Covid-19 accelerates preventive healthcare, creates change in purchase patterns and consumer behaviour. During this second wave of the pandemic, people purchase vitamins, zinc supplements and immunity boosters in capsule form, chewable tablets and gummies, stated Rohit Shelatkar, vice president, Vitabiotics Ltd.
With preventive healthcare being seen as one of the most important lines of defense in the battle against the Covid-19, dietary supplements in India is poised for growth. Even after the pandemic has reduced in its intensity, preventive healthcare measures will become a part of people’s everyday lives. Hence, the Covid-19 second wave has paved the way for the nutraceutical sector to build a strong presence in the Indian market, he added.
A visible trend is that of changing consumer preferences. There is a shift from curative to preventive care in the Indian market. With immunity taking centre stage due to the onset of the pandemic, consumers are increasingly relying on more nutraceutical products. Thus scores of parents are resorting to easily available chewable nutraceutical products that are extremely safe for children. Such products are available in different shapes and flavours to make them more appealing for kids, said Shelatkar. .
Vitabiotics is a UK based vitamin supplement company and in India, it operates under the name of Meyer Organics. Propelling the demand for supplements and nutraceuticals in India, is that 15 per cent of its population is undernourished and the government has taken several measures to reduce the same through National Health Mission (NHM), among others. Quoting a World Bank report on ‘Nutrition in India’, he said, India loses nearly US$ 12 billion in gross domestic product (GDP) to malnourishment. Nutraceutical products can play a crucial role in lessening the burden of malnutrition in India by bridging the gap between government schemes and its recipients.
Home remedies and herbal medicines are already popular in India because of our ancient alternative system of medicine, Ayurveda. Nutraceuticals thus offer a viable option to consumers who are looking for natural products akin to ayurvedic medicine but in convenient and efficient forms which will make inroads into the market.
Products like herbs, minerals, vitamins and dietary substances are consumed for their physiological benefits or to boost immunity against diseases.
Considering the current scenario, we see that India’s nutraceuticals industry is all set to grow at a lightning speed, and it wouldn’t be surprising if it outstrips the global pharmaceutical industry sooner or later.
Going by the Indian consumer’s increased inclination towards health, nutrition, and wellness, several reputable and certified players from the USA, Europe, and Japan are entering India to tap the potential of the country’s nutraceuticals market and make their products easily available to the health-conscious demographic. With a fundamental objective of self-reliance and self-sufficiency, the country now has an opportunity to grab a larger share of the rapidly growing nutraceuticals market. Moreover, fiscal incentives for nutraceuticals manufacturing will also help to bolster exports.