Star power: BodyFirst seeks to build consumer trust for nutraceuticals with Bollywood legend’s endorsement

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

India’s BodyFirst Wellness Nutrition has partnered Bollywood star Suniel Shetty. ©BodyFirst Wellness Nutrition
India’s BodyFirst Wellness Nutrition has partnered Bollywood star Suniel Shetty. ©BodyFirst Wellness Nutrition

Related tags India ashwagandha

India’s BodyFirst Wellness Nutrition has partnered Bollywood star Suniel Shetty in addressing misconception around nutraceutical use and building consumer trust in the country.

The company has officially launched its products containing scientifically-backed ingredients, such as KSM-66 ashwagandha, AstaReal’s astaxanthin​, whey protein isolate from Glanbia, and probiotics from DuPont.

They will be sold on e-commerce channels Amazon, Nikaa, as well as the firm’s official website.

Chief advisor Sandeep Gupta said the firm has planned to introduce the products into the national sports association, such as the mixed martial arts (MMA) association, an area where Suniel Shetty was skilled in.

There are also ongoing discussions with pharmacies and other modern trade channels.  

“Our objection is to go deeper into the population across the country and try as much as possible to be present in channels where consumers can experience the products,” ​Gupta said.  

Although India has a huge market, the nutraceutical segment is relatively small and is only one-tenth of Thailand, he said.

The key reasons include poor understanding of nutraceuticals’ functions and safety concerns amongst consumers. 

According to him, most perceive nutraceuticals as nutrition for gym-goers and are concerned about product safety and effectiveness.

In light of COVID-19, he believes it is imperative to address these misconceptions and promote preventive wellness.

“The perception around nutraceutical was not created accurately and with Mr Suniel Shetty coming in as a partner, it is going to make a lot of difference in engaging the population of India and creating the awareness of healthy eating, work-out, and dietary supplementation,”​ he said.

Support local

For Suniel Shetty, the partnership is a way to support India’s domestic nutraceutical industry, which he said was crucial since the current pandemic has been causing supply chain disruption.

His first encounter with BodyFirst’s supplements was about three months ago, when there was a shortage in the usual vitamins and protein powder that he usually purchases.

“Sandeep recommended me to try it, I liked it, saw how it could bridge the gap between my food nutrition and training and I asked if there was an opportunity for us to do something together.

“Now, ‘Made in India’ excites me the most, because somewhere down the line, you are also supporting your economy,”​ he said.

He believes it is important to assess one’s needs and goals when selecting dietary supplements and hopes to partner BodyFirst in educating the public.

On top of supplementation, his personal daily regime is to practise yoga in the morning, go on cardio and weight training in the evening, and keeping to a diet of 50% carbohydrates, 35% protein, and 15% of healthy fats.

“BodyFirst's job is to make sure people become more aware of the types of nutrition that they are consuming, why they are consuming it, and how much do they need. We want to be the knowledge partner to people who are consuming the products,” ​he said.

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