Axys Nutrition Products, the firm behind Nutrova, received an undisclosed amount of funds from venture capital firm DSG Consumer Partners in June.
Aside from new product development, the funds will be dedicated to conducting clinical trials as the firm hopes to create products that are effective for its target audience – the local Indians between 25 and 45 years old.
Speaking to NutraIngredients-Asia, founder and CEO Akshay Pai, said the firm was planning two clinical trials involving an existing and a not yet launched product.
This will add on to the firm’s two completed trials on its flagship product Nutrova Collagen + Antioxidants sachet and Nutrova Functional Fibre powder.
“You have a lot of these ingredients that have been measured on different populations. But you have a limited amount of results on the efficacy of these nutrients on the Indian population.
“We want to take the step further to measure the efficacy of an ingredient in the Indian context,” he said.
As seen from past research, the trials have sometimes yielded unexpected insights.
He gave the example of its Nutrova Collagen + Antioxidants sachet, which had unexpectedly reduced dark circle in the subjects.
“The findings are by no means conclusive, but it is our initial understanding of what’s going on.
“Overtime, as we try to understand the effects of our products on the Indian population, we might get clearer insights on what’s ideal for them,” he said.
Thirty-four women from 35 to 45 years old completed the 60-day trial. The other key effects include improved skin hydration, firmness, and barrier function.
In addition to gaining scientific knowledge, he highlighted that the clinical evidence also gives consumers more faith in the products, in turn, leading to more sales.
In the last three years, the firm has witnessed between 80% and 100% revenue growth yoy, which was largely driven by the popularity of its collagen product.
Interestingly, men formed about 30% of the consumers for the collagen product.
The reason, according to Pai, could be due to increasing awareness on protecting the skin health against pollution.
“Living in a tropical country with most of the cities having high level of pollution, I think people are aware that people will need to do something to take care of their skin health,” he said.
Skin, performance nutrition focus
Aside from skin and hair health, the firm has set its sight on functional products tackling digestive health and the fitness and performance nutrition.
Of which, he said that digestive health was crucial as the microbiome has impacts on various parts of the body, including hair and skin.
The uptake of Western diets and refined foods has also placed digestive health as an area of focus.
Due to COVID-19, Pai said that both the planned trials and the new product launches would be pushed back.
The supply chain disruptions linked to the pandemic also led to its products running out-of-stock in some of its partnering pharmacies and health centres. The firm primarily serves consumers from the urban areas.
“There is very little we can do because it came suddenly but moving forward, I think we will have to hold a larger buffer stock to make sure we can still supply in an event like this,” he said.