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European consumers focusing on eye care

Half of European consumers are currently unsatisfied with their eye health and many are seeking support through nutrition and supplements, finds FMCG Gurus consumer insights.

FMCG Gurus consumer insights found that a considerable proportion of consumers indicate that eyesight is something that is having an impact on their day to day and long-term quality of life. In 2022, over half of those who are unsatisfied with their eye health claimed that it had worsened over the last two years.

The findings, published in the FMCG Gurus’ Eye Health in 2022 and Beyond Global Report, highlight that nearly two thirds of European consumers recognise that spending large amounts of time in front of digital devices without taking regular breaks or engaging in other forms of protective behaviour can lead to eye health issues. With the majority of consumers across all age cohorts relying on screens for their work and personal time, added with the pressures of contemporary life means that it can be hard to get the necessary time away from screens. Consequently, brands should take greater steps to ensure products are tailored towards eye health.

Europeans are more likely to say that their eye problems are self-inflicted, as opposed to being a medical condition. This is reflected by when asked what factors contribute to poor eye health, the top three answers were, spending too much time in front of digital devices, not getting enough sleep, and not paying attention to advice on how to maintain good eye health.

Consumers are demonstrating a greater willingness to purchase eye health products even if not suffering from symptoms. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, many consumers are prioritising their health, taking a proactive approach and placing greater emphasis on long-term wellness and preventing symptoms before they occur.

Focus on Nutrition
In recent years, consumers have taken an interest in functional ingredients that offer a health boost, as well as basic nutrition, to aid with eye health. Ingredients such as fibre, Omega-6 and Omega-3 are all associated with aiding eye health (with an average of 58 per cent of consumers associating these with eye health). Lesser-known ingredients include lutein and zeaxanthin. Despite less consumers having heard of these, of those who have, most associate them with aiding eye health.

Consumers are adopting a back-to-basics approach to nutrition, focusing on their intake of fresh foods, fruits and vegetables. FMCG Gurus consumer insights found that 73 per cent of Europeans who claim to have changed their diet to try and improve their eyesight have done so by eating more fruit and vegetables. This back-to-basics approach is down to consumers wanting products that they know and trust, and that they see as natural and affordable, particularly in a cost-of-living crisis.

In addition, FMCG Gurus consumer insights found that 24 per cent of those who were not satisfied with their eye health had used nutritional supplements in the last two years to try to address the issue.

As technology continues to advance, the metaverse will continue to expand, revolutionizing the way that we interact online. This will only increase consumers screen time and their exposure to blue light, negatively affecting their eye health and consequently intensifying the importance of taking proactive steps to protect their eye health. Eye health brands have the opportunity to educate consumers on blue light and the importance of taking breaks regularly when using digital devices, to prevent the deterioration of eye health.