Two-thirds of India's dietary supplements illegal

Dietary supplements in spoonAround 60-70 per cent of dietary supplements being sold across India are counterfeit, unregistered and unapproved, says an industry body.

The finding comes from a survey carried out on behalf of the Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry of India (Assocham) by market research firm RNCOS, which also found that the market for dietary supplements in India is expected to grow strongly in the next five years.

"Committees should be built at block levels to check the prevalence of counterfeit products in the market and immediately discard them as they bring [a] bad name to the industry," suggested the study.

The Indian dietary supplement market was valued at around $2bn last year, and should reach $4bn by 2020, driven by the expanding middle class population within India and rising levels of health consciousness and spending power among consumers.

Vitamins and minerals currently account for about 40% of Indian dietary supplements market, ahead of herbal supplements (30%), probiotics (10%), omega-3 fatty acids (5%) and proteins, with amino acids and other essential elements together accounting for the remaining 15%.

Another Assocham survey published in 2012 found that 78% of adolescents in urban India consumed dietary supplements on a daily basis with a view to enhance their physical appearance, improve immunity and increase their energy levels.

Image courtesy of Kris Tan / Shutterstock

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