A report by market researcher RNCOS found that 60-70% of supplements on sale across India were fake, counterfeit, unregistered or unapproved.
Yet the market, which is currently worth around US$2bn, is set to grow at an average annual rate of 16% to US$4bn by 2020, led by the growing popularity of vitamins.
Such products now account for 40% of the dietary supplements market, followed by herbal supplements (30%), probiotics (10%) and omega-3s (5%). Amino acids and essential oils together make up the remaining 15% share.
“Vitamin and mineral supplements will form major areas of opportunities for nutraceuticals players in the coming years driven by rising demand from an evolving customer base with the middle-class population being the major consumers in this regard,” the report said.
Co-author Assocham recommended that the industry should collaborate to police the growing number of fakes and unapproved products.
“Small committees should be built at block levels to check the prevalence of counterfeit products in the market and immediately discard them as they bring a bad name to the industry,” it said.
The report said that an increasingly affluent population and greater health awareness was behind the growth in the use of supplements, especially among younger Indians.
According to an earlier study, around 78% of urban adolescents said they consumed dietary supplements daily to enhance their physical appearance, improve immunity and increase their energy levels.