Founded in 2016, OZiva currently has 23 supplement products, most recently, launching the first-in-India vegan omega-3 multivitamin supplement.
OZiva’s co-founder, Mihir Gadani said: “We are looking at new product launches and strengthening our existing range. With the increase in awareness about plant-based nutrition, we have seen a growing need for clean nutrition amongst consumers.”
OZiva reported sales growth of 300% from June 2020 to January 2021, “which is driven by more and more consumers adopting a holistic and clean lifestyle in 2020,” according to Gadani.
“We expect continued growth for plant-based nutrition and products in the year 2021 too as more people realise that clean, plant-based products are not only good to have but an important and essential part of our daily lifestyle,” Gadani told NutraIngredients-Asia.
Anti-inflammation and antioxidant
OZiva recently launched India’s first vegan omega-3 multivitamin supplement (branded: Omega Multi) marketed for its immunity, heart, brain and skin benefits.
It contains 150 mg DHA and 50 mg of EPA derived from algae, vitamin A (Blakeslea Trispora), vitamin D3 (lichen), vitamin E (non-GMO sunflower oil), and vitamin K2 MK-7 (Bacillus Subtilis), touted for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
As the first such product in the market, Gadani explained: “When we were evaluating this category, we realised that most of the omega supplements available in the market are either non-vegetarian and the ones that were vegetarian had extremely low EPA and DHA.”
More than 70% of India's largely vegetarian population do not have access to essential omega-3 fatty acids like EPA and DHA, which are mainly found in fish and seafood. Even for non-vegetarians, their intake of fish is negligible.
This results in the majority of the population in India deficient in omega-3, according to Gadani. Available dietary information suggests that Indians consume about 20 to 50mg of omega-3 daily.
India has not established a reference daily intake (RDI) for omega-3 but most European nations and China have set 250mg RDIs.
Omega-3 has been studied for its ability to reduce inflammation in the body and relieving symptoms like joint pain. Omega-3 could also reduce premature births, which is significant in India where 24% of the world’s pre-term births occur.
Gadani said it took the firm about a year to research, conduct trials before launching this product in the market.
For OZiva, the challenges were in looking for a vegetarian source that was rich in EPA and DHA, yet free from heavy metals and pollutants. OZiva sources its algae from EU.
In addition, masking the taste was another challenge. “Omega derived from marine algae gives a slightly off aftertaste and hence we had to develop a unique taste blend to make it palatable,” Gadani said.
Last year, OZiva raised US$5 million in its Series A round led by Matrix Partners.