As doctors increasingly prescribe dietary supplements, Indian consumers have begun to show a marked preference for the same. Higher consumer awareness coupled with lifestyle changes that focus on weight management and healthy livings have gone a long way in improving the uptake of dietary supplements.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (www.food.frost.com), Indian Dietary Supplement Markets, finds that the markets earned revenues of 37.7 billion in 2009 and estimates this to reach 107.7 billion in 2016. The market has witnessed an unprecedented growth rate of 16 percent in 2009. Dietetics, driven by the rising weight management trend among consumers, experienced a growth rate of almost 20 percent in 2009 and is expected to experience further expansion.
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This increased awareness, however, has led to the influx of a large number of functional foods and drinks in the market, compelling dietary supplement manufacturers to set their products apart from functional or fortified foods.
Participants need to make end users aware of the symptoms of diseases caused by malnutrition and explain the ways in which the relevant dietary supplements can alleviate those conditions. This is a crucial strategy, as consumers are increasingly questioning the need for dietary supplements when fortified foods provide the same nutrients.
“Most supplements in the market make health claims that are not independently verified,” says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Partha Basu. “The participants need to conduct clinical studies on their products and publish them in peer-review journals to prove their efficacy and thereby, gain acceptance.”
Consumers’ choices are often determined by convenience and taste. Although functional foods and drinks are convenient and popular, they have not performed to their potential because taste has acted as a barrier, especially in the case of tonics such as hyawanprash.
Manufacturers need to invest in R&D and focus on product innovation to optimally tap the dietary supplement markets. They also have to acknowledge consumers’ heightened brand consciousness and tendency to relate product performance to the brand.
“Depending on the mode of distribution, a suitable strategy may be developed to link performance of the product with the brand,” notes Basu. “This is aptly seen in the communication strategy of participants in the chyawanprash segment, as they use brand ambassadors such as cricketers and movie stars.”
Such brand focus is expected to help companies capture and retain their market share.
Indian Dietary Supplement Markets is part of the Food & Beverage Ingredients Growth Partnership Services program, which also includes research in the following markets: Nutraceuticals - Global Developments in Dietary Supplements, Strategic Analysis of the Indian Functional Foods and Beverage Markets, and U.S. Functional Beverage Market. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.
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