Sales of vitamins and dietary supplements in India rose 55 per cent between 2003 and 2008 and will increase again by 33 per cent over the next five years, according to a new report from Euromonitor International.
The market was worth 25.5 billion rupees ($500 million) last year, up from 16.5 billion rupees ($334 million) in 2003, and will hit 34 billion rupees ($688 million) by 2013, the researcher said in 'Vitamins and Dietary Supplements — India'.
Dietary supplements represented by far the largest part of the market — 80 per cent in 2008, with sales driven by a desire to prevent disease. The report stated: "Due to rising urbanisation, a growing economy and hectic lifestyles, the average urbanite has become more prone to fall sick, due to a variety of problems, such as digestive issues, headaches, fever and muscle ache.
"However, to prevent this from happening and putting a stop in their lives, urban consumers have increased their consumption of dietary supplements, such as calcium supplements, mineral supplements, chyawanprash \[an Ayurvedic herbal tonic\], and protein powder."
Calcium supplements were the fastest growing product type in 2008, with sales up 14 per cent. The report said: "Due to increased awareness of diseases such as osteoporosis among women and brittle bones among young children, consumers have realised the benefits of increasing their intake of calcium."
Sales of vitamins, meanwhile, had been boosted by changing lifestyles, said Euromonitor. "Due to a rapidly growing economy and more hectic lifestyles, an increasing number of consumers in urban areas prefer to eat outside the home. This has, however, often led to the consumption of unbalanced meals that do not provide the necessary intake of vitamins. As a result, consumers in urban areas have increasingly started taking vitamins in order to fulfil the daily required intake."