The growth was largely propelled by the popularity of products such as its Biozyme Whey Protein, Super Gainer XXL, and BCAA Pro, the firm’s spokesman said in response to queries from NutraIngredients-Asia.
He pointed out that “consumers’ awareness for 'whey' protein is rising in India and this is well documented from the google trends data for the 'whey' keyword as well.”
A reason driving the sector in India is the young population adopting fitness as a lifestyle, as well as a growing awareness and acceptability of protein supplements amongst consumers.
He said that the other reason was because of the greater market competition, which in turn made the prices of whey protein more affordable and thus, within reach to a larger segment of consumers.
The Indian market also saw a number of market newcomers.
Australia’s Vitaco introduced its Musashi products into India and will work with top sports federation and national athletes before moving into the mass consumer market.
CEO Craig Kearney highlighted that India’s sports nutrition market was worth about USD$200m and was the fastest growing market in the world.
According to Mintel’s Global New Products (GNPD), of all the sports nutrition new products launches in India between 2015 and 2018, 65% took place in 2018.
It is common for sports nutrition products in India to carry functional claims in India, as suggested by GNPD.
In 2018, 93% carried such claims, mostly surrounding weight and muscle gain (69%), energy (45%), and immunity (22%).
“The time is ripe for brands to reposition sports nutrition and make it a go-to option for people who, due to busy lifestyles, struggle to find time to exercise,” Nidhi Sinha, head of content at Mintel Indian Consumer said in the report “Exercise and Gym Trends Indian Consumer 2019 Report”.
She added that brands can consider offering low sugar energy drinks or bars, as well as using healthier ingredients such as quinoa or millet.
Improving protein digestion is also seen as another key demand amongst Indian consumers.
A survey by MuscleBlaze, involving 403 Indian males, showed that more than a third of the whey protein consumers from India’s metro cities were not satisfied with protein absorption.