Healthcare is no more a domain of just hospitals, pharmaceuticals, and medical equipment.
India constitutes 17% of the world's population and, currently, 2% of the global nutraceutical market revenue comes from India. This gives us a fair idea of the untapped market available to explore. The Indian consumer is increasingly growing aware of the importance of nutrition in disease prevention and management. The awareness and demand for nutraceutical as a strong emerging market in India is on a rise too.
Increased digital penetration is also helping, as it raises awareness and allows us to market our products to consumers directly, using e-commerce platforms. As awareness increases, consumers are now paying attention to health and wellness industries as well. Healthcare is no more a domain of just hospitals, pharmaceuticals, and medical equipment. Nutraceuticals, alternate healing, and sciences are gaining prominence as well in the health-focused ecosystem.
Doctors Prescribing Nutraceuticals
Nutraceuticals are quite different from prescription drugs. Doctors and practitioners have long seen nutraceuticals but just as an option; a mere supplement. This had created a ceiling like a barrier that had limited the scope of nutraceuticals. However, the scenario as of now is changing with more research-based studies on diet and nutrition in disease prevention.
The medical fraternity has embraced the use of nutraceuticals, including functional foods, such as meal replacements for patients with specific disorders. In addition to the increase in co-prescriptions by conventional doctors and specialists, nutritionists and dietitians have also been instrumental in recommending specific supplements and functional foods to patients.
Earlier, a large part of the revenue that came in was due to sales in metros and tier I cities. With growing awareness about the importance of preventive medicine and health and wellness, consumers from tier II and tier III cities too, are beginning to recognize the health risks that keep rising due to nutritional deficiencies. Purchasing products from reputed online retailers or directly from manufacturers also increases consumer confidence in product quality, while cost benefits to sellers are also passed on to consumers.
E-commerce growth, especially in terms of online pharmacy, is, in fact, a game changer for the nutraceutical industry, as the healthcare segment has already seen remarkable growth over the past five years.
This article is contributed by Sushil Khaitan, CEO & Director - PureNutrition.me.