The Indian healthcare sector is a highly untapped and budding sector for market opportunities. Approximately, one-third of the world’s stunted population below 5 years of age resides in India and the country continues to face the malnutrition crisis. This population is equivalent to 46.6 million children and further estimations predict approximately 31% of Indian children to be stunted by the end of 2022. Stunted children are a direct cause of poor paternal nutrition which is highly prevalent in India. Now one-third of the women in India who are of reproductive age are highly undernourished. Their malnutrition perpetuates the cycle of producing undernourished babies, thus leading to a cross-generational prevalence of malnutrition. These factors have provided unprecedented growth to the Indian maternal nutrition market. A highly nutritious pre-pregnancy diet is a key requirement for both the mother and children. Key players of the Indian maternal nutrition market have therefore centered their focus on a nutritious breastfeeding diet that could eventually lead to the negligible presence of malnutrition in both the babies and their mothers.
Nutrition programmes in India have mostly revolved around post-birth nutritional care which fails to address malnutrition in pregnant women. Furthermore, the provision of adequate nutrition before consumption is also a key factor for improving Indian maternal health. This also serves as an important growth driver for the Indian maternal nutrition market as key market players focus on overall health in women of all ages.
The Indian Maternal Nutrition Market share has been estimated to grow with a CAGR of 8% during the forecast period 2019-2025. In 2018, the Indian maternal nutrition market size reached $2.43 billion.
Milk Formula As The Most Promising Segment Of The Indian Maternal Nutrition Market
On the basis of product type, the Indian maternal nutrition market is segmented into dietary supplements, milk formula, cereals, beverage supplements, protein bars, yogurts, shakes/smoothies, and others. Milk formula has emerged as the most popular and highly growing segment of this market according to IndustryARC’s research. The first 1000 days of a child’s life starting from conception to turning two years old are considered highly crucial in terms of nutrition. Many mothers face problems relating to breastfeeding that could result in stunted growth in their children. This factor has provided an impetus to the milk formula segment. Milk formula is extracted purely out of cow’s milk and has a high nutrient density as compared to breast milk that differs from person to person. Feeding milk formula is highly beneficial to working moms as they do not have to accommodate breast milk pumping into their work schedules. Scheduling of feeding becomes incredibly easier with milk formula as babies experience slow digestion as compared to fast processing of breast milk inside the body. Additionally, a breastfeeding diet can have several restrictions on a mother’s eating habits which has further made milk formula highly popular amongst parents for its convenience. These factors will help the milk formula segment in growing and provide impetus to the Indian maternal nutrition market. The segment of milk formula will grow with a CAGR of 7% during the forecast period 2019-2025.
Indian Government and UNICEF India’s combined Efforts To Fuel The Indian Maternal Nutrition Market Growth
The Indian government has played a pivotal role in bridging the gap between mothers and maternal nutrition. Owing to several schemes and programmes initiated by the government, Indian women of reproductive age have better access to maternal nutrition and related facilities. In recent times, the most important scheme to have made a profound impact on the maternal nutrition state of India is the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY.) This is a socio-economic scheme that provides cash incentives to mothers for taking care before and after the birth of the baby. This cash incentive helps women in buying adequate products for fulfilling the nutritional requirements of babies as well as themselves.
UNICEF India on the other hand, has primarily focused on the improvement of the supply chain management system in the country which pertains to maternal nutrition. Furthermore, raising awareness about maternal nutrition also falls high on UNICEF’s agenda.
The Indian government and UNICEF India formed a partnership under the ‘Aajevika’ programme. Under this arrangement, Indian government’s National Rural Livelihood Mission has started a new provision of streaming programmes relating to women’s nutrition across all villages in India. This has highly contributed to the growth of the Indian maternal nutrition market. UNICEF also collaborated with the state governments of Andhra Pradesh and Telengana to launch a scheme which provides a free full-meal to every rural woman in the states. This programme aimed to provide adequate nutrition which is missing from the diets of pregnant and lactating women.
Initiatives such as these have helped key market players in collaborating with the Indian government and non-profitable organizations to boost market growth.
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Indian Maternal Nutrition Market: Key Market Players
Since the Indian maternal nutrition market is highly untapped, key market players are readily investing in creating better solutions that could generate a high market revenue. These key players include Abbott Laboratories, Beech-Nut Nutrition Corporation, DMK Deutsches Milchkontor GmbH, Nutricia Ltd., Arla Foods Ingredients Group, Nestle S.A., Mead Johnson & Co. LLC, Scientific Brain Nutraceuticals Pvt Ltd., Ethix Industries Inc., and Roquette Frères.
=> In 2015, Beech-Nut Nutrition Corporation launched 100% organic baby food that was made from nutritive constituents extracted directly from vegetables and legumes.
=> In 2015, Arla Foods Ingredients Group launched a maternal solution which contained lacprodan whey protein and capolac minerals. This solution was cited for its innovativeness in dealing with maternal nutrition.
=> In 2019, Nestle completed 150 years of infant formula sales and announced further R&D for the production of better maternal nutrition products for lactating mothers.
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