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Nutraceutical Industry – Trends & Opportunities

By, Mr. Vikram Kelkar

Group Managing Director – Hexagon Nutrition

3rd December 2020 - 10:50 AM - 11:05 AM

India Food Safety Summit 2020


With Nutraceuticals and Immunity gauging all the limelight, - the COVID-19 pandemic has raised a shift in the consumer’s interest towards functional foods & supplements. Consumers’ attitudes, priorities, and behaviors are shifting significantly on an ongoing basis.


With this backdrop, our Group Managing Director, Mr. Vikram Kelkar presented an Indian & Global overview of the nutraceutical industry; trends & opportunities at the India Food Safety Summit 2020 held recently. Apart from this he also shared driving factors contributing to the growth of Nutraceutical Markets in India.


We have summarized the key takeaways.

1. Mr. Vikram Kelkar simplified & segregated the industrial jargon of Nutraceuticals under 2 broadheads:

Functional Food & Beverages (fortified foods, iodized salt, energy sports drinks, fortified juices, etc)

Dietary Supplements (Vitamin, Mineral, Herbal & other supplements)


2. In India, Nutraceuticals are governed by the following FSSAI regulations

● Food Safety and Standards (Health Supplements, Nutraceuticals, Food for Special Dietary Use, Food for Special Medical Purpose, Functional Food, and Novel Food) Regulations, 2016

● FSSAI Fortification of Food Regulation 2018

● FSSAI RDA Regulation with reference to ICMR 2019


3.He highlighted that the demand for Nutraceuticals with health benefits is one of the key factors driving market growth. The Nutraceutical Market is expected to grow and rise to $336 bn by 2024.


4.USA, Europe & Japan are attaining maturity & dominate more than 90% of the industry. The industrial focus is now shifting to developing economies especially those across Asia-Pacific, including India.


5.There is an excellent opportunity for us in India to grow in the business of Nutraceutical and nutraceutical ingredients as the market is opening up widely. As per a recent report of the Economic Times, the Indian Nutraceutical Industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 21% occupying at least a 3.5% share of the global market by 2023.


6.He illustrated that the key factors driving the growth of Nutraceutical markets in India can be broadly divided into 2 categories, namely Demand Drivers & Supply based Drivers.


7.The key factors that drive demand include micronutrient deficiencies & malnutrition status in India, increased nutrition awareness, changing lifestyles, dietary patterns, & increased hospitalization costs driving consumers towards preventive healthcare.


8.The key factors that drive supply include strong economic growth, low cost of labor, a large pool of skilled labor, easy availability of ingredients & an e-commerce boom with strong distribution networks.


9.Seeing the impact of COVID-19 on consumer behavior he quoted that, “As per the Boston Consulting group’ COVID-19 consumer sentiment survey 2020, new consumer priorities such as health supplements, fresh foods are seeing a sustained spike.”


10.He also showcased the findings of the survey which highlighted that the net spending, from April 2020 to August 2020 amid the pandemic positively hovered around health supplements & fresh foods thus accelerating the growth trajectory.


11.The BCG study also concluded the fact that there has been a rise in awareness about health & wellness however the adoption of healthy foods has outgrown (by 30%) vis-à-vis health-related fitness (which is 20%) activity bar in the past 3-4 months.


12.Various surveys have shown shifts in the consumption habits of the Indians. The demands for Vitamin A, C & D supplements have spiked tremendously increased across all levels of society. A recent incident that Vikram encountered saw a Rickshaw puller buying Vitamin C tablets signifying the “shift” level of awareness that has set in amidst the pandemic.


13.India has proactively graduated to buying immunity building nutraceuticals as compared to buying earlier for chronic care ailments such as Osteoporosis, Arthritis & High Blood pressure.


14.Because, India leads the APAC market with the highest number of innovative food, beverages & supplements focusing on Immunity since the pandemic has set in, there is a burning need for evidence-based nutraceuticals & regulations.


15.He emphasized that COVID-19 has brought a better and enhanced focus on overall health and wellness as immunity based products would be in demand post-COVID-19 pandemic as well. Although, factors such as new dosage formats, taste, flavor, innovation beyond the usual supplements format can prove to be a game-changer.


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