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Why immunity is a new buzzword for food.Cheese balls too

If you see the barrage of food packages you promise Help your immune system You are not alone these days.

Even cans of cheese balls are now touting the benefits of the immune system. This summer, Good Crisp launched a cheddar cheese ball containing ingredients that “help strengthen the immune system and strengthen its key functions.”

On a recent shopping trip, Colorado’s mom Grace Resch snapped a canister, attracted to the idea of ​​immune support. Resh, who lives in Thornton, Colorado and has two boys who aren’t old enough to be vaccinated against Covid, said, “Especially now, everything is going on in Covid, so the purchase is It makes me feel even better. ” 19.

of Covid-19 eraConsumers are keen to strengthen their immune system, and businesses are cramming products that they claim to help grocery shelves. According to market research firm Innova Market Insights, marketers launched 383 food and beverage products in the first half of this year, up from 326 in the first half of last year. Last year’s total for the whole year was itself up 31% from the previous year.

“Innova occurs in almost every conversation with a client,” said Lu Ann Williams, Innovation Director at Innova. “We are afraid to get sick. Medical care in the United States is very troublesome. Consumers are looking for cheaper alternatives that will bring some sort of silver bullet.”

According to doctors, the nutrients advertised in immune claim marketing are often the nutrients needed for the immune system to function properly. Contains Vitamin C When zinc.. According to doctors, most people are already getting enough nutrients without adding extra amounts to their food, but some studies have shown that extra vitamin C and zinc can cause cold symptoms in some situations. It suggests that it may help alleviate, says Mark Moyad, director of complementary and alternative medicine, medicine at the University of Michigan Medical Center.

Still, immune support claims shouldn’t convince you to buy otherwise unhealthy products, such as highly processed or sugary or fatty foods and drinks, doctors say. ..

“If you’re making a brand or product choice based on that, or if you’re paying a premium for it, it’s being used by businesses,” said Michael Starnbach, a professor of microbiology at Harvard Medical School. ..

According to a survey of about 4,000 US adults by Civic Science last month, more than half of US adults are interested in buying foods and beverages that they claim to help boost immunity. More than one-third say they spend more than usual on standard foods and drinks.

Recent studies have shown that the Covid-19 vaccine is less effective, but experts say the shots are still working well. The WSJ explains what the numbers mean and why they aren’t talking completely. Photo Illustration: Jacob Reynolds / WSJ

PepsiCo

In the year ending September 30, it states that it has launched 120 new products claiming exemptions in label or consumer marketing. This is twice the number of the same period last year. Branded products such as Evolve Protein Shake from Mountain Dew promote nutrients such as Vitamin C and Zinc to promote immune effects. A thin can of Mtn Dew Rise, a sparkling energy beverage launched earlier this year, has “Immune Support” written near the lid next to “Mental Boost” and “180mg Caffeine”.

“Immune support is currently popular,” said Emily Silver, vice president of innovation and capabilities for the company’s North American beverage division.

“We strive to provide products that meet consumer needs with ingredients that provide scientifically proven health benefits, allowing consumers to determine what is best for them. “Masu,” added Silver through a spokesperson.

The US Food and Drug Administration generally allows food marketers to explain the effects of ingredients on the structure or function of the body, unless the ingredients are true and misleading. Food cannot claim treatment or cure of illness unless its claim is approved under government health claim regulations.

Last year, Nicole Harmos in Herlong, California paid about $ 70 a month for a riff energy drink case to find a healthier alternative to daily coffee and Red Bull. The label says “Vitamin C”, which boasts “immunity”, is on the front of the can next to “Energy +”.

“Definitely in the days of Covid, I’d better include another immune boost in my routine,” she says.

Paul Evers, co-founder of Riff LLC, states that the label provides relevant information about vitamin C and other health attributes. “We didn’t want to offer anything unjust or misleading,” he says. According to the company’s research, energy drink consumers appreciate “functional benefits” such as energy and immune benefits. The final product, about $ 3 per 12 ounce can, helps these consumers, he says. “We don’t charge a premium for that additional benefit,” he says.

Good Crisp Co. launched a cheddar cheese ball in July that contains ingredients that help the immune system. Matthew Parry, co-founder of GoodCrisp, said he carefully considered the language and placement and eventually decided to place the statement on the back of the can instead of the front. “We didn’t want people to think we were awkward or on the move,” he said, and consumers may see “something a little better and more beneficial to you.” I hope that.

The material he added is the product “Welmune” manufactured by a food ingredient manufacturer.

Kerry group

In other words, it is a beta-glucan derived from baker’s yeast, which is a fiber found in the cell walls of grains, bacteria, and fungi. According to a Q & A on the Welmune website, there is “new evidence” that yeast beta-glucan may train the body’s immune cells to respond more effectively to pathogens.

“We are not about healing or healing, we are about people actively working on their health,” said John Quilter, Kelly’s Global Active Vice President of Health.

Providing additional ingredients is no different than why some consumers take supplemental multivitamins, Parry said. “If we’re not doing everything perfectly, it’s just a relief to get it from other sources,” he says.

Write to Anne-Marie Chaker anne-marie.chaker@wsj.com

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Why immunity is a new buzzword for food.Cheese balls too

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