Expert speak: What’s next for the nutraceuticals industry after COVID-19?

nutraceuticals market

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the demand for preventative health strategies, leading to increased adoption of nutraceuticals. The global nutraceuticals industry, which was valued at USD 278.8 billion in 2020, is forecasted to grow to USD 441.7 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 7.8%. 

To understand the nutraceutical industry in greater detail, we spoke to Surbhi Gupta, Life Sciences and Healthcare Research Lead at Netscribes, who has been working with leading organizations in this segment.

1.    What according to you have been instrumental to the growth of nutraceuticals globally?

Surbhi: The COVID-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on preventive healthcare. As a result, the nutraceuticals industry is experiencing growth. The outbreak has forced people to focus on aspects of immunity, wellness, and nutrition..

With preventive healthcare being the most important line of defense in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, the nutraceuticals sector is set for positive growth. AThe majority of people worldwide now understand the role of immunity-boosting supplements – which is ultimately impacting consumer buying patterns and behavior. 

In addition to preventive healthcare, vitamin and zinc supplements are also being prescribed by doctors for patients who have contracted the virus, which is also helping in increasing the demand for nutraceuticals, including dietary supplements and functional foods.

Additional growth drivers for this market include the use of nutraceuticals for personal care, and for the treatment of cardiovascular disorders.

2. What are the current barriers restricting greater growth in nutraceuticals?

Surbhi: As for the barriers to nutraceuticals adoption – firstly, it’s the high cost of their production. The lab-to-market timeline for nutraceuticals can be very high. This is one of the key factors that add to the cost of production. Hence, high R&D cost is expected to restrain the market.

Other key barriers include finding the right price point to help increase adoption, as currently nutraceuticals are priced on the higher side. Lastly, there needs to be a clear regulatory framework to help curb counterfeit products and help in product standardization.

3.    Who are the most prominent consumers of nutraceuticals?

Surbhi: The most prominent consumers of nutraceuticals would be adults, as they easily outnumber the infants and children segment of this industry. This is usually attributed to rising awareness about one’s well-being, and increasing incidents of lifestyle diseases like diabetes, hypertension, anemia, other immunological deficiencies, etc.

The senior population comes second, as there’s been substantial emphasis put on regular consumption of supplements by seniors, owing to the increase in cases of osteoporosis, arthritis, and other bone and joint health issues.

4.    What are the major therapeutic areas (TAs) for the nutraceuticals market? Which among them will see the highest demand in the future?

Surbhi: The products in this market can cover a range of therapeutic areas such as immunology, cold, cough, digestion, sleeping disorders, osteoporosis, cholesterol control, blood pressure, depression, and diabetes. A range of nutraceuticals has also shown significant benefits in indications related to oxidative stress including allergy, cardiovascular diseases, eye conditions, Alzheimer’s disease, obesity, and Parkinson’s disease.

When it comes to the TA that is set to see the highest demand, the Immunology segment comes at the forefront. Consumers are opting for dietary supplements as a part of their daily routine, which is further fuelling the demand for nutraceuticals.

5.    Do you think the growth of nutraceuticals will affect the pharma industry? What can pharma gain from nutraceuticals?

Surbhi: For the pharma sector, nutraceuticals are becoming increasingly important, both in terms of opportunities and competition. In terms of opportunities, nutraceuticals can help prevent the onset of pathological conditions by preventing the need for pharmaceuticals in patients who qualify for an alternative, non-pharmacological approach to their health condition.

On the other hand, nutraceuticals also provide opportunities for pharmas to make their products more consumer-oriented. The nutraceutical industry is also working towards adopting the principles of pharma in standardizing their clinical trial protocols and applying the principles of pharmaceuticals in effective formulations and also creating analogs.

6.    According to you, what are the emerging technologies used in the production of nutraceuticals? Can you illustrate with an example? Or are there any new innovations that can disrupt the market?

Surbhi: High-hydrostatic pressure, ultrasound-assisted and microwave-assisted extraction, pulsed electric field, radio-frequency drying, high voltage electrical discharge, and supercritical fluids are some of the emerging technologies used in the production of nutraceuticals. For instance, high-pressure processing (HPP) offers faster solubilization of food components without affecting the color, flavor, and texture of foods.

Meanwhile, if we look at the future, the use of artificial intelligence (AI) technology holds the enormous potential of disrupting the nutraceuticals market. It is already playing a vital role in defining the components needed to treat specific health conditions so that nutraceutical product manufacturers can personalize the products according to each patient’s individual characteristics.

7.    Globally, which countries are poised to increase their foothold in the nutraceutical market? What are their unique advantages and some challenges hampering their growth?

Surbhi: Asia-Pacific can be considered the fastest-growing regional market in this space. This is mainly driven by countries such as China, Indonesia, Malaysia, and India. Changing lifestyles along with rapid urbanization have led to consumers inclining towards healthy diet options in these countries, which also augments product demand. Also, regulatory support by these governments promoting investments is expected to increase product accessibility, thereby enhancing overall sales.

8.    How do you think the nutraceutical industry will evolve in the next five years?

Surbhi: The global nutraceuticals market is expected to show double-digit growth in the coming five years. Developing economies are oriented toward preventive health care; hence, the demand for nutraceutical products is increasing significantly. Antioxidants, which are a major part of preventive healthcare, are also witnessing rising demands, which is contributing to nutraceuticals market growth.

Nowadays, consumer product companies are increasingly collecting data to enable a proper analysis of purchases and lifestyles so as to offer tailored options to consumers based on their buying patterns. Personalized healthcare, enabled by advanced genomic technologies, is also making its way into the nutraceuticals industry. The study of epigenetics and nutrigenomics has revealed that every individual has different nutritional requirements, and they respond to food differently. Nutraceuticals are thus becoming recognized as a corroborated form of treatment, which opens up a vast market opportunity for the future.

Netscribes is a leading data and insights firm that enables organizations in the life sciences industry to drive better business outcomes through reliable research and analysis. Speak to us to learn more about our solutions.

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