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Vitamin B12 – What is driving its demand?

Interest in Vitamin B12 has been increasing, below we look into the reasons driving this.

Whilst undertaking some client research, it became apparent that Vitamin B12 stood out as one of the main food attributes that shoppers were interested in (38%*) and even more surprising was that B12 appeared to be more important than Protein.  As we know, protein has and continues to be a huge trend with many food and drink products across multiple categories claiming its inclusion. Our insight suggests that shoppers are becoming more sophisticated in their wants and needs from food products, seeking out a specific nutrients such as B12.

Google Trend analytics highlight that ‘Vitamin’ as a search term continues to see a positive trajectory in the last 12 months, highlighting that people are seeking ways to support their body and how it functions. Guess what the top search term in relation to Vitamin was? You got it, it was  Vitamin B12.

Vitamin B12 holds a host of benefits, but its main attributes are to help boost blood and brain health. What became apparent to us at this point was that there are two key trends potentially overlapping here – Mental Health and  Meat Reduction.

Meat Reduction

Nielsen**claim that 39% of households are increasingly swapping out meat for plant based alternatives, up from 27% in 2020, with Improved Health as the number one reason for doing so. This trend could be helping the demand for Vitamin B12.

Mental Wellness

Our most recent Levercliff Tracker found 24%*** of respondents citing Mental Wellness as one of their greatest priorities over the next 12 months. This is particularly prevalent for 18-34 year olds (31%), who are also the demographic claiming to reduce their Ultra Processed Foods intake as a way to improve move their mental health.

To check out thinking, we ran a poll on Linkedin to see what our followers thought maybe the driver of this hike in interest of Vitamin B12. The following were the results:

What do you think is driving the interest in Vitamin B12?

39% Mental Health

26% Meat Reduction

35% Other

The largest proportion (39%) of respondents felt it was to do with Mental Health but 35%selected ‘Other’  which highlights that the demand for B12 is not dominated by one clear need and that understanding of it may be limited for most consumers.

This highlights the benefit to food and drink manufacturers of understanding consumer preferences more deeply before finalising branding of, and communication plans for, products with functional benefits such as B12.


**NielsenHomescan (UK SMB Newsletter, Edition 2, March 2024

***LevercliffTracking Survey, February 2024

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Photo by Volodymyr Hryshchenko on Unsplash


Written by Denise Collier, Category Manager

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