The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly hit the nutritional progress of consumers across the world. The persistence of the COVID-19 for a more extended period has adversely affected the most vulnerable groups of the population, including the senior population, mothers and children. From a business perspective, COVID-19 is significantly decreasing commercial activity, particularly in the consumer sector. One category bucking this trend is dietary supplements. Consumer demand for various dietary supplements has increased as interest in overall health and wellness has grown.
Elderberry has traditionally been used to prevent and treat respiratory problems. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an interest in elderberry supplements to treat or prevent illness and concern that elderberry might overstimulate the immune system and increase the ‘cytokine storm’ risk.
Looking at the effect of elderberry on our physiology, many studies show that elderberry is antiviral and protective for the immune system. So it is pretty much a mainstream recommendation by many to boost immunity and help protect against cold and flu. But in addition to being antiviral, elderberry also produces several inflammatory particles (cytokines).
One of the most prominent ingredient superstars coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic is elderberry, as consumers shopped for immune-support products wherever and whenever they could. According to SPINS (Chicago) data on the 52 weeks ending November 2020, elderberry experienced a whopping 168.9% sales increase to reach USD 265.80 million in the U.S. mainstream supplements channel and a 71.6% sales increase to reach USD 53.00 million in the U.S. natural supplements channel.
Considering the growing demand for elderberry supplements due to the COVID-19 situation, the supplement manufacturers are introducing various elderberry supplements.
As a result of the rise in demand for elderberry supplements, the production and export of elderberry from the producing country have also increased during 2019-2020.
TABLE 1 ELDERBERRY – PERCENT GROWTH IN EXPORT VALUE (2019-2020)
The impact of coronavirus on the demand, supply, export and import of elderberry supplements market is uncertain. However, the growing demand for elderberry supplements due to health aspects positively impacts the global elderberry supplements market. Amid COVID-19, consumers, suppliers and supply chains in the global food and dietary supplements industry will increase. According to trade organizations in the nutritional products industry, there is a significant impact on the worldwide supply chain for functional foods and dietary supplements, including elderberry supplements.
Given elderberry’s rising popularity and the subsequent threat of adulteration, Artemis takes similar measures to raise awareness and has given industry tools to authenticate their elderberry supply. Artemis organization is aware of the rise in popularity for elderberries and the impact of impurity on elderberries.
“Now, we ask the question: How do we retain these new consumers and how do we consolidate the growth and keep everyone who discovered the benefits of health and wellness, dietary supplements and herbal supplements, to keep them in their life and make them part of their lifestyle going forward?”
“Many healthcare supplement producers want elderberry, even if they had never worked with it before.”
The growth in herbal and botanical sales in 2020 was equally impressive, at 17.3%. Morton Reynolds noted that herbal supplement sales still grew, especially for immune-health botanicals as elderberry, mushrooms and Echinacea, even despite 6% declining sales of hemp cannabidiol (CBD) in 2019.
People take precautions to fight the COVID-19 situation and maintain their immunity levels at higher rates by consuming healthy food containing nutrients such as a balanced diet and dietary supplements to immune themselves from such infectious diseases. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increase in elderberry supplements to treat or prevent illness and concern that elderberry might overstimulate the immune system and increase the risk of ‘cytokine storm’. Thus, the impact of COVID-19 on elderberry supplements is uncertain.