Women are told to take supplements during pregnancy and the first weeks of their baby's life.
The findings of a new study into supplement usage by pregnant women shows the opportunity that exists in maternal nutrition, according to ingredients company DSM.
DSM Nutritional Products surveyed more than 1,200 consumers across Europe and found that supplement intake peaked during pregnancy and very early motherhood, with 87% of respondents reporting consumption of vitamin supplements or fortified products while pregnant.
In addition, 75% of respondents said that they bought these kind of products within six months of the baby’s birth.
Vitamin D supplementation was most common, but intake of supplements for other essential micronutrients – such as vitamin E – showed the opportunity that exists for manufacturers.
But the challenge of targeting functional products at expectant mothers is underlined by vitamin A, which evidence has shown could actually increase the risk of birth defects in the child.
DSM claimed that new supplement formats and concepts like soft chews, emulsions and dry powder milk could allow consumers to more readily and conveniently increase their intake of essential vitamins during pregnancy and early infancy.
Maria Pavlidou, DSM Nutritional Products’ head of communications for human nutrition and health EMEA, said: “These results point towards an untapped demand for products developed specifically for pregnant women and new mothers. For example, fortified foods for pregnant women were appealing but these are not currently available on the EMEA market. This represents a potential opportunity for manufacturers and is an example of how DSM’s ongoing investment into consumer insights can support its customers with product development.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2024