The nutraceuticals industry has been growing exponentially and has witnessed a boost due to the pandemic in the past few years. From wellness needs to beauty, nutraceuticals have taken over the healthcare industry with immunity boosting supplements. At present India has a 2 per cent share in the global nutraceuticals market with a market value of $ 4 billion and is expected to show a growth of $ 18 billion by 2025. With herbal exports at 47 per cent of production and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) increasing, the sector is opening growth opportunities.

The Covid-19 pandemic has made health and wellness one of the most lucrative sectors. It has rapidly brought about a change in consumer lifestyle, boosted health consciousness, and increased the popularity of preventive healthcare mediums like nutraceuticals. India’s deep history in nutraceuticals have revolutionized Ayurveda for India, as nutraceuticals products are also derived from herbs, minerals, and other natural substances which boost immunity and help fight diseases.

India is at the forefront of developing Ayurveda-inspired nutraceutical products today. Nutraceutical businesses have largely been developing products based on traditional Ayurvedic remedies and principles. These companies are achieving a lot of success in India in reaching the population with their high-quality wellness products. Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his 87th edition of Mann ki Baat also lauded ‘Cureveda’, a Nagpur-based nutraceuticals company, for merging modern herbal research along with traditional Indian knowledge and promoting a holistic lifestyle. Furthermore, these companies are targeting sections of the population where nutritional needs are not fulfilled and are helping to eradicate the long-existing problem of malnutrition. For instance, according to statistics, 15 per cent of the population in India is undernourished while 73 per cent of Indians are deficient in proteins, and Indian nutraceuticals companies like Plix and fast&Up cater to these sections by providing rich in protein plant-based products which promote nutrition fulfillment in men, women, and kids.

The growth of the nutraceuticals industry in India can be attributed to various factors. Internet penetration in India has increased which has helped increase the visibility of nutraceuticals in the market. Companies have resorted to new and innovative ways of marketing their products since the advent of digitization and by diversifying the medium of products as capsules are increasingly being replaced by dissolving strips, dissolving tablets, and powders. Growing demand in the nutraceuticals industry is also due to the increasing awareness in people about their health and nutrition needs including growing knowledge of essential minerals and nutrients that help boost immunity. Moreover, nutraceuticals don’t have a bar on age and are easily available for all age groups.

The nutraceuticals industry in India paints a bright picture. The Indian economy is providing nutraceuticals businesses vibrant opportunities to discover, explore and develop new products with a combination of traditional knowledge and new technology, aiding the making of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat.’ The Ministry of AYUSH has also been supportive of the mission by assisting businesses to discover alternative medicine systems. However, further collaboration and support from the government can accelerate the sector's boom with focused manufacturing and regulatory policies. Support from the government and the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) can also help the sector move ahead of certain limitations and achieve its full potential in the exports market.  

The willingness in people to make healthier choices and to be healthy is only growing, owing to the pandemic. While people would earlier only rely on allopathic medicines to aid illnesses and diseases, now they increasingly also look at nutraceuticals in their daily routine to avoid the onset of pathological conditions. The nutraceuticals industry in India has gained a lot of traction under preventive healthcare which has become a necessity in today’s world and will rapidly grow in the future. 

This article has been co-authored by Ishita Sirsikar and Bhamini Rathore.

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