Fast&Up, co-founded by Varun Khanna, is one of the flagship nutraceutical brands of Mumbai-based Fullife Healthcare Pvt Ltd. Khanna is also the CEO of the company.
Since its debut three years ago, the brand has been building its protein, plant-based, women’s and sports nutrition in the Indian market.
Last May, the firm started its line of men’s nutrition products with a protein product, and noticed that it is quickly overtaking the more established women’s health range.
Speaking to NutraIngredients-Asia, Khanna believes that this shows how men’s attitude towards dietary supplementation has changed.
“I think there is now a lot more acceptance and knowledge on men’s health products. This could be due to more social media and influencers showing consumers that they could eat nutrition specifically designed for their bodies and that men and women have different needs."
In less than a year, the brand launched six men’s health SKUs. Most of its consumers are men between 20 and 35 years old.
So far, the range has brought in revenue that is 20 per cent higher than its women’s health range, although its number of SKUs is only one-third of the women's health range.
The bestseller is currently its Plant Protein for Man – Added Performance Boosters powder. This is said to be a 100 per cent plant protein formulation added with ashwagandha, gokhru, safed musali, Testofen, brahmi, and black pepper extract.
The other two bestselling products are its sexual health Man Performance – Enhanced Performance and Multivitamins for Men. Both are in the form of effervescent tablets.
According to Khanna, the plant-based product is more popular among the tech-savvy consumers, which is also why the product is mostly purchased online.
“I think the men's health supplements market is an interesting space and follows a unique buying pattern.
"For example, the plant-based protein is typically popular online, that means it's going to a very tech-savvy, more modern consumer.
"The performance product is popular in all channels, we sell a lot online and in retail. We sell a lot of the multivitamins in retail, which shows that it's more like a 'pick and go' kind of product."
Looking for specific needs
Men are now looking for products that provide more specific health needs, according to Khanna.
“The uniqueness in men’s health is that in the past, it is about the more the better, and so it's more about taking in more protein, more vitamins.
“I think that has moved away to more specific health needs, such as improving testosterone levels to build up lean muscle or to cope with ageing.
“It has gone from grams and tonnes to actual product claims where ingredients play an important role, where the product contains a clinically proven ingredient, instead of just saying it contains certain amount of protein etc."
At the same time, he believes that there are opportunities to develop more products for men beyond sports and sexual health.
This could include products for family planning and those designed for older men.
“Developing men’s health products has always been part of our plans,” he said. He believes that plant-based protein and products that promote regular bowel movement would be the up-and-coming categories in the next five years.