India's nutraceuticals market is growing at compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17 percent, likely to reach $6.1 billion by 2020 from the current level of $2.8 billion. This rise is due to increased awareness about health, fitness and changing lifestyle, says a new study.
Nutraceutical product is a food or fortified food product that not only supplements the diet but also assists in treating or preventing diseases (apart from anemia), providing medical benefits.
The study also estimated that the global nutraceuticals market may cross $262.9 billion by 2020 from $182.6 billion at present, growing at a CAGR of about 8 percent.
According to a joint study by Assocham and RNCOS, the US has the largest market for nutraceuticals, followed by Asia-Pacific and European Union. Functional food is the fastest growing segment in the US nutraceuticals market. Germany, France, the UK and Italy are the major markets in the European Union for nutraceuticals.
Japan (14 percent) is the major consumer of nutraceuticals in Asia-Pacific, followed by China (10 percent).
India accounts for around 1.5 percent of the global market, which is anticipated to increase owing to country's large population base, increasing urban belt and awareness, noted the study.
Nutraceuticals, herbal and functional foods in India are covered under the definition of food as per Section 22 of Food Safety & Standards Act, 2006. These food products have been categorized as non-standardized/special food products.
At present, India does not have any kind of regulatory guidelines for the approval or monitoring of the products under this segment.
"These products are regulated under the guidelines of FSSAI, 2006 amended in 2011 for registration, licensing, approval, labeling & packaging, import, marketing & distribution, laboratory testing like conventional food products," Assocham Secretary General D S Rawat said.
He said the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) should come up with properly framed guidelines related to manufacturing, storage, packaging & labeling, distribution, sales, claims and imports of nutraceuticals.
"This will bring clarity to the industry stakeholders and they can invest into the industry with no fear of counterfeiting," Rawat added.
"In the absence of regulations, the products take much longer to reach the market. For industry growth, it is utmost necessary to give faster approvals for eligible nutraceuticals," he further said.
The report said the nutraceuticals market penetration in urban India is around 22.5 percent while it is comparatively low in rural India at around 6 percent due to the lack of awareness.
It urged both private players and government to create awareness about the health benefits of nutraceuticals among masses, call off counterfeit and un-registered players from the market. It added that government should provide special incentives and subsidies to companies for faster growth of the nutraceuticals market in India.