonnes in 2019, presenting a lucrative market for enriched dairy products.

While consumers will turn to products offering extra calcium and vitamin D, brands should also help consumers address other lifestyle factors linked with osteoporosis. Regular exercise is essential, while sunlight is crucial to vitamin D production. For example, Fonterra’s adult milk brand Anlene offered consumers in Malaysia a free bone health check in supermarkets and hypermarkets.

“This is a brand going beyond just trying to sell a product, but engaging consumers on a deeper level,” Ms Zhupanova said.

Three million UK consumers are affected by osteoporosis

Osteoporosis weakens bones, making them fragile and more likely to break. An estimated three million UK consumers suffer from osteoporosis, according to the National Osteoporosis Society. This includes one in two women and one in five men aged 50 and over.

This difference between genders is mirrored in consumers’ concern about the diseases, according to Canadean. Across all ages, only 25 per cent of men said they were concerned about osteoporosis, compared with 39 per cent of women.

According to Canadean, the importance of increasing awareness of osteoporisis will rise in tandem with the aging population.

“At the moment, 33 per cent of British consumers are concerned about osteoporosis, but this number will rise as more consumers become aware of the importance of improving bone health while they are young in order to prevent problems in future,” Ms Zhupanova said.

Osteoporosis in Australia

In Australia, 4.74 million Australians aged over 50 have osteoporosis or poor bone health, according to Osteoporosis Australia. Over the next 10 years, the total cost of osteoporosis and associated fractures is estimated to be $33.6 billion.