Nutraceuticals covera variety of different products, including dietary supplements, herbal products, nutrients, and pharmaceuticals. The term nutraceuticals is actually a mix of two terms—pharmaceuticals and nutrients. Although nutraceuticals are sold in all markets around the world, they actually aren’t defined under US law. Nutraceuticals in the US are generally called dietary supplements or herbal products. But in Canada, nutraceuticals are covered under several different laws that refer to “products deriving from foods that are purified and sold in medicinal form for disease protection or physiological benefits.”
The largest nutraceutical producers in the world are based in India, which is no surprise, given that India also houses the world’s largest generics pharmaceutical market. India’s generics industry has come under fire in recent years for lax intellectual property rights laws and failing to protect patent rights. Western pharma companies and governments alike have pushed for more stringent rules on the generics industry in India. However, those regulations have not been pushed on the Indian nutraceutical industry, which is expected to grow significantly as a result. While the Food Safety and Standards of Act of India, passed in 2006, governs the production and distribution of nutraceuticals, it is not nearly as stringent as the regulations that western actors wish to place on the Indian generics market.
The Indian nutraceuticals industry will likely see growth of 20 percent per year until the fiscal year of 2019-2020, bringing the total value of the industry up to $6.1 billion. There is also rising demand across global markets because of an increased awareness of healthy lifestyle choices and a want for fitness products. Currently, the Indian nutraceuticals market is worth $2.2 billion, but that number is not expected to stay so low for very long.
Payment processors such as emerchantbroker.com provide nutraceutical merchant accounts for companies that are looking to break into the nutraceutical industry. The nutraceutical industry includes several products known to US markets, including energy drinks, probiotics, and even certain yogurts. The US is the largest pharmaceutical market in the world, and it also looks to be the largest nutraceutical market over the next few years. As nutraceuticals from India become more popular in the United States, look for western based regulators to start trying to apply some of the same regulatory pressures that have already hit the Indian generics pharmaceutical industry.