Last Updated on July 15, 2021 by The Health Master
Nutraceutical Industry: A trending Market
India`s nutraceutical industry is predicted to grow to $18 billion by 2025 from $4 billion in 2017 and furthermore, expected to hold at least 3.5% of global market share by 2023. There has been a historical use of nutraceuticals in India since many consumers believe in holistic treatment. On the global level, the nutraceuticals market is expected to grow by a CAGR of almost 9% during 2020-2024.
Increasing awareness about health and preventive strategies has made people conscious about their immunity and general well-being, thus increasing the demand for immunity boosters across the globe. Dietary supplements alone constitute almost 65% of the nutraceutical market and is growing at a fast rate of 17% attributable to the focus on preventive health in the current pandemic.
Data from the Drug Marketing and Manufacturing Association (DMMA) indicates that there is a strong demand for dietary supplements from the upper and middle class, thus the consumption of nutraceuticals level is expected to rise in the coming months.
According to the All India Organization of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD) – AWACS report, Indians bought almost Rs 15,000-crore worth of vitamin supplements and other immunity boosters in Jan 2020-May 2021, more than the preceding year, as demand of drugs related to C-19 treatment increased, directly and indirectly.
Among nutraceuticals, Vitamin D, Vitamin C and Zinc are on the top of the list since they help in managing C-19 and prevent severe infection. Data suggests that even healthy snacks, protein bread and whey protein have seen a sharp rise in demand.
Several nutraceutical are being used today for not just anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and immune-boosting action, but also for preventing the side-effects of medicines and detoxifying the body. Demand for nutraceuticals like ginger, garlic, curcumin, selenium, astaxanthin, polyphenols and probiotics has been growing.
Consumer behavior/demand drivers:
Holistic Health: Due to the pandemic, the focus of the population has shifted to holistic health and in the search of immunity, the prescription of such drugs has been increased multiple folds. The pandemic has made people realize the need of dietary supplements in maintaining optimum preventing infection, especially C-19.
Long-term tolerability: The incidence of chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension, obesity and arthritis is on the rise and nowadays, consumers prefer natural treatment options since they focus on long-term tolerability and safety.
Malnutrition still exists in some parts of India and micronutrient deficiency is the contributing factor. Certain micronutrients like vitamin B12, iron and zinc are part of government initiatives to curb vitamin and mineral deficiency.
Affordability: Cost of hospitalization has risen, an over-burdened healthcare system has been witnessed. This is driving consumers towards preventive care rather than costly treatment, leading to sharp rise in demand for nutraceuticals.
Changing lifestyle and sedentary work culture with poor dietary habits have led to the need of dietary supplements to replenish micronutrients and maintain optimum health
Athletic diet: Sports drinks have gained popularity among sportsman, athletes and those involved in physical activities (gym). The rising sports drink market is driven by the Gen-Z millennials due to their willingness to pay for sports products, attributed to their high buying capacity and rising trend towards fitness activities. In 2016, energy drinks occupied 63% of the functional drinks market in India.
Some consumers believe that improper diet may result in increase in expenditure on standard drugs, this may be one of the factors causing a rise in demand for nutraceuticals.
Increase in Disposable income: The net disposable income of RBI across the country in fiscal year 2019 was about 1.7 trillion Indian rupees. The newer generation may spend more on health products compared to previous generation.
Information at fingertip and awareness: Increasing concern about nutrition, awareness and easy access to information have led to an increase in use of health supplements and nutraceuticals.
Changing consumer preferences: A clear shift can be observed from curative to preventive care attributed to the pandemic. Increasing awareness about the role of immunity and dietary supplements has led to significant demand. Even after the pandemic has reduced in its intensity, trends such as taking immune boosting nutraceutical supplements may continue. Even pre-pandemic, vitamins and dietary supplements had a CAGR of 13%, while omega fatty acids / fish oil recorded the fastest growth of 16% in 2016. Probiotic drinking yogurt saw the strongest CAGR of 28$ in 2016.
Nutraceuticals part of guidelines: Most people are updated with current C-19 guidelines posted on multiple social media platforms. They are aware that Vitamin C, Vitamin D and zinc are part of guidelines, and prevent severe infection, thus attributing to rise in demand. These have shown efficacy in managing C-19 and preventing severe infection, thus some physicians have been prescribing these supplements to patients with C-19 or those at risk.
Newer formulations: Nutraceuticals are now available as gummies, thin oral strips, purified extracts and even beverages. These formulations are easier to use by all age groups. Gummies are trending and may be a good alternative for people having difficulty swallowing tablets and capsules. Gummies are very popular among children.
The evolving consumer behavior including changing lifestyle and increasing awareness are the main consumer-related behaviors transforming the nutraceutical market. The pandemic has given a further boost to the nutraceutical industry, with the focus on prevention and general well-being.
BY Dr. Anish Desai
Author is- MD. FCP. PGDHEP DIRECTOR, INTELLIMED HEALTHCARE SOLUTIONS, Chief – Expert Medical & Scientific Advocacy Board, ENAC
(DISCLAIMER: The views expressed are solely of the author and The Health Master does not necessarily subscribe to it. The Health Master shall not be responsible for any damage caused to any person / organisation directly or indirectly).