12th August 2022
Cognitive Health: Consumer Profiles
In recent years, cognitive health is an area of well-being that consumers have become increasingly conscious about. Consumers are recognizing the importance of maintaining good mental health and how this can impact on other aspects of health and wellbeing. FMCG Gurus has identified four different types of consumers within the cognitive health market. Consumers can be split into four categories; 29% of cognitive health consumers fall into the cautious category, 29% fall into conscious, 25% in proactive, and 17% are diagnosed.
As a result of COVID-19, more consumers are adopting a proactive approach to their health. This has resulted in a rise in conscious and proactive consumers who are concerned about their health and how it will impact them in later life.
Across all consumer profiles, no group is overly satisfied with their cognitive health. This suggests that poor cognitive health and concerns about cognitive wellbeing are widespread and impact many consumers day to day lives. However, diagnosed consumers are least likely to show satisfaction with their cognitive health, and proactive consumers are most likely to, with both of these categories greatly recognizing the link between cognitive and overall health.
Brands should appeal to cautious and conscious consumers and encourage these groups to take a more proactive approach to their cognitive health. These consumers are likely to show dissatisfaction with their cognitive health and yet are less likely to recognize the link between cognitive health and overall health.
Functional claims are important within the cognitive health industry. The products most sought out to provide a cognitive health boost are breakfast cereals, snack bars, and milk, this can be explained as breakfast is a time when consumers are most likely to be health conscious. Diagnosed and proactive consumers are most likely to show interest in claims around products actively improving cognitive health.
This is due to proactive consumers taking a preventative-over-cure approach to health, and diagnosed consumers addressing problems that already exist and are diagnosed. Again, it is important that brands appeal to the cautious and conscious consumers that should be encouraged to take a more proactive approach to their cognitive health before they display symptoms.
Actions and Motivations
Within the different consumer profiles, motivations for improving brain health varies. Proactive consumers are most likely to look to improve this area to maintain a good standard of health and to achieve a good quality of life as they look to address their wellbeing in the long-term. Whereas, cautious consumers are most likely to want products positioned around offering immediate benefits such as products that can encourage them to relax and switch off more.
Proactive consumers are most likely to have made diet and lifestyle changes to better their cognitive health, with just under half of proactive consumers saying they have exercised more. Again, proactive consumers are most likely to report that they have increased fruit and vegetable intake and looked to increase their intake of functional ingredients and products. Diagnosed consumers are also likely to show that they have made these changes which could have come as a recommendation from doctors when diagnosed with a cognitive health issue.
Unsurprisingly, diagnosed consumers are noticeably more likely to have visited a doctor or sought out medical advice compared to other categories. Therefore, it is also unsurprising that this category is most likely to take nutritional supplements as they are addressing problems urgently to address a problem.
Diagnosed consumers are more likely to seek out information about brain health from doctors and pharmacists with 8 out of 10 consumers in this category stating they find doctors influential when it comes to finding out about cognitive health. This highlights their need to address issues more urgently, whereas the other consumer categories rely more on information from family and friends. Brands should encourage consumers to research more about their cognitive health.
Although all profiles of consumer show desire to improve different aspects of their cognitive health and function, reactive consumer groups are less likely to express interest in products that offer sustained energy to the brain. Proactive consumers are most likely to express interest in claims around improving long-term cognitive health, whereas diagnosed and cautious consumers show more interest in claims that can provide immediate benefits.
Brands should encourage all consumers to take a more proactive approach to their cognitive health and raise awareness on how it can impact overall wellbeing. Products that are deemed convenient, tasty, and affordable can help consumers address cognitive health in their everyday diets and lifestyles.