The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on our behavior towards health and wellness. The virus rapidly sneaked in and made us understand what really matters. Good health indeed is the only true wealth we have. The pandemic made people pay closer attention to their health, symptoms of illness and adopt new behaviors to minimize the risk of getting ill. In our quest to be healthier, we often look for that one ideal treatment which could heal and protect us. Personal health being on the forefront positioned the nutraceutical industry for further expansion and success in 2021.

What are Nutraceuticals?

Nutraceuticals can be defined as a group of products that are more than food but less than pharmaceuticals. They are specially processed to meet specific nutritional requirements and provide medical benefits. Lack of suitable medical help, distrust in the use of allopathic products and food fads, has made the nutraceutical industry extremely popular today. In this booming market, recent technologies and discoveries of functional antioxidants can further provide new opportunities.

Nutraceuticals generally fall into two categories: dietary supplements and functional food.

Dietary Supplements

These are medical products that contain concentrated doses of key nutrients that we would have traditionally consumed from food. Dietary supplements come in the form of pills and capsules. Multivitamin and iron supplements are some common examples. Although dietary supplements may look like any other medicine, it is important to note that they come from food. For example, Omega-3 supplements are composed of concentrated fish oils. 

Functional Food

These are basically referred to as a food that has health benefits beyond its basic macronutrient content. These foods do a lot more than just feeding on hunger. Examples of functional foods are seeds, nuts, and certain fruits and vegetables as they occur naturally. However, there are even certain foods which are manufactured in order to get a greater amount of a given nutrient (for example, milk with extra protein). These are also known as fortified foods. Functional foods are distinguished from dietary supplements on the basis that they are foodstuffs rather than medication. While these won’t make up our whole diet, functional foods are to be viewed and calculated as part of our daily caloric intake.

Nutraceuticals vs. Pharmaceuticals

Nutraceuticals are usually prepared from plants and animals which we already have as food, while pharmaceuticals are synthesized for prevention of a particular disease or simply treating a specific illness.

Pharmaceuticals are the results of clinical trials for treating infections. These are regulated by the local government body of the region. On the other hand, nutraceutical products are food-based substances that are used for preventing diseases and providing therapy. They are frequently categorized as food subcategories and are not as tightly regulated as pharmaceuticals. 

No two human bodies are in fact the same and so everyone would have different reactions to the use of pharmaceutical or nutraceutical products. And in a world like ours with new health challenges springing up every day, there is room for both.

Global Market of Nutraceuticals

In 2020, market size of the nutraceutical industry was USD 382.51 billion. The worldwide market size of nutraceuticals is estimated to be USD 722.49 billion by 2027, which is growing at an annual compound growth rate of 8.3% by 2020-27.

In 2020, the U.S. had more than 27.1 per cent of the worldwide market share and USD 63.3 billion market in nutraceuticals. Over the timeframe of 2020-25, it is expected to grow by 6.1% in nutraceuticals. With CAGR of 9.6 percent and an estimated US$77.2 billion in the market, China exhibits the potential to rise by the year 2027.

In India, nutraceuticals are expected to have a worldwide market share of at least 3.5 percent by 2023. The nutraceutical industry in India accounts for 2% of the world economy at USD 388 trillion. Dabur India, Cadila Healthcare, Zandu Pharmaceuticals, EID Parrys, Amway, Himalaya Herbal Healthcare, Sami Labs Ranbaxy are some of the main nutraceutical marketing industries in India.

Other significant geographic markets such as Japan and Canada are expected to rise at 3.4% and 5.7% respectively over the period 2020-27.

Since the pandemic encouraged people to eat more and more multivitamins to increase their immunity, there is a predicted increase by 20 percent in the dietary supplement industries. Use of Vitamin C, vitamin D, E3 and probiotics have been tremendously increased since Covid-19.

Drivers for the nutraceutical industry in 2021

Consumers who want to improve their own health without paying for medical treatment are looking for assistance and turning towards the nutraceutical market. Consumers who are health conscious and looking for alternative products for over-the-counter medicines and prescription drugs turn to options such as fortified foods and drinks.

There is an increasing concern about prescription drugs and their side effects. This is also expected to encourage the use of nutraceuticals in the next few years as nutraceuticals are considered a more natural option.



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