Your favourite fitness supplement could be fake, counterfeit

This is for all of you who swear by dietary supplements. About 60 to 70% of them sold across India are fake, counterfeit, unregistered and unapproved, says a joint study conducted by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) and business consulting firm RNCOS. It is also extremely difficult to identify them, noted the study.

”The dietary supplements market in India is currently estimated at about $2 bn and is likely to almost double to $4 bn by 2020, thereby clocking a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 16% during the course of next five years,” projected the study titled Indian nutraceuticals, herbals and functional foods industry: Emerging on global map.

The study highlighted that vitamin and mineral supplements will form major areas of opportunities for nutraceuticals players in the coming years driven by rising demand from an evolving customer base with middle class population being the major consumers in this regard.

As per current market segmentation, vitamins and minerals account for the lion’s share of about 40% in Indian dietary supplements market followed by herbal supplements (30%), probiotic (10%), omega-3 fatty acids (5%) and proteins, amino acids and other essential elements together account for the remaining share of 15%.

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Dietary supplements (mainly vitamins and minerals) are primarily produced by pharmaceutical companies and are predominantly prescription-based, recommended by physicians, nutritionists, gym instructors and others who act as major influencers.

Higher purchasing power has made people more health conscious and prompted them to adopt a healthy diet routine completed with consumption of nutritional supplements. Dietary supplements are sold in many forms like tablets, capsules, soft gels, gel caps, liquids and powders. These products are readily available to consumers through chemist shops and online channels.

According to a survey conducted by the ASSOCHAM Social Development Foundation across top Indian cities in 2012, about 78% adolescents in urban India daily consumed dietary supplements in one or the other forms with a view to enhance their physical appearance, improve immunity and increase their energy levels undermining the various side-effects of such supplements.