Impact and challenges posed by Covid-19 on the food and dietary supplements market
Food and dietary supplements have been in a huge demand, pre and post Covid. The best part that we have seen nowadays, there is lot of escalated demand. There are lot of things being talked about immunity and lots of plant based products have been used. The challenges, if I have to talk about, is first we have to make the products cost-effectively, you know, because lot of raw materials, lot of ingredients are being used to help build immunity and target a lot of, lifestyle diseases. So it has to be backed by a robust R&D, delivery system, like when we consume something, whether it is herbal or probiotic or enzyme which occupy the major segment of Food and Dietary supplement market. That should be stable, there should be a right process to handle manufactured products. And that product target and delivery systems should be explored very well. There should be a proper clinical and R&D should be done on product, on target base. There should be compatibility study. Will this be compatible with certain enzymes, probiotic or neutra ? I feel that the big challenge is this, to make things cost-effective, there should be a proper research done on the formulation that people are working on. And there should be a robust clinical end trials and at least results should be explored in a very scientific manner.
Food and dietary supplement market
The global food and dietary supplement market stand nowadays at 141 Billion, in which US is the major contributor and this market is growing at the rate of 10% every year. The major consumer is US and the major contributor in this, in terms of raw material is Chinese market. This segment is being explored at different levels nowadays in India and in abroad also, in which people have become more health conscious, before and after Covid scenario. And beside a huge chunk of plant based product, enzyme probiotics have taken their own space. If we talk about challenges, the number one challenge that we are facing is in out sourcing. Still a big chunk of Indian market is dependent upon Chinese market on import on certain class of Amino acids, vitamins, certain enzymes, in terms of production and also in terms of cost-effectiveness. The second big challenge that we are facing is of logistics and the supply chain system, that is within country and also when we talk about imports and exports it should be well taken care of.
Food and dietary supplement market: Need for R&D and IP
In R&D, if we talk about the way forward, I see there are very popular Government and private institutions which are well recognized worldwide. If they come forward with certain programs or if they shortlist or incentivize or they come-up with ideas or even if they acknowledge some studies or R&D done by small companies and SMEs, it will definitely help. My take on this would be there should be a very easy process and there should be right awareness to the different stakeholders in this industry that government and nodal agencies and this research institutions, universities are coming forward with these programs. They should hold, certain part of R&D which a company cannot do on their own cost and expenses. I give you one basic example of our company, like we are into development of certain novel strain of probiotics. So when we have to approach Government agencies, different academic institutions, it’s not going to be easy for me to establish that we are doing a right innovation, it’s really a novel probiotic or microbes, it’s going to take many years to at least get approved by these institutions. So, there should be a very easy process. There are a lot of companies in this ecosystem, they are doing good studies, R&D, they are doing some drug discovery, it is not reaching the right platform. It gets vanished in between and in the mid-way because there is no hand holding, beside right incentive, there is no accreditation, so company like us, we are very keen to have at least accreditations by these institutions that “okay this company is developing a very robust bioprocess product line or something which is helping in biopharmaceutical industry”. Meteoric : Initiatives and investments
We started in 2006 with a vision to work upon a lot of biological products and that too into cost-effective manner. And to work on those formulations, which can be used and handled by multi-national, big and small companies. So we started with a strong portfolio of enzyme probiotic and nutraceuticals and we have diversified in this area. Now we have been coming up with lot of different enzyme processes, bio processes, lot of innovative probiotic solutions that we are offering to this industry. And beside this, we are putting up a huge investment into the discovery of certain class of bacteria and novel probiotics that we are launching. And it’s based on certain academic collaboration in which we are working very closely with academic partners.
We have also identified certain class of bio processes that can replace synthetic reactions in making a product more biologically available. Another strong line that we are working in like…, still the bio processes and certain class of nutraceutical items, they are still based on some animal origin products. And when we talk about, you know a huge setup of certifications and guidelines which differ from country to country and if you have vegan products, then it is easy to crack certain regulatory brand and it is very easy to settle in terms of huge framework certifications are concerned. So our company is working on very scientific proven alternative of animal originated enzymes, particularly in VegPancreatin, that we have recently developed, it is animal origin product that Pancreatin is being used worldwide and we have come up with vegan source. Even in the vaccines, the protein is sometime animal protein, we are also working on some plant based proteins, that can be easily used by this vaccine industry and right now R&D stage is going on. We already launched this vegan enzymatic product and hopefully, the progress is very good and very soon we will be coming up with plant based protein also.