E-commerce power: Indian start-up drives plant-based, clean-label nutraceutical concept into low tier cities

By Tingmin Koe contact

- Last updated on GMT

Oziva's plant-based biotin and plant-based collagen builder.
Oziva's plant-based biotin and plant-based collagen builder.

Related tags: India, e-commerce, plant-based

India’s nutraceutical start-up OZiva is driving the concept of plant-based, clean label products beyond tier one cities and is now seeing a higher proportion of sales from lower tier cities via e-commerce.

About 95% of the firm’s business come from digital channels, including its own website and major e-commerce sites.

Together, e-commerce has enabled the distribution of its products into about 2,000 Indian cities and towns, covering about 50% of the country.

The remaining businesses come from its 200 point-of-sales in the tier one cities which have seen good sales movement, with in-store nutritionists available to recommend their products.

In fact, the company is planning for a pilot launch of its products in US and Canada via Amazon in the upcoming two to three months, cofounder of OZiva, Aarti Gill told NutraIngredients-Asia.

She explained that e-commerce is an ideal platform where the company could educate consumers about its plant-based, clean label nutraceutical concepts without having to invest in shelf space.

“E-commerce has been growing very fast in India in the past three years with a faster internet speed and a growing logistics infrastructure.

“It is where we can invest in educating consumers the importance of reading the food labelling and identifying the synthetic ingredients which are present,”​ she said.

E-commerce has also allowed the company to meet the needs of consumers from the lower tier cities, who otherwise might not have access to high quality products, she added.  

“The consumers in tier two and three cities, they have the same aspiration and demand for good products as consumers from the metro areas. But it is not easy for them to find quality products via the traditional trade,” ​she said, revealing that about 60% of its digital business comes from this region, more than that of the metro regions (40%).

Plant-based collagen and more

While the plant-based, clean label firm caters to kids, men, and women’s health needs, the bulk of its consumers, about 80%, are women.

Most of these women (50%) come from the age group of 25 – 35 years old.

Gill believes that this is because women tend to pick up such trends faster than men.

She explained that by plant-based, it does not only refer to products which are not from animal-origin, but also products which are not synthetically derived as well.

She gave the example of the company’s plant-based biotin powder, where biotin is extracted from the sesbania agati leaves.

Another example is its plant-based collagen builder powder. As its name suggests, the product does not contain collagen, but is made of ingredients such as acerola cherry and sea buckthorn – which are said to help stimulate the body’s collagen production.

She added that plant-based supplements were gaining traction as they were not merely an alternative choice for vegetarians, but also fitted with the global trend towards less meat consumption. 

“We eat a lot, but we do not get the right nutrition,”​ she said on the reason for creating plant-based, clean label products.

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