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Nutra industry paving way for preventive healthcare

Dr Varun Gupta
Thursday, November 24, 2022, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

In the post-pandemic world, the nutraceutical industry has witnessed exponential growth owing to the rise in the demand for preventive healthcare. People have realized the importance of good health and prioritizing their well-being. This is why they now make conscious lifestyle choices and consume immunity-boosting foods to keep illnesses at bay.

Nutraceutical products are increasingly being consumed to boost immunity and improve holistic health. However, seeking to follow the clean label trend, consumers are inclined towards nutraceuticals free from additives, preservatives, and artificial agents. This is why today, the nutraceutical industry is making conscious efforts to seamlessly blend science and this demand for clean food to contribute towards improving the overall health of people.

Nutraceutical industry and preventive healthcare
The pandemic outbreak was when people had to deal with salary cuts and job losses; hence, income was unstable. They wanted to avoid adding up to the severity of the situation with the high healthcare costs. This is why they started opting for nutraceuticals due to their affordability and health benefits. Hence, the nutraceutical industry, with its core focus on preventive healthcare, has emerged as an economic and health partner for consumers and has been growing ever since.

Current scenario and future trends
Providing protection from diseases and promoting the concept of preventive healthcare, the Indian nutraceutical industry is growing rapidly. The market is expected to grow from Rs 260 million in 2017 to Rs 650 million by the end of 2022 and touch $18 million by 2025. In 2017, India held only two per cent of the market share in the global nutraceutical market. However, the country envisions securing at least 3.5 per cent of the global market share by 2023. The growing importance of preventive healthcare induced by the pandemic is expected to be the primary factor driving the segment’s growth.

Consumers in India have gradually started believing in immunity-boosting supplements, leading to a significant shift in their purchasing patterns towards clean products. In an attempt to have a competitive edge in the market, industry players are evolving beyond tablets and capsules and are introducing innovations in product development. In fact, plant-based and Ayurvedic ingredients-based nutraceutical products are the outcomes of this push towards innovation and disruption.
The Indian nutraceutical segment is witnessing various trends along its growth path that are shaping its future.

Ayurveda, natural solution for modern life problems
Ayurveda is now being adopted as an ancient solution to modern life problems. A prominent instance of this trend is when during the pandemic outbreak, Ayurveda once again became an important subject of discussion. People started consuming Ayurvedic ingredients like Giloy, Ashwagandha, curcumin, etc., to strengthen their immunity and maintain their overall health. Taking this ideology ahead, nutraceutical players are also ensuring to combine the two demands of nutraceuticals and Ayurveda together.

Products with minimal side effect
Often, modern consumers are concerned about the possible side effects of dietary supplements. Nutraceutical brands today are not just combining flavors and formulations but providing products that offer the benefits of both pharmaceuticals and ancient medicinal herbs. Hence, there are nutraceuticals available in the market that are high in efficacy with minimal to zero side effects.

A viable solution for malnutrition
India loses about $12 billion in GDP due to malnutrition every year. Over one-third of child deaths in our country are because of undernutrition. What often goes neglected is that the economic cost of undernutrition includes direct costs, such as an increased burden on the existing healthcare system and indirect costs of lost productivity. However, at the macro level, nutraceuticals can help reduce malnutrition and bridge the gap between government policies and the common man. It is expected that scaling up core micronutrient interventions (promoting and providing required supplements, especially for nursing mothers, infants, and adolescent girls) would cost less than $574 million annually.

Diet alone cannot suffice the nutritional requirements of the body. Understanding this, consumers now resort to dietary supplements to fulfill their nutritional needs and improve their health quotient. Besides, they are gradually understanding the importance of nutraceuticals to prevent the onset of medical conditions and tread on the path of preventive healthcare. However, concerned about the possible side effects, they prefer clean, natural-based nutraceutical products. The Indian nutraceutical industry, to cater to this demand, is growing significantly and striving to provide innovative ayurvedic-based nutraceuticals that offer greater health benefits.

(The author is chief medical advisor, Nutrabooti)


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