Solutions in Sight for Global Nutraceuticals Market Battling with Regulatory and Consumer Confidence Issues

In February 2015, the nutraceuticals industry came in the crosshairs of Eric Schneiderman, New York Attorney General, as he launched an investigation into the efficacy and safety of herbal dietary supplements. Since then, several media reports have warned that nutraceuticals could do more harm than good – reports that stakeholders in this industry have criticized for being poorly researched. Consumers, on their part, have become slightly wary of impulsively adding nutraceuticals to their shopping carts, with consumer groups demanding more ‘clean label’ nutraceutical products.

It will take more than signature markers such as ‘organic’ and ‘natural’ for companies in the nutraceuticals industry to contend with the challenges that have cropped up on the regulatory front and have been compounded by a slew of negative media reports. The global nutraceuticals market is currently at a critical phase and the stance it adopts in the coming year will determine much of its future success, industry experts have opined. The long-term growth prospects of the global nutraceuticals market, however, look promising. Business intelligence firm Transparency Market Research, for instance, has said that the nutraceuticals market will have a valuation of US$278.96 bn by 2021. The market will reach this value with a projected CAGR of 7.3% from 2015 to 2021.

Even as the industry as a whole grapples with several regulatory and consumer-confidence issues, there are solutions in sight. Here are two opportunities that can be found in the current scenario:

Launching more natural products that align with consumers’ wellness goals: With the focusing now increasingly being on classifying what constitutes a ‘natural’ ingredient, nutraceutical makers can build consumer confidence by getting their products or key ingredients certified by reputable organizations. DNA barcode identification is expected to gain importance, especially when it comes to extracted botanical ingredients. Companies can seize this opportunity as a means to gain the trust of both consumers and regulators. In the coming years, positioning products as miracle cures for diseases and conditions would likely cause damage to the identity of nutraceutical brands. Hence, launching products that are more in line with consumers’ wellness goals with more realistic promises is the need of the hour.

Creating better integrity in the supply chain: Both functional foods and nutraceuticals need robust supply chains that can adapt to the frequent changes in regulatory mandates, ingredient stability, consumer demand, and technologies. Currently, the nutraceuticals supply chain is also bound by government regulations, with regulations in each country having a different degree of maturity. In several countries, the supply chain regulations that govern the nutraceuticals industry are not as stringent as that for the pharmaceutical sector. However, the safety and integrity of ingredients remains paramount to the nutraceuticals supply chain as well. In view of this, developing suppleness in supply chain management would be integral to success. 

While North America is currently the largest regional market for nutraceuticals, Asia Pacific is seen to be a very lucrative space too. Countries such as India and China, with their massive population base, are proving to be multibillion-dollar nutraceutical markets.


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