Overseas interest rockets: How US and Europe nutra firms are seizing opportunities in growing Indian market

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

Nutraceutical companies from the US and Europe believe that there is potential for good growth in the Indian market. ©Getty Images
Nutraceutical companies from the US and Europe believe that there is potential for good growth in the Indian market. ©Getty Images

Related tags Europe Us India Ayurveda botanicals

A number of nutraceutical companies from the US and Europe, including algae omega-3 maker Qualitas Health and botanical-based supplement firm Legacy Healthcare, are tapping into the fast-growing nutraceutical market in India.

The fast-growing market, increasing spending powder, and a huge vegetarian population were cited as the key reasons for considering the Indian nutraceutical market.

For Qualitas Health, the US-based company will be bringing the first-of-its-kind high polar lipid algal EPA omega-3 into India.

As compared to the conventional fish oil which comes in triglyceride form and krill oil in phospholipid form, its EPA omega-3 is bound with polar-lipids phospholipids and glycolipids.

The firm says this ncreases its bioavailability by two to three times higher than fish oil and 65% more than krill oil.

Sold under the brand ‘IWILife’, the products are available in over 10,000 health foods stores, vitamin shops, and big-name retailers such as GNC across the US.

It aims to replicate its success in the US and build its presence across offline and online retail in India.

In fact, the company believes that India has the potential to surpass the US – the world’s biggest nutra market.

India has a big population and the number of people taking nutraceuticals are growing and it is an exciting market.

“It has the potential to be bigger than the US and beat the US in terms of revenue and development,” ​CEO Miguel Calatayud told NutraIngredients-Asia.

Product line

The company plans to introduce 10 of its basic SKUs into India by year end. They include soft gels omega-3 for pre-natal use, brain health, immunity building, lowing cholesterol, and supporting hair, skin, and nail health.

It is also in talks with B2B partners such as nutra and functional food brands in selling its high polar-lipid algal EPA and algae-based protein ingredient.

“India has a huge vegetarian population and so this is a very huge opportunity for us since we can open the market to people who were not taking omega-3 as they were not plant-based previously,” ​he said.

Further down the road, he is contemplating local manufacturing, where the omega-3 will be encapsulated in soft gels, or even setting up algae farms in India. It currently farms its algae in Texas and New Mexico.

Botanical promise

Legacy Healthcare, a Swiss-based botanical drugs and supplement firm, on the other hand, aims to turn botanicals with promising benefits into US-FDA and globally approved products.

The partnership with Nutrify India will help the company in setting up molecular biology research in botanical drugs and their products to India.

Nanoveda ​ 

Meanwhile, another Switzerland-based med-tech company, Euro Alliance, is seeking to foster a two-way partnership where Indian nutra brands will be introduced into the European market and vice versa.

For a start, it has identified two nutra brands Gram Tarang and Herbahive, in which their products will be introduced to major European markets such as Germany, France, UK, as well as South Korea.

It will also be launching its first line of nutraceuticals – eight SKUs of nano-ayurvedic products sold under the name “Nanoveda” in India, as well as Europe, the US, and South Korea.

Seven of which will be in the form of dissolvable strips, will consists of ayurvedic herbs ashwagandha, curcumin, probiotics, iron, and honey etc. The eighth one is a nanotized liquid curcumin which is said to increase bioavailability by over 90%.

“Ayurveda is the next engine of growth. There is huge demand in Europe and South Korea. It is also starting to receive formal recognition, where it is covered by insurance companies. It is going to grow exponentially,”​ MD Rakshit Mehta told us.

It is also planning to invest US$3m in setting up a centre of excellence in Hyderabad for researching on ayurvedic herbs by the middle of next year.

In fact, it has identified 133 ayurvedic ingredients which could be incorporated into nutraceuticals and sold in the mainstream market. 

The lab would focus on conducting clinical studies on ayurvedic finished products.

All three firms are entering the market with Nutrify India, an initiative helmed by local market expert Amit Srivastava, which aims to encourage international investment into the country and aid Indian firms’ expansion overseas.

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