How FMCG biggies are evolving with opportunities in Indian wellness market
The Indian wellness industry has grown by leaps and bounds, 25-30 per cent precisely, in the past one year and is expected to grow at this rate year on year. It’s now a trillion dollar market. It is no surprise then, that players, both in the services and products sector, are eyeing this market, tapping the opportunities coming their way.
The reasons for the growth of the wellness industry are many. One of the primary reasons turns out to be an increase in the spending capacity of the Indian population and also busy lifestyles in Tier-I cities, where people now demand more wellness products and services and are ready to shell out money for these. Another factor has been the spurt of e-commerce. When consumers with hectic schedules get wellness offerings online, they tend to buy them. And, why not? Keeping fit is after all a trend that’s here to stay.
This has resulted in more health and wellness products being offered. The most remarkable result has been a shift in the kind of products that big players in the FMCG sector offer. With healthier versions of their products, these brands have established a new product portfolio that caters to the health and wellness market. Let’s take a look at 5 of these brands who have successfully evolved with the changing consumer demand, and have created a significant position for themselves in the wellness industry.
Nestle’s products were primarily dominated by milk powder, chocolates, noodles and dairy offerings. It was in 2011 that Nestle saw the growing demand in the health and wellness sector and added A+ curd and A+ milk to its offerings. These offerings were characterized by their low fat and nutritional content. The latest addition to this range of products has been the launch of Nestle A+ GrekYo, which is greek yogurt, one of the healthiest versions of yogurt.
Launching this product in April this year, Arvind Bhandari, General Manager - Dairy, Nestlé India said, “We have introduced this product for the first time in India. A perfect blend of health and indulgence, NESTLÉ a+ GREKYO has a rich and creamy texture coupled with real fruit bits. Globally the Greek Yoghurt category came into prominence less than a decade back and in certain countries it has already captured a major share of the entire Yoghurt market. In India, this category is still at a nascent stage but we are confident that Nestlé will lead the global trend for the Indian consumers soon.”
India’s much loved biscuit brand starting bringing all things ‘healthy’ when it saw the shift in consumer behavior. Cashing in on the opportunity in India’s health and wellness sector, the brand brought Britannia Nutrichoice Biscuits, with the concept of low fat, low sugar cookies. Thereon, there has been no looking back for Britannia’s offerings in this range. The brand now has several varieties in this range like Nutrichoice Heavens, Nutrichoice Digestive Wholesome Wheat, Nutrichoice Digestive 5 Grains, Nutrichoice Essentials etc.
The latest offering in this range of Britannia products has been Nutrichoice Digestive Zero, launched earlier this month. “NutriChoice Digestive Zero is a perfect addition to our range of ‘power packed’ in- between meal options that will meet the nutrition needs of a diverse set of consumers who seek a healthier way of life,” said Ali Harris Shere, VP Marketing, Britannia Industries.
The sugar-free frizzy drinks sector saw a 39 per cent growth between September 2014 and August 2015. According to reports, this growth was driven by Coca-Cola’s latest ‘healthier drinks’ offering Coke Zero, which is a ‘zero calorie’ frizzy drink. While Diet Coke has long been a success story in the ‘healthier drinks’ segment for Coca-Cola, the Coke Zero story added to the success of the brand. When coke Zero was launched in 2014, it managed to sell 1 lakh cans in the first 13 days itself. Venkatesh Kini, President, Coca-Cola India and South West Asia, had said during the Coke zero launch, "As we move towards the halfway mark of the decade, it is important we add offerings to our portfolio even as we nurture the existing brands.”
Marico’s Saffola has primarily been a health-centred brand, seeing new products adding to the portfolio as the scope for newer products in the Indian health and wellness market widens. While Saffola was started as a healthy cooking oil brand, it now has products like instant oats and muesli too.
“We have always strived to provide only the best in class quality and hence we choose to benchmark our products, not with other cooking oils but with the best advancements in heart care.The result is cutting-edge scientific solution that delivers like no other. Every drop of Saffola is not just oil but high science that your family's heart truly deserves,” says Marico India.
ITC, too, changed its approach towards the Indian consumer and has been aggressive in adding products to its portfolio that have health and wellness as their primary focus. In 2014, ITC launched the healthier version of its Sunfeast biscuits, Sunfeast Farmlite, indicating that the brand realised the growth of the Indian wellness industry and the rising consumer demand in this sector.
In fact, earlier this year, ITC added to the Sunfeast Farmlite range with Sunfeast Farmlite Digestives All Good with no added sugar, and no added maida. At the launch, V L Rajesh, the CEO of ITC Foods Business said, “We wanted to enter the digestive biscuit segment with a product that completely resonates with needs of a health conscious consumer. We believe that Sunfeast Farmlite Digestive All Good satisfies the consumer’s desire of ‘No maida and no added sugar’ in their lifestyle.”
According to some reports Pepsico is also on its way to bringing a low-calories version of 7Up, its lemon-based beverage. Reports say that the brand is doing so by adding stevia, that is natural sugar, to it, considerably bringing down the sugar content of the beverage. These shifts by big FMCGs clearly point towards the huge plethora of opportunities that the health and wellness market provides for both newer entrants and existing players alike.