India’s nutraceutical industry is expected to reach $ 18 billion by 2025, up from $ 4 billion in 2017 and, in addition, is expected to hold at least 3.5% of the global market share by 2023. There is had a historic use of nutraceuticals in India since many consumers think in holistic treatment. Globally, the nutraceuticals market is expected to grow nearly 9% CAGR during the period 2020-2024. The growing awareness of health and prevention strategies has made people aware of their immunity and general well-being, thus increasing the demand for immunity boosters across the world. Dietary supplements alone represent nearly 65% of the nutraceutical market and are experiencing rapid growth of 17% due to the emphasis 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, so consumption of nutraceuticals is expected to increase in the coming months.
According to the report by the All India Organization of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD) – AWACS, Indians purchased nearly 15,000 crore rupees of vitamin supplements and other immunity boosters between January 2020 and May 2021, more than the previous year, due to the demand for drugs related to Covid-19 treatment increased, directly and indirectly.
Among nutraceuticals, vitamin D, vitamin C, and zinc top the list because they help manage Covid-19 and prevent serious infections. Data suggests that even healthy snacks, protein breads, and whey protein have seen a surge in demand. Several nutraceuticals are used today not only for anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and immune action, but also to prevent drug side effects and detoxify the body. The demand for nutraceuticals like ginger, garlic, curcumin, selenium, astaxanthin, polyphenols and probiotics has increased.
Consumer behavior / demand drivers:
- Holistic Health: Due to the pandemic, the attention of the population has shifted to holistic health and in search of immunity, the prescription of these drugs has increased by many. The pandemic has made people aware of the need for dietary supplements to maintain optimal prevention of infections, especially Covid-19.
- Long-term tolerance: The incidence of chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension, obesity and arthritis is on the rise and nowadays consumers prefer natural treatment options because they focus on tolerance and long-term security.
- Malnutrition still exists in parts of India and micronutrient deficiency is the contributing factor. Some micronutrients like vitamin B12, iron and zinc are part of government initiatives to reduce vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
- Affordability: The cost of hospitalization has increased, an overburdened health system has been observed. This is pushing consumers towards preventative care rather than expensive treatments, leading to a surge in demand for nutraceuticals.
- Lifestyle changes and the culture of sedentary work with poor eating habits have led to the need for dietary supplements to replenish micronutrients and maintain optimal health
- Sports diet: Sports drinks have gained popularity among sportsmen, athletes and those who engage in physical activities (gym). The rising sports drink market is being driven by millennials from millennials due to their willingness to pay for sports products, attributed to their high purchasing capacity and the growing trend towards fitness activities. In 2016, energy drinks occupied 63% of the functional drink market in India.
- Some consumers believe that a poor diet can lead to increased expenditure on standard drugs, which may be one of the factors causing increased demand for nutraceuticals.
- Increase in Disposable Income: The RBI’s net disposable income across the country in fiscal year 2019 was approximately 1.7 trillion Indian rupees. The new generation can spend more on health products than the previous generation.
- Handy Information and Awareness: Growing concerns about nutrition, awareness and easy access to information have led to an increase in the use of health supplements and nutraceuticals.
- Changing consumer preferences: A clear shift can be observed from curative care to preventive care attributed to the pandemic. Growing awareness of the role of immunity and dietary supplements has led to significant demand. Even after the intensity of the pandemic has reduced, trends such as taking immune-boosting nutraceutical supplements may continue. Even before the pandemic, vitamins and dietary supplements had a CAGR of 13%, while omega fatty acids / fish oil had the fastest growth of 16% in 2016. Probiotic drinkable yogurt saw the CAGR highest of $ 28 in 2016.
- Nutraceuticals are part of the guidelines: Most people are updated with the current COVID-19 guidelines posted on multiple social media platforms. They are aware that vitamin C, vitamin D and zinc are recommended and prevent serious infections, which explains the increase in demand. These have shown their effectiveness in managing Covid-19 and preventing serious infections, so some doctors have prescribed these supplements to patients with Covid-19 or to those at risk.
- New formulations: Nutraceuticals are now available in the form of gummy candies, oral thin strips, purified extracts and even drinks. These formulations are easier to use by all age groups. Gel candies are all the rage and can be a good alternative for people who have difficulty swallowing tablets and capsules. Jelly candies are very popular with children.
- Changing consumer behavior, including lifestyle change and growing awareness, are the key consumer behaviors that are transforming the nutraceutical market. The pandemic has given new impetus to the nutraceutical industry, with a focus on prevention and general well-being.
Dr Anish Desai-MD. PCF. DIRECTOR PGDHEP, INTELIMED HEALTHCARE SOLUTIONS, Chief – Expert Medical & Scientific Advocacy Board, ENAC(DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are solely those of the author and ETHealthworld.com does not necessarily endorse them. ETHealthworld.com will not be liable for any damages caused to any person / organization directly or indirectly).