10-Year Roadmap to Boost India’s Health Supplement Market

Mihir Gadani, Co- Founder & COO, OZiva

In recent years, the Indian health supplement market has observed a dynamic and evolving ecosystem. Amidst the burgeoning health-conscious population, there has been a surging demand for nutraceuticals (dietary supplements and functional foods), vitamins, minerals, and various wellness products. This is mainly due to factors that include increased awareness of health and fitness, rising disposable incomes, and a growing ageing population. In 2022, the Indian dietary supplements market expanded to Rs 436.5 billion in size. Projections by IMARC Group suggest that the market is anticipated to achieve a valuation of Rs 958.1 billion by 2028. This growth trajectory implies a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.5 per cent during the period spanning 2023 to 2028. As we get to know more about nutraceuticals, the regulations from the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) are getting stricter and they closely monitor the use of these products regularly and carefully to ensure they’re safe. Now, amidst the above scenario, it becomes imperative for the FSSAI to chart a strategic agenda for the next decade that not only safeguards the well-being of its citizens but also propels the industry’s growth. 

Key Initiatives to Elevate India’s Health Supplement Market

While there are clear signs of growth for the supplements market in India, the industry also faces some key challenges that include concerns regarding product quality, safety, and regulatory compliance. 

To address these issues effectively, FSSAI should formulate a comprehensive 10-year agenda that could include the following strategic initiatives:

  1. Scientific Validation and Research: Recognizing the pivotal role of scientific validation in ensuring health supplement efficacy and safety, FSSAI can explore opportunities to collaborate with esteemed research institutions and industry stakeholders. Together, they can undertake in-depth scientific studies to provide invaluable insights into the effectiveness and safety of various supplements. This initiative will aim to empower consumers with knowledge, enabling them to make well-informed choices.
  2. Quality Control and Testing: FSSAI places utmost importance on upholding stringent quality standards. The authority can implement rigorous quality control measures to consistently ensure the safety and efficacy of health supplements. This includes meticulous testing of every batch to ensure compliance. Moreover, FSSAI can extend its scrutiny to the raw materials, subjecting them to thorough testing for active ingredients and contaminants. Employing advanced techniques like High-Performance Thin-Layer Chromatography (HPTLC) fingerprinting will verify the identity and integrity of herbal extracts used in these supplements, assuring consumers of both safety and efficacy.
  3. Promotion of Indigenous Ingredients: FSSAI recognises the vast potential of India’s diverse, nutrient-rich ingredients. These resources, often overlooked, hold the key to addressing hunger and malnutrition in indigenous communities. FSSAI can choose to spearhead efforts to document and popularise the nutritional benefits of Indigenous Foods (IFs). By enhancing awareness and demand for locally sourced foods, India can combat malnutrition and contribute to diversifying global food systems. This initiative will align with the global pursuit of diets offering superior nutrition, minimal environmental impact, cultural relevance, and economic accessibility.
  4. Innovation and Research Grants: In fostering innovation within the health supplement sector, FSSAI can introduce research grants and incentives. This strategic move can aim to stimulate pioneering approaches and methodologies, thereby catalysing the development of more effective and diverse health supplements. By incentivizing innovation, FSSAI will be able to anticipate a surge in groundbreaking product offerings catering to a wider spectrum of consumer needs.
  5. Encouraging Plant-Based Supplements Market: According to a recent report’s anticipation, the worldwide market for plant-based food will attain 77.8 billion U.S. dollars by 2025. There’s also a prediction of continued expansion. The projection indicates that the market will witness an increase of over two times its current value by 2030. Hence, FSSAI can uplift such brands that operate in this industry, comply with the regulations, and perform the testing as per the standards through third-party accredited labs like GMP as they work in harmony to ensure different aspects of safety and quality across various sectors. They can acknowledge and distinguish brands that promote CLP-certified products and make sure each and every batch undergoes testing at various stages of raw material, in-process quality control along finished product testing from the brands that don’t. The scope of quality standards for these brands ranges from basic physicochemical tests to sophisticated phytoactive testing to assure consistent efficacy in all batches and they also monitor contaminants like pesticides, heavy metals, and micro counts to keep in safe and allowed limits as per regulations which works as a huge differentiator.
  6. Consumer Awareness and Education: Recognizing the pivotal role of informed consumers in a thriving health supplement market, FSSAI can launch extensive awareness campaigns and educational programs. These initiatives will empower consumers with knowledge about the role of health supplements in maintaining a balanced diet. Through accessible and accurate information dissemination, FSSAI can aim to nurture a consumer base capable of making informed decisions regarding their health and well-being.

A comprehensive approach

FSSAI’s highlighted agendas have the potential to revolutionise India’s health supplement market, ensuring uncompromising quality and safety, celebrating indigenous resources, elevating the plant-based supplements market, fostering innovation, and empowering consumers through education. These strategic initiatives represent a vision for the future, driving a transformative shift in the market. They will create an ecosystem where consumers trust their product choices, indigenous ingredients thrive, innovation propels the industry, and informed consumers prioritise their well-being. This comprehensive approach can aim to elevate India’s health supplement market while addressing critical concerns and fostering sustainable growth.

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