Tremendous opportunities: India beauty conglomerate Lotus Herbals enters nutraceutical space
The conglomerate recently announced that it has acquired a 20 per cent stake in Yogic Secrets.
This is the first investment that Lotus Herbals has injected into a nutraceutical firm, with Nitin Passi, chairman and managing director, saying that the firm would not be looking to invest in more nutraceutical firms but would focus on growing the Gurugram-based start-up.
Speaking to NutraIngredients-Asia, Passi said that the nutraceutical market in India has been growing year on year, which was a reason for investing in this space.
“Based on our research, there’s tremendous opportunities and the nutraceutical market size is increasing every year in India, especially nutraceuticals which have proven results in terms of functionality, including supporting the immunity.
“COVID-19 is a big mega trend where consumers started focusing a lot more on their health and wellness and this is continuing after the pandemic.
“Our rough estimate is that the nutraceutical size of India is anywhere between three to five billion dollars and Yogic Secrets have launched a lot of research-based products into the market.
“From a mega consumer trend, macro, and micro economic perspective, if you have something differentiated, which the consumers are looking for, it means a lot of sense for us to invest in it,” Passi said.
The company is particularly keen in addressing gut health through the use of traditional herbal ingredients.
“Gut health is a very big area of interest for us because a lot of human diseases originate from the gut, so if there’s an imbalance of bacteria in the gut, that could cause a lot of issues to the body.”
In the area of gut health, Yogic Secrets launched AyurGut which claims to improve digestive disorders and support gastrointestinal health a few months ago.
The capsule product contains Alpinia galanga, Boerhavia diffusa, Cassia fistula, Centella asiatica extracts as some of the active ingredients.
Yogic Secrets is the fifth investment that Lotus Herbals has made in the past two years, where it has been injecting funds or acquiring stakes in emerging beauty and wellness brands.
“We are very clear that we will only invest in one company in a particular segment and make that company grow using their product expertise and our marketing and sales and distribution expertise.”
To expand Yogic Secrets’ distribution, Passi said that the task on hand was to build the brand’s name in the medical retail scene.
“Consumer education through the right sources is key, because these products are functional medicines, they are not something that consumers will just take without any knowledge.
“And so, we want to build proper education through doctors, nutritionists, and dietitians…Nutritionists in India’s leading hospitals are also on board and we are showcasing our clinical trials to them.”
The company is also working with wellness and ayurvedic institutes based in Delhi.
Once sales momentum has been built up, the next step would then be to expand its presence in the pharmacy sales sector.
“We are not the typical nutraceuticals displayed in the pharmacies. Most of our products are proprietary and have something unique and so we need to educate the customers through the right doctors and nutritionists.”
It has become a trend for companies to bundle topically applied products with oral nutraceuticals to maximise the benefits and Lotus Herbals also has plans in this area.
In particular, the firm is seeing opportunities in the area of hair fall control.
“We have been studying it and hair fall control is very important that you have functional medicine which is correcting the digestive system, because premature hair fall or accelerated hair fall is also linked to the digestive system, so topical application will not be enough, which is the same as some other skin and hair concerns,” Passi said.