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The term ‘Nutraceuticals’ was coined in the late 1980s to describe food products that have a medicinal benefit, technically it is an hybrid of Nutrition and Pharmaceuticals combined together to make fortified food or dietary supplement that provides health benefits in addition to its basic nutritional value. This fast-growing sector includes functional foods (such as vitamin-enriched products), nutritional supplements, sport drinks, and medically formulated foods. Nutraceuticals is expected to play a central role in preventative healthcare. The logic seems simple: an ageing population gives rise to lifestyle-related diseases, whose impact can be lessened by making healthier choices earlier in life. This leads to a sharper focus on measures, such as a health-promoting diet, to prevent people from ever getting ill. 

Indian Perspectives

The underlying growth drivers for the Nutraceuticals in the India are the combination of rising prevalence of chronic disease, increasing health consciousness, improved awareness on preventive care over the curative care, early intervention and disease-risk reduction, Increasing Adverse Drug Reactions from the Pharmaceuticals, disposable income and willingness to pay for personal healthcare favors a positive approach towards Nutraceuticals. These factors are especially relevant in a country where access to publicly funded healthcare is limited and only around 30.5% of all health expenditure in India spend by the government

The shift in healthcare from treatment to prevention is encouraging clinicians and patients to think differently about health and disease, and creating momentum for Nutraceuticals, with opportunities for Nutraceutical companies to get involved in the disease/care pathway.

 Indian Nutraceutical Market

The Nutraceuticals industry in India is one of the rapid growing markets in the Asia-Pacific region. According to a recent report, the Nutraceuticals industry in India is worth about around $ 3.0 – 4.0 billion and is projected to grow between $ 6.1 to 10.0 billion by 2020- 2022.

  • India has been identified as a high potential market.
  • Recent market research has shown that evidence-based natural products can work in this huge and rapidly developing country
  • Herbal medicines are accepted by consumers and their interest drives recommendations by pharmacists as well as general physicians.
  • Pharmacists freely recommend OTC/herbal medicines, Nutraceuticals and dietary supplements to customers who are seeking advice on general well-being or treatment of ailments in the initial stages.
  • Foreign evidence-based products are likely to be perceived as having superior quality.

Unique Challenges

  • Synchronize with the Indian Nutraceutical standards likely with Product approval, registration, health claims evaluations, Label requirements and obtaining final licenses.
  • Identifying the right partners for the products through healthcare professional channels.
  • Possible difficulties in aligning corporate and cultural differences with local partners.
  • IP infringement and brand liquidation are constant concerns and threats in Indian local market.
  • Complex taxation and audit system.
  • Though politics are always local and can impact foreign commercial investment.
  • Tailoring products to domestic tastes and preferences.
  • Identifying the right price point fixation.
  • Product promotion
  • Building and maintaining relationships.

Potent Players of Indian Nutraceutical Market

MNCs Players

  • GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)
  • Amway
  • Abbott
  • Danone
  • Kellogg’s

Indian Players

  • Dabur
  • Baidyanath Group
  • Himalaya
  • Emami
  • Patanjali


Indian Nutraceutical market has ample of opportunities for the Foreign Direct Investments and also for the Collaborations as there is a vast empty space in the market, the market forces are welcoming the new entities, the potent competition is not intense, and the market growth drivers are boosting gradually, there could not be a better timing to enter this market in India than now, despite the lowest per-capita GDP, India still represents an extremely favorable market for the growth of clinically-proven natural product ranges, to the Nutraceutical companies with ingenuity India is becoming a dynamic new front in the Nutraceutical World.

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