New research from the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School found that only 42% of female shoppers made a conscious effort to include vitamin D in their diet when purchasing yogurt.
The MSc Marketing Practice students recently interviewed 400 yogurt consumers on behalf of ProU Yogurt to understand consumer awareness of the risks of osteoporosis (bone weakening) and sarcopenia (muscle wasting) among yogurt purchasers.
According to the research, 15% of females are more likely to include vitamin D in their diet to maintain a balanced diet because they believe it helps to prevent rickets which is caused by severe vitamin D deficiency. There was low awareness of the benefits that vitamin D contributes in maintaining and building strong bones which help prevent osteoporosis. It is also crucial for good health and growth.
An estimated 500,000 Irish people (one in eight) have vitamin D deficiency, per the Cork Centre for Vitamin D and Nutrition Research at University College Cork. Vitamin D, the ‘sunshine vitamin’ is created when our skin is exposed to sunlight. Ireland’s northerly latitude means that between October and March there is inadequate quality and quantity of sunlight to enable our bodies to produce sufficient vitamin D. This is compounded using sunscreen and an increasingly indoor lifestyle. Normal healthy bones need a range of nutrients including calcium, vitamin D and protein which is why ProU was developed.
Leading Dietitian, Sarah Keogh of EatWell comments, “It is well known that calcium and vitamin D are essential for bone health. Without vitamin D, only 10-15% of the calcium in a food is absorbed, compared to 30-40% of calcium when vitamin D is present. Vitamin D also helps maintain normal muscle function.”
The makers of ProU, M&J Nutrition, were keen to create a product that helps people meet their daily vitamin intake. M&J Nutrition founder, Michael Murphy, said “A 150gram pot of ProU makes a substantial contribution to our daily vitamin D intake. ProU, a new fortified yogurt is a natural, convenient, and tasty way of meeting our vitamin D requirements. It also provides 80% of our calcium requirements, as vitamin D increases calcium absorption, and 10 grams of protein.”
The research also reveals that 86% of female shoppers are conscious of the risks of osteoporosis. However, there is limited awareness of sarcopenia with 92% unaware of the risk. Sarcopenia is the term for a severe lack of muscle on the body, it largely affects older people and can impact on daily activities. We can lose muscle throughout our lives due to poor nutrition, lack of exercise and simple aging. The protein and vitamin C in ProU contributes to the maintenance of our normal muscle function as well as bones.
ProU is made in Wexford from Irish produce and natural ingredients. It is available in four flavours – natural, raspberry, strawberry and mango & passionfruit. ProU is now available in Tesco, Dunnes Stores, and SuperValu in Dublin, with a wider roll-out planned for other stores in the New Year.
Take care of your Bones and Muscles and they’ll take care of you
. is a startup which currently has three employees and plans to expand in the months ahead. The company was set up by Michael Murphy with his wife Jane in 2015. Michael has over 20 years in the food business with Bord Bia, most recently as Markets Director leading a network of 11 offices internationally. This international perspective has driven his conviction that the world increasingly needs more healthy food choices and Ireland is best placed to supply it. Jane a qualified accountant, has over 20 years’ experience in the corporate sector.