Nutraceuticals refer to herbal powders of capsules derived from vitamins, minerals, and plants with specific medicinal properties to fight against diseases and support resistance against sicknesses.
India is the land of Ayurveda and is native to the concept of nutraceuticals. According to Invest India, the nutraceuticals market in India is expected to grow to $18 billion in 2025 as the demand for dietary supplements from the upper and middle-class rises.
The pandemic has played a catalyst in the tremendous growth of the nutraceutical industry in India. The COVID-19 crisis laid immense importance on building strong immunity using natural herbs and plants. Be it Ashwagandha or herbal kaadha for building strong immunity, the nutraceutical market in India has grown manifold since 2020. The pandemic has also forced the middle class to shift from pharmaceutical to nutraceutical and dietary supplements.
A joint study by Assocham and RNCOS states that the nutraceuticals industry in India is poised to grow to $8.5 billion by 2022 from $8.5 billion in 2015. The study also reveals that India's nutraceutical market is expected to account for about three percent of the global market share by 2022 vis-a-vis the current two percent share.
The nutraceuticals industry in India deals with functional food, beverages, and dietary supplements. The functional food includes breakfast cereals and fortified flour; functional beverages include commodities like sports drinks, fortified juices, and glucose. Dietary supplements, which constitute over 65 percent of the Indian nutraceuticals market, include macronutrients, herbal and non-herbal extracts. This segment is accounted for a growth rate of 17 percent, and hence, will drive the growth of the market.
The innovations in the industry have helped nutraceuticals to penetrate the children's market as well. Nutraceutical gummies, which are tasty yet potent help, support children against chronic diseases. These gummies are now making significant inroads with adults as well. Nutraceuticals are now preferred over prescription-based pharmaceutical drugs.
The busy lifestyle of people in India often interferes with their balanced meal plans, and the need to continue without health concerns has drawn the Indian population towards an easy solution that nutraceuticals have to offer.
The millennial generation is highly conscious of its body image and well aware of the harmful effects of the prescribed drugs. On the other hand, nutraceuticals provide side effect-free solutions that can help manage several lifestyle problems like weight management, healthy hair and skin, and immunity-boosting.
Technology is also playing a big role in driving growth in the nutraceutical industry. By implementing Artificial Intelligence, it is easy to assess the patient's problem and suggest personalized subscription-based packages.
Having stated the growth drivers of the nutraceutical industry, it is essential to understand the challenges faced by the industry. The first and foremost challenge is the uncertified and fake nutraceutical products flooding the market. This can be tackled by regulating the industry and thorough checking to sell only FSSAI approved products. Along with certification, the government body and the industry body must create awareness about counterfeit products and ways to check the authenticity of these.
Taking into account the current scenario, we can conclude that India's nutraceuticals industry is set to grow at lightning speed. The Indian Nutraceutical industry can outstrip the global market any day now.
However, the future entirely rests on the stringent execution of standardized rules to help deal with the challenges and promote nutraceuticals for a healthy lifestyle.