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Impact on nutraceutical sector by the second wave of Covid-19

The nutraceuticals market in India is expected to grow from an estimated $4 billion to $18 billion by the end of 2025. The Dietary supplements segment constitutes over 65 percent of the nutraceutical market and is growing at a rate of 17 percent and is likely to be at 22 percent per year. This growth can largely be attributed to the renewed focus on preventive healthcare due to the pandemic. A large part of the population now understands the role of immunity boosting supplements and this has led to a significant change in buying patterns and consumer behaviour. More and more people are now open to buying healthcare products that come in the form of vitamin capsules, chewable tablets, and gummies. In addition to preventive healthcare, vitamin and zinc supplements are also being prescribed by doctors for patients who have contracted the virus. Hence, the nutraceuticals market in India is poised for growth. The nutraceutical sector has the power to turn into a necessity and not just an optional segment of the Indian economy. With preventive healthcare being seen as one of the most important lines of defence in the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic, the nutraceuticals sector can become a strong partner to the Indian people. Even after the pandemic has reduced in its intensity, preventive healthcare measures such as nutraceutical supplements will become a part of people’s everyday lives. Hence, the Covid-19 second wave has paved the way for the nutraceutical sector to build a strong presence in the Indian market.

Some of the noteworthy trends which will prevail in the sector are as below

o One of the major trends that is visible is that of changing consumer preferences. There is a shift from curative to preventive care in the Indian market. With immunity taking centre stage due to the onset of the pandemic, consumers are increasingly relying on more nutraceutical products.

o Nutraceuticals for all age groups: It is usually quite hard to ensure that children eat all their leafy green vegetables and get adequate nutrition. Thus, scores of parents are resorting to easily available chewable nutraceutical products that are extremely safe for children. Such products are available in different shapes and flavours to make them more appealing for infants.

o Propelling the demand for nutraceuticals in India, among other factors, is the fact that 15 percent of its population is undernourished and the government has taken several measures to reduce the same through various initiatives such as the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) programme, National Health Mission (NHM), and the mid-day meal scheme. As per a World Bank report on ‘Nutrition in India’, India loses nearly US$12 billion in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to malnourishment. Nutraceutical products can play a crucial role in lessening the burden of malnutrition in India by bridging the gap between government schemes and its recipients.

Considering the current scenario, we can conclude that India’s nutraceuticals industry is all set to grow at a lightning speed, and it wouldn’t be surprising if it outstrips the global pharmaceutical industry sooner or later.



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Views expressed above are the author’s own.



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