It's been more than a year since the pandemic hit the nation and the entire world and ever since, there has been a continuous rise in people getting inclined towards holistic well-being and a healthier lifestyle. People have become aware more than ever before and have included health supplements, etc. in their daily routine, for better health and more immunity.
Factors like improving healthcare, increasing demand for efficient medical treatments, rising disposable incomes and overall increasing awareness about maintenance of general wellbeing, has accelerated the growth of the global effervescent products market. Furthermore, the government is also taking initiatives to encourage the use of these supplements to enhance general wellbeing has also contributed to the effervescent products market.
Effervescent products form a key ingredient of various dietary supplements, probiotics, and other commodities that help people attain a healthier lifestyle. Effervescent products can easily incorporate large amounts of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) and can be consumed as a single dose rather than in multiple dosages. These easily dissolve in water and turn them into functional beverages, which ease many who want to take the medicines but are not comfortable swallowing pills. These are also created with flavours that mask the poor tasting supplements.
According to Verified Market Research, the global effervescent tablet market was valued at US$ 23.28 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach US$ 43.13 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 7.97% from 2020 to 2027.
Varun Khanna, Group CEO, Fullife Healthcare Pvt. Ltd., asserts, “We have witnessed a sharp surge in the nutraceutical market, especially since the onset of COVID-19 with dietary supplements, immunity boosters, and plant-based nutrition seeing soaring demand. In fact, I think the segment has really increased over the last five years. We were the pioneers in making this concept a lot more popular in India, we actually brought manufacturing of high quality into the country. I think to drive any business in any delivery format, we need local excellence and expertise to drive the growth. If you don't have it available locally in good quality, you will never be able to drive the scale. So I think as pioneers, it was good to actually bring that into the country and become the number one in the space. Also, the demand from consumers in India has only been increasing and will continue to increase but they do want quality products and so, it's really important for us to keep quality at the centre of our product range and our customers appreciate it.”
Consumers have also become quite particular about good quality. Fullife Healthcare is one of the market leaders in the segment, founded as a sports nutrition company in Switzerland in 2011 and today is the largest manufacturer and supplier of effervescent products in India with two flagship brands: Fast&Up and Chicnutrix.
What’s on Offer?
Fullife Healthcare had started as a performance-based nutrition company and later decided to navigate towards immunity and health. The company acquired Novelty Pharma GDD SA in 2011 in order to become the market leader and solutions provider in effervescent technology for efficient delivery of Novel healthcare and nutraceutical products.
“It is a 360-degree approach where performance is an output of the body. If the body is strong, protected, nourished, healthy, the performance will also be great. While we started off talking about the output and focusing on the product for the output, we have now started working towards ensuring the entire human body is also taken care of. Our objective is always to help people feel happy at the end of the day about themselves, about their day and that can only happen if their overall performance is good,” maintains Varun Khanna.
Fullife Healthcare has two flagship brands under it - Fast&Up and Chicnutrix. Fast&Up has more than 20 products right now and is growing 4X in the past 1.5 years with a current turnover of approximately Rs 140 crore and is planning to launch close to 50 new SKUs in 2021. It aims to become a Rs 500+ crore brand by 2024.
Chicnutrix, meanwhile, is also growing 4X since its inception in May 2019 and is already present in 6 countries. The brand started with 4 products and currently has 8 SKUs offering beauty nutrition and women wellness products. Fullife Healthcare prides itself in its in-house R&D centre and European Union compliant manufacturing unit, located in Khopoli near Mumbai, Maharashtra.
The two health and nutrition brands are currently retailed mostly through online mediums.
Varun Khanna apprises, “In a span of a little over five years, Fast&Up has now reached more than 1.5 million households across the country, with the majority of customers hailing from Mumbai, Chennai, Pune, Delhi, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. Fast&Up has followed the online route to reach its target customers where we first introduced the brand to consumers through our website. Fast&Up’s online retail reaches over 40,000 pin codes and serves around 8,000 outlets offline. We are expecting to touch 40,000 outlets by 2024. We are also increasing the number of touchpoints. Chicnutrix also started its journey online and currently, around 90 percent of the business happens online. Within 2 years of the brand launch, Chicnutrix has serviced more than 2,970 pin codes within India and has a presence in 6 countries around the globe.”
Not only this, the brands under Fullife Healthcare are also driving good business from tier-II and tier-III towns with rising awareness in these regions
D2C and Tech Push
Fullife Healthcare has always been about serving its customer base in the right way, with quality products and offering them a seamless experience through whatever retail medium. Being a D2C brand in the segment, Fullife Healthcare ensured that it reaches its customer base directly while focusing on offering the best of products without keeping them waiting.
“I think in any category, it's very important to be focused on being an honest brand. The star of any business has to be the product. D2C is just the way of getting it to the consumers. I believe success is not just in this business model, but offering good products, being an honest and ethical brand to constantly communicating with your customer base. D2C has been driving the market since the first lockdown duration which was the reason a lot of brands really catapulted up because major supply chains were hit. So you had a lot of demand but no service and whoever was able to service the customers fast, was able to upscale,” maintains Varun Khanna.
The health and nutrition providing firm operated in an omnichannel business format and its objective is to reach its customer base as easily and seamlessly as possible.
The Group CEO avers, “It’s like joining the dots to always keep your consumer in mind - get the fastest way to reach to your consumers and the fastest way for consumers to get to us. Being a millennial brand, we are one of the very few brands in the business utilizing technological integration. Even if you want to do something which is traditional like distribution, you cannot do it without technological inputs so it’s a very important aspect of our business. Furthermore, we have a very strong social media presence on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. wherein we are engaging with sports athletes, Bollywood celebs, nutritionists in a healthcare ecosystem. Through these social media platforms, we are constantly creating awareness about preventive health, right & healthy eating, regular exercise, mindfulness and supplementation.”
Currently, Fast&Up is a strategic supplier to premier institutes such as BCCI, IPL, Ranji Trophy teams, Pro Volleyball League teams, TN Premier League, I League teams, Pro Kabaddi League teams, etc. It has also been an official nutrition partner for Airtel Hyderabad Marathon, Tata Mumbai Marathon, and India’s first Ironman 70.3 Goa, among many others.
The Way Ahead
Fullife Healthcare recently collaborated with Parry Nutraceuticals, a division of EID Parry of Murugappa Group to launch plant-based nutritional products in India and the first launch under this collaboration will be the USDA organic certified, plant-based Vegan B12 under Fast&Up.
Fullife Healthcare has been competing against the likes of Enerzal and Gatorade in the effervescent nutrition category. With the rising demand and immense potential in the segment, Fullife Healthcare has witnessed 3X growth in revenue over the last year and this was pretty much led by its active range of products which includes Vitamin-C, multivitamins, and minerals. Even as the sports segment had taken a beating in the last couple of months, with Tokyo Olympics and other sports events being allowed to take place on a limited scale, the segment is beginning to see some momentum.
“Fullife Healthcare has raised Rs 50 crore in funding from existing shareholders Rakesh Jhunjhunwala and Sixth Sense. Amansa Capital has joined the cap-table in this round. Prior to this, the company had raised Rs 50 crore taking the total funding to date to Rs 100 crore. With the latest round, the company is looking to expand its portfolio of products and also add new markets including the USA and Europe. It already has a presence in Italy,” concludes Varun Khanna.