The knowledge gap and health-boosting ingredients
FMCG Gurus, St Albans, United Kingdom
Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the impact of digital devices on Eye Health. This includes the risks that blue light poses on the eyes. As a result, many consumers are turning to food and drink products to aid their eye health. The increasing demand for health-boosting ingredients and products align with the values of health-conscious and proactive consumers. Proactive consumers represent the category of consumers who are actively making steps in preventing eye problems for their long-term health.
Digital devices and screens play a significant role in the everyday lives of consumers, whether they are interweaved in consumers’ work lives, personal lives or recreation. Smartphones play a key role in this for consumers. For instance, 12% of global consumers spend an average of 30-35 hours a week on their smartphones. This is followed by 12% of consumers who spend 30-35 hours on their PCs, laptops or tablets, and 10% who spend this amount of time watching television or movies. It is important to note that this screen time was the most common among respondents. This indicates that a large proportion of consumers experience an overexposure to their devices, which can impact the eyes, leading to eye strain and many other health issues which can have effects on overall health.
As a result, FMCG Gurus consumer insights have revealed that 71% of global consumers experience regular headaches, followed by double vision, dry eyes and other health issues. This illustrates that there is a clear link between technology and poor eye health. Due to this, there is an opportunity for brands to promote products that will aid eye health but preventing and reducing such symptoms.
Blue light and the knowledge gap
On a global scale, many consumers are unaware of the risks that blue light poses on their eye health. Blue light is a component of the visual light spectrum from the sun but is emitted from screens and artificial lights, including LEDs. It is important to note that blue light is needed for our health, however, an overexposure of this is known to cause issues on eye health. This includes symptoms like glare, eye strain, headaches, tired eyes and blurred vision. Our consumer insights highlight that 41% of global consumers have heard of blue light, and out of these respondents, 64% of global consumers expressed concern about the overexposure of blue light from their devices.
Our findings both illustrate great awareness and concerns regarding blue light, as well as a knowledge gap among consumers about what blue light is and how it effects eye health. The knowledge gap around blue light provides brands with a key opportunity to promote and educate consumers about the health issues that this can create. In addition, brands should make sure to produce and promote products that will aid eye health. This will cater not only to consumers who are aware and concerned about their eye health, and are looking for ways to improve this, but also spark interest among consumers who are not yet aware, but are interested in learning about the effects of blue light and how to combat this.
The proactive and health-conscious consumer
Proactive consumers represent the category of consumers who are actively making steps in preventing eye problems for their long-term health. These kinds of consumers often adopt a prevention over cure approach, meaning that they address and prevent health problems before they arise. As a result, proactive consumers are drawn towards products that offer multifunctional benefits, such as ingredients that will aid and enhance their eye health, as well as targeting various other aspects of their wider health.
FMCG Gurus consumer insights have highlighted that 49% of global consumers who have heard of blue light have taken steps in the last 12 months to prevent eye health issues from arising. For instance, the most common step includes 70% of consumers taking regular breaks from using their devices. The other steps taken by consumers include looking to improve their diet, using nutritional supplements and using screen filters.
Our findings demonstrate that consumers would like to learn more about how to improve their eye health, and are already taking steps to enhance their eye health before issues arise. This demonstrates their proactive nature and approach to health. Therefore, brands have the opportunity to target proactive consumers with multifunctional food and drink products that will support their eye health.
Eye health aiding ingredients
More specifically, many consumers are turning to food and drink products to aid their eye health. Omega 3 is an ingredient that many of global consumers associate with boosting eye health, standing at 65% of consumers. Zeaxanthin and lutein are also highly associated with aiding eye health; however, they are relatively unheard of amongst consumers. This highlights that brands should take this opportunity in raising awareness around the functional benefits of these ingredients.
In addition, this raising of awareness of the health-boosting benefits of ingredients and products will align with health-conscious and proactive consumers’ values. A beneficial way that brands can target these markets are through the promotion of multifunctional products. These kinds of products have particular appeal to consumers due to their array of benefits in one product, which will offer convenience and good value for money in targeting multiple areas of their health.
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