The year ahead for Indian Nutra


It is said that the only way one can live is if he grows. The only way one can grow is if he changes. It is true for every entity and particularly for the industry. NuFFooDS industry is no exception.

By all estimates, the Indian nutraceuticals market is expected to grow and cross $2 billion by 2014. It has witnessed a growth of over 20% each year in the last five to six years. And this growth can be attributed to change. Change in people’s attitude towards health and wellness, change in the demographic structure of the society, change in people’s economic status and change in the industry itself as many pharma companies have started adding nutra products to their baskets of offerings to consumers.

No wonder, Dr P M Murali, President, Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises (ABLE), feels “Change is the only constant in the food Industry to meet the rising demand of food and in achieving food security.”

While change is at the core of growth, various factors that have mainly driven the growth of NuFFooDS sectors are aging population, growing health consciousness, increasing shift towards preventive therapies and rising disposable incomes of the upper middle class.

The above factors are opening up opportunities for companies working in NuFFooDS sectors for product innovation to cater to different market segments, taste of consumers, availability and price. The industry will see more segmentation in 2014 as companies are opening up different divisions to focus upon niche areas like women health, chronic diseases, kids, diabetes etc.

Philipe Haydon, CEO of The Himalaya Drug Company, says, “We plan to expand the portfolio to include products that address specific health and nutrition needs of men, women and children.”

Sharing his experiences at Olive Lifesciences, Dr Shiva Prasad, Vice-President – Research & Technical Affairs, pointed out, “We are constantly trying to enhance quality and promote technological innovations. We have entered into collaborations with top fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies like ITC for developing botanical-based functional foods.”

Even the changing lifestyle and modified eating habits of India’s growing urban population have propelled the growth of packaged food industry in India. Over 30 million upper and middle class Indians consume packaged food and 200 million more are projected to do so in the coming years. The converging economic and demographic trends in India have laid the groundwork for opportunity in nutritional bar segment.

Vijay Uttarwar, CEO, Naturell India, observed that the concept of ‘Nutrition Bar’ is expected to gain greater acceptance in India. “From the current Indian market size of Rs 100 crore for the granola/nutrition bars, it is expected to grow 20% yearly,” he added.

The growth of the market is also creating some concern among people about usage of low quality chemicals, ingredients and natural products and contamination of food and beverages. To address these issues companies have been launching new tools and equipment to analyse contents of food or beverages.

“Our technology comprising of highly sensitive instruments, process controls, laboratory equipment and consumables, software, application support, user training and services provides a unique end-to-end offering for R&D, process control and quality assurance activities of nutraceutical manufacturers, so they can deliver top quality and safe nutraceuticals to consumers,” points out Amit Chopra, Managing Director, Thermo Fisher Scientific India.

And those into manufacturing are adopting and following the strict guidelines laid by the regulatory authorities. Ashirwad Pareek, Founder, Health Herbs & Nutrition said, “Our products are manufactured in FDA (Food and Drugs Administration)-registered facilities, using Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and backed by Full Spectrum Approach for maximum safety and effectiveness. Individual ingredients are listed in the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States (HPUS).”

Sharing the steps taken at Olive Lifesciences Dr Shiva Prasad said, “We are launching new clinically proven herbal ingredients for nutraceutical and functional food products. Also, we are executing clinical trials in collaboration with Australian University. We recently launched Phyto reference standards, useful for quality control and standardisation of herbal nutraceutical products.”

Naturex, which acquired Mumbai-based Valentine Agro and entered the Indian market in 2012, launched clinically proven ingredients in India to overcome the concerns of people who have been looking for weight control solutions and blood sugar control products. Elizabeth BUI, Business Unit Director – Nutrition & Health, Naturex, France, says “our clinically proven research ingredient Glucevia was developed to support healthy blood sugar levels (a key component in diabetes prevention).”

Among the various segments of nutraceutical market, functional beverage segment, which includes energy drinks, sports drinks, fortified drinking water and fortified ready-to-drink beverages is estimated to continue growing ahead of other segments (functional foods, dietary supplements etc). Dr R B Smarta, Managing Director, Interlink Marketing Consultancy, Mumbai, says “This boost in the functional beverage segment, especially in India, is majorly attributed to the recent entrance of FMCG companies like Dabur with its brand ‘Real’ and Pioma Industries with its brand ‘Rasna’ into this segment.”

Echoing similar sentiments about the functional beverage market, Swanand Malode, CEO, The Lipid Company, Indore, said “Probiotics, protein supplements, Omega 3 fatty acids and anti-oxidants are products that can play a major role in the future growth of nutraceutical industry in 2014.”

With the high literacy levels among the growing middle class, there is now an awareness of benefits of micronutrients. This will continue to support the growth of FMCG products like oats, ragi/multigrain biscuits/bread and anti-oxidants such as green/herbal/tulsi tea and much more.

The 2014 nutraceutical industry consensus, calls for strict implementation of rules and regulations by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). All companies engaged in nutraceuticals need a complete understanding of the regulations and must willingly comply. Governments have recognised the importance of nutrition and Karnataka government will be establishing a Nutraceutical Park at Mysore. Harayana government has announced nutritional policy for women and children. Government of India is keen on implementing Food Security Act through which it plans to provide nutritionals to the people.

On its part, FSSAI is making all out efforts to support growth of the industry. During this year it will be filling many positions across the country and at its central office. It has been organising seminars, workshops, awareness campaigns to bring different stakeholders on same page in building a healthy India with safe food.

In the following pages, NuFFooDS Spectrum features views of people from various industries associated with nutritionals, nutraceuticals and allied sectors on the growth path of Indian Nutra.


Industry trying to offer products with natural or herbal tags

Indian consumers have a penchant for anything that is ‘natural’ or carries the ‘herbal’ tag and the manufacturers of nutraceuticals products are trying hard to produce products that suit the Indian palate. The rural population in India is 72% and until this market is penetrated, real success may elude the nutraceuticals industry.The market will reap benefits for those products that can clearly provide health benefits to the consumers and growth in herbal extracts/natural segments are likely with Green/Tulsi tea, Multigrain bread, garlic/krill oil capsules, soya milk and paneer, which are gaining popularity in the market.
Swanand Malode
CEO, The Lipid Company, Indore

The year of science and food coming together

The views that urban Indians have about healthcare is rapidly changing. Numerous health hazards are compelling urban dwellers to turn to preventive methods of circumventing them. Some of the major segments that are growing steadily are those involving immunity, cardiovascular (due to high incidence of cholesterol among Indians), diabetes, blood pressure and more.
The importance of nutraceuticals has been realised and India is not far behind developing nations. Today fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) products like oats and anti – oxidants such as tea, are entering into the daily consumption habits of a person. This is the first step towards the trend of science and food being brought together. Today exploration and exploitation of disease fighting properties of a multitude of phytochemicals found in functional foods has created resurgence in human health and nutrition research.
With high literacy levels among the growing middle class mothers, there is now an awareness of the benefits of micronutrients to prevent onset of diseases later in the lives of their children.Top health concerns among this age group are obesity, stress, lack of concentration/attention in school, low grades, tiredness/lack of energy and skin health – all these are being tackled with preventive nutrition. Post menopausal women are an untapped market and companies may look at opportunities in this segment.
According to the recent market info, global functional foods and nutraceuticals market is growing at a rapid rate that is outpacing the traditional processed food market. Global acceptance of functional foods has made several countries to provide legislation permitting health claim use and many countries might follow the same – a point in case that only nutrition and healthy lifestyle can enhance health and wellbeing of the populace at large.
V.S. Reddy
Managing Director, British Biologicals, Bangalore

Sufficient nutritional backup to resolve health issues

Better nutrition for livestock animals ensures better food for people. Although, better food is required for all people it is of high concern in case of baby, pregnant women and senior citizens of this nation. India is number one in the production of milk- approx 135 million tonnes per year and also a high producer of meat and eggs.
The health issues could be resolved by timely management of feed and fodder with balance ration and dry fodder to milking animals in this country. Fodder bank, green fodder and concentrate are main source for better nutrition. This may be obtained from healthy soil and water in ecosystem providing safe food to millions. Huge scope for better nutritional backup through mapping of soil for deficient minerals will support this view to safe food animals in the country.
Total nutrition backup will resolve 70% of the health issue in man and animals, since welfare of animals is national responsibility. Better food improves immunity of animals and enhances production of animal products. So, availability of better and sufficient nutritional backup through feed and feed additive industry resolves the health issues. Probiotics based lignocellulose degradation of the agricultural byproducts is future strategy for biotech products.
Dr S N Singh
Managing Director, Biovet, Bangalore

Hungry for health products

The granola/nutrition bar industry is in such a stage where a lot of product innovation is still going on. The granola bar industry is trying to identify separate niches within nutritional category and create products for each niche. Real experimentation and innovation is going on on taste and nutritional benefits.
Leading the trend, the future will move toward “health food nutrition,” which includes blending different foods for maximum health benefits, choosing foods for their inherent nutritional value.
Vijay Uttarwar
CEO, Naturell India, Mumbai

A sleeping giant for food processing

India is a sleeping giant for food processing. A recent report by Ernst & Young states that the global food market is estimated at Rs 5,148 billion, whereas India’s share was just Rs 44 billion (which is just 0.9%). But there is a potential for growth spanning between Rs 89 and 172 billion.
Innovativeness will be fuelled by several market challenges including rise in demand, changing consumer preferences and development of robust middle class.
Rosina Panda
Asst. Manager-Food Services, Shiva Analyticals India, Bangalore

Sunrise food processing industry witnessing investment flow

After decades of languishing from utter neglect at the hands of powers that be, the sunrise food processing industry seems to have come into its own at last. To become wise, just look at the size of investments earmarked in the next five year Plan for its growth and mammoth development – it is in hundreds of crores! A new era seems to have dawned on the Industry bringing into its fold a widening spectrum of new and novel products and technologies.
At the same time, real and enduring values and merits of a plethora of our fruits, vegetables, herbs – why, all the glories unravelled by plant kingdom at large, seems to have captured the attention of scientists and technologists.To mention only one subject, nutrition and health seems to have overwhelmingly enraptured them all for their wholesome contribution to the wellness of human kind. Everything noticed on the emerging bright new horizons seems to augur well for the industry – so, let us hail and say ‘three cheers’ to it!
P V Suryaprakasa Rao
Technical Adviser & Director, Ushodaya Enterprises, (Foods Division), Hyderabad

Unproven claims may mislead public

Nutraceuticals and functional food products strive to address various health concerns such as heart disease, brain health, bone health, diabetes, vision, etc. that modern day eating habits contribute to busy people. Recent research on metabolic phenotyping and nutrigenomics has helped us better understand the relationships between food, physiological function and diseases and ways to improve health in general through changes in food and lifestyle habits.
While Indians are becoming increasingly conscious about health, look and feel they are also actively exploring the use of traditional medicines such as ayurveda, homeopathy, etc. besides functional foods. Sensing these changing trends in consumer interests, more companies have started marketing such products with claims that are not easily verifiable. While pharmaceutical companies follow extensive test procedures to check the bioavailability, efficacy and toxicity of any product that they introduce in the market, we cannot say the same system is followed by food companies even though they claim many health benefits of their products.
However, unproven and unsubstantiated claims by manufacturers on the health benefits of foods could also mislead the general public. Therefore the challenges before the regulatory authorities are manifold and must be addressed without much delay so that our country can benefit by improved health and commercially too.
K V Venugopalan
President , Waters India, Bangalore


 India to play a greater role in Global Nutraceutical Market

The global nutraceutical product market reached $142.1 billion in 2011 and is expected to reach $204.8 billion by 2017, growing at a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 6.3%. The global markets are looking towards India for new and value-added nutraceuticals, particularly dietary supplements, as the Indian Nutraceuticals market is the fastest growing sector among other sectors of Indian food and pharmaceuticals market over the past five years and is expected to sustain its growth in the coming years. The market potential for the US and European markets alone for nutraceutical exports from India by end of 2013 will be to the tune of $75 billion. However, “India represents merely 2% of the global nutraceutical market and is way behind in terms of per capita spend of nutraceuticals with just $2.5 compared to global average of $21. As per new trend, Omega-3, a traditionally non-vegetarian product, has been developed with vegetarian variants, thereby allowing it to gain traction with the large Indian vegetarian population. This only shows that India is slated to be a great player in global nutraceutical market.

Anup Banerjee
CEO- Global Business, Cian Healthcare, Pune

Urban India to witness significant growth of nutraceuticals

The consumption of nutraceuticals, functional foods, dietary and health supplements is expected to grow significantly in urban India in the near future – fuelled by rising incomes and increasing consumer awareness about nutrition and disease prevention. At the same time food and pharmaceuticals legislations and regulations in the country are getting stricter. Nutraceutical formulations use many natural ingredients and hence ensuring raw material consistency and conducting risk analysis (for allergens, environmental pollutants, pesticides and other contaminants) is extremely important. Ensuring accurate nutrition labelling on the packaging can be a key differentiator to attract the much-informed consumer. At the same time detection of counterfeit products is imperative to protect the brand.

Amit Chopra
Managing Director – India, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Mumbai

Market to witness increased product differentiation

As we move into 2014 we will witness continuation in the exponential growth of nutraceutical market across all its segments. The nutraceutical market in India is estimated to reach $3 billion mark (Rs 203 billion).
In the area of regulation, the new reformations coming into force on global level in 2014, will present some obstacles for Indian nutraceuticals, dietary supplement/specialty ingredients manufacturers and exporters to overcome. Dietary supplement market needs to understand regulatory aspects and work on supply chain, demand management with new rules of claims, registration and customer insights.
The overall nutraceutical market is also expected to witness increased product differentiation and value addition aided by increasing expenditure on R&D by the companies.

Dr R B Smarta
Managing Director, Interlink Marketing Consultancy, Mumbai

Nutrition is becoming more targeted

The nutraceutical sector in India is growing at a rapid rate of 30%. Many factors are contributing to this growth – rising incidence of lifestyle related disorders, focus on health management and preventative care, increasing life span of individuals and the desire to live a better quality of life.
Consumers are looking for nutritional products but with increasing access to information they want empirical evidence of product safety and efficacy and hence, they will reach for trusted brands. In the initial phase, we will witness lots of players, both domestic and international, entering this space. Over time, only products that are backed by credible research and are clinically tested will be able to carve out a niche for themselves.
As the nutraceutical market matures, we will see more segmentation. This is already happening with companies launching products for diabetics, people with heart condition, convalescing patients etc. In other words, nutrition is becoming more targeted.

Philipe Haydon
CEO, The Himalaya Drug Company, Bangalore

Lifestyle changes and fast pace of urban life driving the market

India is one of the most promising markets for dietary supplements. Over the past five years, the Indian nutraceuticals market has grown at a double digit rate reaching $2 billion. Its large middle class is both increasingly health conscious and traditionally oriented toward natural remedies. However, lifestyle changes and the fast pace of urban life is driving the need for dietary supplementation. Weight control solutions and blood sugar control products have gained popularity to address major health issues such as obesity and diabetes. The International Diabetes Federation estimated that over 50 million people are diabetic in India alone (compared to 33 million in US and 366 million people worldwide).

Elizabeth BUI
Business Unit Director, Nutrition & Health, Naturex, France

Enzymes to influence growth of food and beverages sector

Health and nutrition has always been a concern, ever since industrialisation took birth on this soil. Once the race began, there was no value for health and ‘survival of the fittest’ was the only motto. This has encouraged the bio-pharma sector and a significant change has been brought about in the lifestyle of the people.With the emergence of numerous dietary supplements and the influence of enzymes on various industries over the last few years, I foresee a tremendous growth in the food and beverages sector, emerging with different strategies to eradicate the use of additives and preservatives on food and also efficient production of fruit and vegetable extracts at very low costs.Apart from its eminence in nutraceuticals, enzymes have created revolution in reducing the effluents released from industries like leather, detergent and textile, thus keeping a check on the overall soil pollution.
Taking all these factors into consideration and with the rapid diffusion of awareness about enzymes and its benefits, I can confidently say that 2014 will see the dominance of enzymes and the rise of an improved eco-friendly environment.

V S Ravindran
CEO, Caprienzymes, Chennai

Ingredients players hoping for high growth

The herbal ingredients market passed through turbulence in the year 2013 with the major demand driver segments undergoing a slow down due to the global recession. The requirement for key active ingredients experienced an unexpected setback due to the extreme slow down in the formulation market word over. But the industry has been stabilising towards the end of Q4 and demands have steadily increased. Herbal ingredient market is bound to record a double digit growth during the next decade with the projected growth of all the demand driver segments like pharma , nutraceuticals, cosmetics and food processing.
Though the market may face a further slow down towards the end of Q1 on account of the global economic slowdown, the industry should stabilise by end of Q2. The year 2014 may witness the resurgence of key actives like curcumin seeing the brighter light after a slow down in the year passed by. Overall, the year 2014 should be a progressive and positive growth period for ingredients players.

Alias P Varghese
Managing Director & CEO, Sathva Bioactives, Bangalore

“Health awareness-wave” forcing a tripartite shift in the market

India is one of the world’s largest food and beverages industry worth $5 trillion. It is expected to reach $5.7 trillion by the year 2017. Force driving the food trends among consumers stretches from macroeconomics to policy making, individualisation of lifestyle and increased awareness on health.
Modern tools, trends and technology for sustainability have emerged. The latest trends include nanotechnology for processing and packaging, 3D food printing, synthetic biology for non-genetically modified (GM)/green food ingredients, sensory behavioural studies for improved taste, e-commerce strategies and solutions for marketing etc. Asian market for frozen food is increasing and is expected to consume a considerable portion of the pie in the near future. Sports nutrition sector, the smallest and youngest in India, yet rapidly growing area worth $85 million, is projected to have a CAGR of 21% in the next 5 years.
But in India and elsewhere consumers being more conscious about what is being consumed resulting in a massive ‘health-awareness wave’ that is forcing a tripartite shift: Companies want to push more healthy products, consumers want to pull what is good for them, regulators working on re-framing what is right for their citizens – all leading to improved quality of life, increased affordability and innovative foods hitting the shelves in the coming decade.

Dr P M Murali,
President, Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises (ABLE) and Managing Director & CEO, Evolva Biotech, Chennai

Fortification with ingredients is new growing trend

The Indian food and nutraceutical market has seen exponential growth in the past decade due to the increase in urban population and changing lifestyle. There is a strong trend towards developing New Nutraceutical products catering specifically to the adult working group. Another growing trend is fortification with ingredients such as DHA, complex carbohydrates and vitamins. We anticipate that 2014 will mark the emergence of herbal, ayurvedic and indigenous ingredients such as ashwagandha, tulsi, ginger, amla etc into the mainstream.

Preeti Panda
Senior Consultant and Food Science Specialist, C-Drive HR Services, Bangalore

‘Chai’ for refreshing, relaxing, rejuvenating lifestyle

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” goes a popular saying. But how does one apply it in a stressful, fast paced and polluted world that we live in? That is where functional foods and nutraceuticals play a role. Nevertheless, the problem still remains for the consumer – how do I select the right food and how frequently should I have it?
Tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world after water. In its long history, tea has always been perceived as healthy beverage and is thought to have originated as a medicinal herb. Black, green and oolong teas originate from the Camellia sinensis plant and have all been associated with health benefits. At HUL we unlock the science behind this beverage. Tea is a host to a lot of beneficial ingredients like flavonoids, theanine, caffeine and others, imparts positive health effects beyond its nutritive value and hence is a true functional food. Because of its popularity, affordability and consumer acceptance it also makes for a wonderful vehicle for fortification. Our Natural Care Tea with herbs for immunity benefits reinforces the credibility of tea as a functional food. So, when you say “Chalo Chai ho jai” the next time, stop and think why you said it. Is it because it is refreshing, relaxing, rejuvenating or just a habit or something beyond?

Devishree M,
Nutrition and Health Leader for South Asia, Hindustan Unilever Research Centre, Bangalore







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