Mr. Pramod Yadav, CEO, Advance Intermediates and Nutritional Products, JubilantLifeSciences, in conversation with eHealth.discusses the growth in demand for nutritional and dietary supplements in India.
1. What makes the need for nutritional supplements so pertinent today?
As a country, we have been under-nourished in calories as well as in nutrition intake for long. Solving the problem of calorie intake is a much longer intervention since it involves making basic food sources available to the under privileged. However, there is nearly half of our population which may be getting minimum required calories but not enough nutrition from their food intake. When we say not enough nutrition, we mean both macronutrients (protein, carbs, and fats) and micronutrients. It could be because of a mix of different reasons – poor awareness, poor affordability or not having availability of quality nutritional products.
But today, there is an increased affluence of the ever-growing working population with changing lifestyles and that is leading to changes in dietary habits. This is the most important driver for increase in consumption of nutrition products. In last 10 years, working population has increased by 30 million in India. The additional purchasing power created by this delta population alone is almost as large as the population of Canada today so you can see the affluence factor!!
Dietary habits are experiencing a change with improved awareness on preventive care v/s curative care. People are now gaining insights on how disease prevention, through better food habits, is a better solution in the long run than spending huge sums on treatment at later stage of life. Information symmetry created by mobile and TV has played its role in making this happen. This awareness has also been spread by doctors who are more engaged with global trends and various diagnostic methods that has led to better detection of nutrition deficiencies. Further, availability of quality global products being brought by organized retail into the Indian market is another factor.
2. What is the current demand for nutritional supplements in India? Where does the majority of demand emanate from? Food supplement, pharmaceuticals?
Unlike the global market where dietary supplements command larger share than functional foods and beverages category, in India dietary supplements category have a much smaller share when compared to functional foods and beverages. In general, Dietary supplements provide a more targeted way to providing nutrition compared to functional foods. It is delivered at a relatively higher dose but to a smaller set of population which has symptomatically identified some deficiency more with help of a doctor or at times, through self-medication. Because of a smaller population using it, the market size is small. With growing awareness, this is going to change though.
3. How do you envision the growth of this industry and the future of food or nutritional supplements?
Once we achieve critical mass, adoption of nutritional products will be at two levels. One , for regular use with staple diet to maintain basic health standards and Two, targeted for specific deficiencies and health needs such as those for sportspersons, outdoor playing children, clinical use for better recovery, geriatric problems , to name a few. There is enormous potential. As per the industry reports the latent need is 6-7 times the current market size.
4. What is the role of Jubilant Life Sciences currently in the Indian nutrition industry?
Jubilant Life Sciences is a global basic manufacturer of Vitamin B3, one of the largest consumed B group vitamin that is used in several food products both in dietary supplements and functional foods / beverages. Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide and Niacin) is one of the constituents of the multivitamin B-complex. This is an essential vitamin and the body itself does not produce, hence it must be supplied to body through diet or direct supplementation. Vitamin B3 is necessary to maintain energy and general vitality as it helps to release the energy and nutrients from foods. Jubilant is the second largest manufacturer of Vitamin B3 globally. Jubilant also manufactures Beta Picoline, the basic building block of Vitamin B3, that makes Jubilant a fully integrated Company!
Beyond that, we do keep scanning for new opportunities to shape this emerging market through both organic and inorganic routes.