With the COVID-19 pandemic raging dauntingly, it seems like a continued tough period ahead for many businesses. However, the nutraceutical industry, both in India as well as globally, is growing multi-fold with an evolved sense of consumer behavior.
Today, nutraceuticals are attracting considerable interest due to the kind of nutritional, safety, and therapeutic effects that they offer.
Since the pandemic has veritably changed the world’s perspective on healthcare, an increasing number of people have adopted a proactive lifestyle, which includes exercise, a balanced nutritious diet, and the use of quality dietary supplements and immunity boosters, thus, becoming a way of life – a newer, healthier norm, to be precise.
Speaking about the nutraceuticals market in India – it is expected to rise from $4 billion in 2017 to a whopping $18 billion in 2025. Despite the foreign origins to the word ‘nutraceuticals’ – a term derived from the confluence of ‘nutrients’ and ‘pharmaceuticals’ – it inevitably entails what is truly indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. India has notably had an abounding, rich heritage of herbal medicines and Ayurvedic supplements, which have surely found resonance in our mythology and folklore. Who can forget the mystical yet iconic and epic herb, Sanjeevani Booti, believed to be found by Lord Hanuman to revive Lakshman on the battleground?
Around 150 million people in India alone are actively choosing to make nutraceutical consumption a part of their daily lives. In addition to this, with an expected annual growth rate of 8.3 percent between 2020–2027, the industry has an opportunity to leave a crucial, indelible mark on the international and domestic market.
So what’s really bolstering this surge in the nutraceuticals market?
● Due to the pandemic, holistic health has garnered much focus, and people in search of stronger immunity have now realized the need for dietary supplements to maintain optimum health, in order to prevent the infection.
● Consumers today also prefer natural treatment options for chronic diseases since they focus on long-term tolerability and safety.
● The demand for nutraceuticals is driven by the fact that 15 percent of the population is still malnourished in our country. With greater awareness, people at the lower end of the pyramid have also grown cautious and are leaning towards affordable, adequate measures for themselves.
● People with bustling lifestyles often fail to follow a balanced meal plan. Thus, to meet their lost nutritional needs, they prefer consuming nutraceuticals that are portable – these can literally be consumed on the go.
● With COVID-19 guidelines posted on several social media platforms, people are increasingly aware of the fact that Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and Zinc are absolutely essential – and that such supplements have shown efficacy in managing and preventing severe infection.
This growing exigency of nutraceuticals is strengthening the hold of many ventures, such as Setu Nutrition, which is committed to assembling all of its competencies across meticulously researched and extracted health ingredients, final dosage forms, and sustainable manufacturing processes to create products that are scientifically proven, clinically-validated, differentiated, and preferred.
Which recent innovations have transformed the nutraceuticals market and consumption patterns?
● Newer formulations and innovations for nutraceuticals that are now available as delicious chewable, gummies, purified extracts, lozenges, and even beverages are turning into popular alternatives to traditional pills. This is because of the immense health benefits they offer, their incredible shelf life, and their water retention abilities. Additionally, these formulations are easier to use for all age groups.
● Artificial intelligence has played a transformative role in identifying the required components for targeting particular health disorders so that nutraceutical product manufacturers can personalize formulas as per the individual characteristics of each patient through a subscription-based model and diet plan.
Newer evolutions are expected to take shape in the market in terms of the following:
● Liquid capsules are a new industry trend and for a good reason. Not only do these capsules have a speedier manufacturing process, but they also have two different blends, which might increase overall potency.
● Half-powder-half-liquid capsules are also creating a buzz. Traditionally, capsules would contain either a powder or a liquid. With recent advancements, manufacturers can now make a capsule that contains ingredients in both liquid and powder form. This allows for the combination of ingredients that have not been done before – within one capsule.
● Newer gelatin soft capsules are easier to swallow than their hard alternatives.
● A liposomal powder formulation is a new approach to dry powder formulations, and it brings multiple improvements. Some of the many benefits include controlled drug release, improved carrying capacity, and reduced toxicities.
In a nutshell, we can say that the nutraceuticals industry is definitely growing at a warp speed, and it wouldn't be surprising if it surpasses – maybe even eclipses – the global pharmaceutical industry soon. Although it is not without its challenges, the industry has the potential to withstand every test, enabling nutraceuticals to play a mainstream role in promoting a healthy lifestyle.