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Obesity the greatest concern of this millennium.
 
Omega-3 ALA has been associated with numerous health benefits, and while flax-based Omega-3 ALA and marine based EPA and DHA offer numerous benefits to human beings, factors such as price, cost effectiveness, a favourable flavour, and convenience make flax-based Omega-3 ALA a preferred source of Omega-3 fatty acids.  In addition, the long-term environmental and economic sustainability of flax-derived Omega-3 ALA is another key factor that provides an edge over marine-derived Omega-3 sources.
 
There is a disconnect among consumers about the benefits of certain bioactive ingredients, which is why consumer education is must, keeping in mind the target population, if marketers want to capitalize on opportunities in this market.
 

The loss in credibility of nutracueitcals in the minds of consumers is the key limiting factor in the growth of the market.

 

The nature of India’s nutrition concerns are three fold –
- On one hand is the undernourished population (380 million) with majority having inadequate purchasing power to even consume a diet sufficient in calories, let alone take sufficient nutrients.  Their challenge is to meet foundation needs to maintain normalcy of being.  These needs would have to be addressed by government programs with the private sector playing a supportive role.
- On the other hand is the huge population (570 million) that is nourished in calorie intake but not in terms of nutrient intake.  This segment would typically include lower middle to upper class population with sufficient purchasing power but probably low awareness about their nutrient requirements, leading to unmet condition specific needs in addition to foundation needs.  In fact, 60% of this population (340 million with 30% in urban and 34% in rural areas) consumes more than the recommended number of calories with higher than recommended levels of dietary fats and could be the largest contributor in making India the future cardiovascular and diabetes capital of the world.  While there are several factors that have contributed to these severe inadequacies, the key ones are increased urbanization, larger working class population and growing affluence.  These factors have resulted in a shift of dietary habits from consuming micronutrient rich foods such as fruits and vegetables to consuming more of fat-rich calorie foods. - The third population segment (80 million) is one which consumes nutrients and calories more than the norm due to their enhanced physical requirements because of their chosen lifestyles and interest areas such as professional sports, heavy exercise and extensive outdoor field work.  This would lead to a greater need for nutrition, in addition to some condition specific and foundation needs.

 

In this age of rising medical cost, greater awareness of health and preventive medication, knowledge of Nutraceuticals is carving its own space in the Wellness Industry.

 

In future, the ageing population across the world will increase, and demand for supplements and functional foods related to age-related conditions will certainly grow at double-digit rates.

 

Even though the Indian nutraceutical market is in a nascent stage, it is showing accelerated growth and is expected to cross US$400 Million in India alone.

 

World renowned economists predict in the next ten years that the Wellness Industry will expand to over $1 trillion; meaning that it's going to be the largest growing industry by the year 2010 and may even surpass the pharmaceutical business.