NEW YORK — People now believe product claims focused on killing germs, providing immunity and overall health benefits are more relevant than claims around natural, sustainability and quality, according to research from New York-based Nielsen. The findings show how the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is affecting consumer sentiment and purchase behavior globally, according to Nielsen.

The research occurred in March and focused on home care product claims, ranking each of the category claims in relevance from 1 to 18.

The claim “keeps my family protected against germs-bacteria” was No. 1 in relevance in the United States, China, Indonesia, Japan, United Arab Emirates, Brazil and Mexico. No. 2 in the United States was “kills germs-bacteria in an effective way,” and No. 3 in the country was “kills germs-bacteria in a natural way.’

One category that might give insight on how people view immunity benefits, including probiotics, in food was “keep my immune system strong,” which was fourth in relevance in the United States.

The bottom four categories in relevance in the United States were sustainable ingredients at No. 15, organic ingredients at No. 16, sustainable packaging at No. 17 and locally made at No. 18.

When asked which benefits they were willing to pay more for in a product, about 45% of US respondents said keeping immune systems strong. The claims keep my family safe from diseases and kills germs-bacteria in an effective way both came in at 50%.

“Prior to the pandemic, consumer product claim preference was increasingly focused on natural and sustainability,” Nielsen said. “Time will tell whether pre-pandemic preferences return or if we see a blending of preferences.”