Healthy living in New Year, as nutraceuticals sell more than pharma products

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Year 2020 augurs well for the health conscious, as Indians are increasingly opting for preventive healthcare to stay fit rather than waiting for diseases to take over and then start treatment, say experts.

Nutraceuticals, which consist of vitamins and minerals, protein supplements, energy drinks and growth supplements, have clocked higher growth than prescription drugs. “Now the trend is that 60 per cent of doctor prescriptions include health and nutrient supplements. While pharmaceutical sales are growing in India at just above 10 per cent for the past couple of years, the nutraceutical and wellness market is growing at close to 20 per cent a year, which shows the Indians have become more health conscious and awareness is growing,” said Dr RB Smarta, chairman and managing Director, Interlink marketing consultancy and honorary secretary, Health Foods and Dietary Supplements Association (HADSA).

With more disposable income at hand and rising awareness on healthcare among the urban community, numerous people are opting for a healthy living. The trend of wearable and electronic devices to measure health parameters and mushrooming of gym and weight management centres are helping boost sales of nutraceuticals, he says.

According to a vision 2022 document on the Indian nutraceutical market by industry organisation Assocham, in association with its knowledge partner RNCOS, the Indian nutraceutical market is poised to grow from $2.8 billion in 2015 to $8.5 billion by 2022. If India accounted for a share of around 2 per cent of the global market in 2015, it is poised to become 3 per cent by 2022. Dietary Supplements, which include vitamins and minerals (40 per cent), proteins (22 per cent), and others such as herbal supplements (32 per cent), constitute about 65 per cent of the Indian nutraceutical market. That segment is growing at over 16-17 per cent per annum.

Vitamin and mineral supplement sales in India were valued at about $0.7 billion in 2015. It is growing at a compounded annual growth rate of over 16.8 per cent to $1.3 billlion in 2019 and to $2.1 billion by 2022. Prominent dietary supplement makers in India include companies such as Himalaya, Dabur, Parry, GSK, Abbott, Zydus Wellness and Piramal. Many drug companies now have a separate division for selling nutraceuticals or wellness products.

“Many specialists such as diabetologists, nephrologists, gynaecologists and oncologists mostly write vitamins and minerals as part of the treatment protocol,” notes Dr Smarta, as another reason for the growth of nutraceutical sales.

Functional foods include food products such as functional biscuits, breads, cereals, vegetable oil, nutrition bars, yogurt and others. Functional beverages that include functional fruits juices, milk, tea, coffees, and energy drinks are growing at 18 per cent. Prominent companies in this segment include ITC, Amul, Dabur, Britannia, Kellog’s, Nestle and Coca-Cola, says the report.

It also says in terms of application, nutraceuticals are mainly consumed for nutritional deficiency (51 per cent), muscle building (30 per cent), weight management (15 per cent) and other uses.

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