New in nutricosmetics: Indian firm VLCC to drive growth with beauty-from-within range after direct-selling deal

By Cheryl Tay

- Last updated on GMT

Ayurvedic ingredients feature strongly in the five new products — these include mandukaparni, amla, pipali, dalchini, manjistha, gorakhmundi and curcumin.
Ayurvedic ingredients feature strongly in the five new products — these include mandukaparni, amla, pipali, dalchini, manjistha, gorakhmundi and curcumin.

Related tags Nutricosmetics India Ayurveda

Indian firm VLCC Wellness is preparing for domestic and international expansion with its first launch under its VLCC Wellscience banner – a new range of nutricosmetics.

VLCC Wellscience was established after VLCC Wellness acquired Wellscience, a direct-selling nutraceutial and personal care firm, in 2017.

The new beauty range claims to improve hair, skin and nail health, and fight the signs of ageing, and also includes a women's health product designed to maintain the body’s hormonal balance, improve the absorption of calcium and provide essential iron, and suppress appetite.

Ayurvedic ingredients feature strongly in the five new products — these include mandukaparni​ (Indian pennywort), amla​ (Indian gooseberry), pipali ​(long pepper), dalchini​ (cinnamon), manjistha ​(common madder), gorakhmundi ​(east Indian globe thistle), and curcumin.

Cognisant of consumer needs

Speaking to NutraIngredients-Asia​, VLCC Wellness’ director Sandeep Ahuja said: "Wellscience has a portfolio of nutraceuticals meant to address different aspects of health, such as liver, kidney and cardiovascular health.

“But in line with shifting consumer trends in India, we have now added a supplement range aimed at enhancing beauty.”

The company has identified nutrient imbalances and deficiencies as largely responsible for poor skin, hair and nail health, with factors such as stress, poor nutrition, lack of exercise, environmental pollution, and gut bacteria imbalance all contributing to issues with outer appearances.

"The idea now is to broaden the offerings Wellscience already had before the acquisition. While nutraceuticals in the health and wellness space will continue to grow, we want to use our expertise to add value to Wellscience in the nutricosmetics category,” ​said Ahuja.

"It's really a matter of being cognisant of the trends in the market. Beauty has become an important aspect of the nutraceutical sector."

Enhancing biology through technology

In addition to developing supplements to aid consumers on combating such issues, VLCC Wellscience uses a proprietary technology known as Active Identifiable Marker (AIM) Technology.

This technology was designed to help identify and utilise molecules in a plant that can provide a benchmark to measure the potency and therapeutic efficacy of its extracts.

According to VLCC Wellscience, this further ensures that the effectiveness of phytonutrients — organic components of plants known for their human health benefits — remains consistent throughout their different products.

With regards to where the firm obtains its ingredients, Ahuja said, "Our ingredients largely come from India, for the simple reason that it's possibly the world's largest source of medicinal herbs.

“They go into our products, which are manufactured at a third-party facility in India, where we oversee the entire process."

Growth on all fronts

Presently, VLCC Wellscience’s products are available at VLCC Wellness’ web store, as well as on Wellscience's website.

Offline, they are sold at VLCC Wellness’ 300 beauty and wellness centres and training institutes in India. Thanks to Wellscience, they are also available via the company's 35,000 direct sellers.

Ahuja said: "This is an increase from when VLCC Wellness first acquired Wellscience, which had 25,000 direct sellers then. Our target now is to increase this number to 60,000 in India."

He further revealed that prior to the acquisition, VLCC Wellness’ own products were not sold at the firm’s training institutes or beauty and wellness centres.

Now, however, the company’s entire body of staff has been trained to provide sales and customer service support at all its outlets, facilitating the addition of a major channel to its existing retail avenues within the last year-and-a-half.

Outside of India, however, the firm is looking to focus exclusively on retail sales instead of direct or online sales.

Ahuja said, "We are still in the registration stages, so we are evaluating whether or not we should go for the direct sales or retail approach.

“But personally, I am more inclined to go the retail route outside of India, and for that, we are looking for distributors like Guardian and Watsons.

"Right now, our focus remains on India. However, we are looking to expand to parts of South East Asia — including Singapore and Malaysia — as well as the Middle East.

"We are looking at core user concerns in different age groups and different markets, as we want to position ourselves as a brand that's suitable for all ages."

We recently featured insights from Mintel, which revealed that beauty from within could be 'the heart of market growth'​ in India's vitamins, minerals and supplements (VMS) industry, with physical appearance among the top three reasons for consuming VMS products.

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