Impact of Covid-19 on Indian Nutraceutical Sector

(The author of the article is Mr. Amit Srivastava, Chief Catalyst, Nutrify India)

India had a low consumption and compliance trend for nutraceuticals (as low as 14%). Indian nutraceutical market is 2 percent of the global market pegged at USD 388 billion. Current pandemic has nudged the ecosystem in India to polarize thoughts towards importance of preventive health.

To understand the impact of Covid on Indian Nutraceutical industry, let’s understand:

  • Consumer Stance:

India has 150 million people who are actively engaging in nutraceutical consumption and in the stage of experimentation. Compliance remains 40-60%. This section of population has taken growth from an average of 12% to a high of 25%.10 million people in India are the ‘super health conscious’ community with compliance rate of 75%. Growth contribution from this community has been 18%. It’s mostly stable before and after the pandemic. Rest of population has shown a marginal growth from 6% to 10%. The “new normal” of growth trend would remain 30%-50% higher than the old normal before pandemic.

  • Regulatory Stance:

The pandemic is also the foundation stone for the beginning of end of substandard nutrition, invalid claims, and smart marketing phrases that potentially mislead the consumers. ICMR and FSSAI have now been on non-negotiable terms with the claims and are demanding clinical validation of the products. ICMR has rolled out a large clinical study on Ayush ingredient for immunity. It is being tested on over 10,000 police personnel.

  • HCP stance:

Nutrify India recently conducted an interview with over 50 leading medical doctors of India to understand their take on nutraceuticals after the pandemic. The interview led to conclusion that there has been a 20% increase in prescription trends of nutraceuticals inclined to immunity and gut health. With the new normal in the ecosystem of nutraceuticals in India, the proposed target of USD 18 billion by 2025 now stands corrected to USD 20.6 billion.

  • The Digital Stance:

India was always an attractive market for online nutraceutical space. Pandemic changed the dynamics completely. Adoption of digital purchase of nutraceutical has gone multiple folds. Here is a digital mapping of key categories on a same date for other years:

7/9/2020 Immunity: 2360 crore, probiotics: 2012 crores, proteins: 4756 crores, Nutra in general: Rs. 15600++ by March 31st 2021

7/9/2019 Immunity: 670 crore, probiotics: 820 crores, proteins: 2532 crores, Nutra in general: Rs. 9500 crores

7/9/2018 Immunity: 400 crore, probiotics: 910 crores, proteins: 1200 crores, Nutra in general: Rs. 5700 crores