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Nutraceutical industry, growing cluster by cluster

24 APR,2017 | Mumbai

Dr RB Smarta
Dr RB Smarta

In order to develop and prosper, Indian food industry and all its components need to be integrated. Forming an ecosystem is one such approach towards an integrated system.

Forming an ecosystem

In order to develop and prosper, Indian food industry and all its components need to be integrated. Forming an ecosystem is one such approach towards an integrated system.

The main components of a food ecosystem are Primary Processing Centres (PPCs), Collection Centres (CCs) and Central Processing Centre (CPC). Apart from these main components some of the other common infrastructure and facilities could be, Training Centres, Quality Assurance & Quality Control Units, Inventory, Safety equipment and facility services, Nutrition services, Operations, Warehouse and Transportation facilities, Information Technology centres, Waste disposal facilities etc.

Today the main factors that Indian food industry needs to deal with are:

•        Very favourable regulatory environment (business-friendly regulatory environment)

•        Proper promotional strategy, business model and organised campaigns etc.

•        Availability and consistency in raw materials, availability of finished products.

•        Education and awareness on state/district level increase the degree of penetration in rural areas.

The industry has lot of science and the issues of this industry are also related to product development, compatibility of different ingredients, trials on human beings, evidence to really provide the claims etc. Hence, it has lot of gestation funding which the entrepreneur or promoter needs to put in this high-risk area.

Considering this, we would like to create more facilities like we have done in pharmaceuticals and today we have surplus capacity in India to manufacture any formulations. From business point of view, it will commoditise the entire business and it would not remain at branding, marketing, selling level but it will go down to trading level.

Co-existence of pharma and nutra

The nutraceutical products are mainly associated with prevention of diseases, maintenance of health and general well-being, whereas the pharmaceutical products are clearly positioned for treatment of diseases. With the rise in new categories such as medical foods, nutraceuticals can also be positioned for treatment of diseases but only alongside drugs.

Thus, it is clear that for the overall well-being of an individual both nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals are equally essential.


The above representation depicts the need for co-existence of nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals for the well-being of humans.

Indian nutraceutical industry is worth about $ 2.2 billion and is projected to grow at 20 per cent to $ 6.1 billion by 2019-2020 and so is one of the rapid growing markets in the Asia-Pacific region. It is observed that the growth in nutraceutical industry world over is dependent on a smooth functioning regulatory system, increasing consumer demands and awareness; these are the factors that facilitate the growth of nutraceutical business. Though, at a nascent stage, the Indian nutraceuticals is strongly positioned for growth. Some of the reasons for India still being at a nascent stage are low consumer education and confidence, the lack of product regulation. But now things are falling into place with setting up of concrete regulation and guidelines and increasing awareness, confidence among the consumers.

In the future, India is poised to become one of the nutraceutical hubs with stronger potential among the emerging markets.

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