The firm, a subsidiary of pharmaceutical manufacturing company Lasons India, has received new investments from Wipro Consumer Care Ventures, according to an announcement on Monday (Feb 15).
Speaking to NutraIngredients-Asia, founder and CEO Gaurav Aggarwal declined to reveal the amount received from Wipro but said that the firm would focus more on vegan, organic nutraceuticals with the funds.
This adds another dimension to its current approach of developing condition specific nutraceuticals, including products for bone/joint health, beauty-from-within, heart health, and sports.
There are currently over 60 SKUs of products under its brand Onelife.
“We still continue to focus on condition-specific [product development], but we have also increased our focus on plant-based and natural and vegan [product development], more towards to the natural, vegan, organic space.
“It is more natural and if you see the trend of the market, it is moving more towards natural, vegan and organic, rather than synthetic [ingredients],” he said.
On developing vegan nutraceuticals, Gaurav said one approach was to develop vegan version of its bestseller products.
For instance, the firm is expecting to launch a collagen builder product made from plant proteins within the next two months. This will serve as a vegan alternative to its existing hydrolysed marine collagen (type 1 and 3 collagen) sourced from fish.
“We will have two different products, but the objective is the same.
“We will like consumers to make an informed choice on their preferred product. They could choose the vegetarian plant-based or if they are okay with non-vegetarian, then they can choose the hydrolysed marine collagen,” he said.
Another example is to develop a plant-based protein product under its sports nutrition portfolio. This will serve as a vegan alternative to the dairy-based whey protein isolate BCAA powder.
“Let say a person who is into professional bodybuilding and is looking for maybe 50 or 75 grams of protein intake per day. He or she may not opt for the natural plant-based protein, because the consumption [of plant-based protein] will need to increase, which is an added expense.
“So, it all depends on the consumers' requirements and [we want to provide] multiple choices for them to choose from.”
In recent years, more and more vegan nutraceutical brands are springing up in India.
Diabetes, stress, anxiety
On the other hand, the company is planning to develop SKUs for two new categories – namely diabetes care, sleep and anxiety management, on top of its focus on heart health and general nutrition.
Gaurav pointed out that these were health conditions most commonly seen in India.
With a R&D team consisting of five members, the company hopes to launch about five new vegan, organic nutraceuticals by this year.
Aside from new product development, the company also plans to strengthen its online marketing in India, as online sales grew by 100% due to the COVID-19 pandemic last year.
“The biggest shift [as a result of COVID-19] is the offline market moving towards the online market.
“This [e-commerce] is here to stay. I think we can estimate a 100 per cent growth in the online space between 2020 and 2021. This is what we target to do,” Gaurav said.
The online marketing efforts would be largely focused on Facebook and Instagram advertisements.
As for offline retail, he believes foot traffic could stabilise in the upcoming months, depending on the progress of the COVID-19 vaccination program in the country.
“We will continue to be present offline, but we see a larger growth in the online space.”
At the moment, the company sells its products offline via supermarket and pharmacy chains only within India.
However, as compared to e-commerce which the company has enjoyed an increase in uptake pan-India, its offline retail activities are still largely limited to the first-tier cities.
One reason was due to the difficulty of reaching out to individual small-scale pharmacy stores which dominated the tier two and three cities.