Sporting chance: Vitaco’s Musashi enters India’s sports nutrition market amid favourable regulatory change

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

Vitaco’s Musashi enters India’s USD$200m sports nutrition market ©Musashi
Vitaco’s Musashi enters India’s USD$200m sports nutrition market ©Musashi

Related tags Sports nutrition India Australia

Australian firm Vitaco has launched its sports nutrition brand Musashi in India on the back of a favourable regulatory change.

The firm was in New Delhi earlier last month to promote the products, which includes whey protein powder.

It is now able to export its products from New Zealand where it manufactures hormone-free whey protein, in line with the Indian authorities’ requirements for imported whey protein products.

It sees huge potential in India and expects the country’s sports nutrition market to double in size in five years’ time, Vitaco’s CEO Craig Kearney told NutraIngredients-Asia.

“The market is worth about USD$200m in sports nutrition, and is the fastest growing market in the world, about 14% to 15% growth and we expect the next five years of the Indian sports nutrition market will double in size,” ​Kearney said.

He added that the Indian government was increasing its focus on sports success, which also provided good opportunities for sports nutrition firms.

For a start, the firm will focus on working with the top sports federation and national athletes, before moving into the mass consumer market.

“We are in conversation with some of those sporting federations in India now and we hope to be able to complete an agreement that will allow us to support Indian athletes with protein requirements.”

Back home in the ANZ markets, Vitaco enjoys 30% of the sports nutrition market share. 

The firm also rebranded its sports nutrition product range, introducing new labels and packaging designs in Australia.

Building awareness important

The lack of consumers’ awareness and the limited availability of sports nutrition products are two common features in India’s sports nutrition market at present.

Kearney said that consumer do not fully understand how sports nutrition products could enhance their performance.

The firm’s priority is now to work with athletes, sports coaches, dietitians, and trainers to help them understand the benefits and the right time to consume protein.   

It will also work on the product supply chain to ensure that the athletes can receive the products as quickly and as efficiently as possible.

Plant-based proteins

As for new product development, the firm will explore the use of plant-based protein to meet the needs of vegetarian consumers in India.

“With a large portion of the Indian population who are vegetarians, to bring into the Indian marketplace plant-protein based sports nutrition is going to be of high level of interest and something that we will do.”

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