Working women in India lead dietary supplements usage for holistic wellbeing

March 14, 2023

Vitamins, minerals and supplements (VMS) enjoy a higher penetration among working women in India. According to new research from Mintel, nearly half (48%) of working women consume VMS compared to one-third (33%) of working men. Bone health (45%), digestive health (39%) and immunity (36%) are the top three health benefits working women seek from VMS products, pointing to a rising interest in holistic wellbeing.

Dr Anamika Banerji, Food and Drink Research Analyst, India, at Mintel said:

“Mintel consumer data shows that bone health has captured the attention of working women in India. However, data from Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD) shows there is an opportunity for brands to innovate VMS products that specifically address bone health, as just 14% of VMS products launched in India between November 2021 and October 2022 carried this functional claim.”

Women turn to VMS for the treatment of health issues

Treatment of health issues is also a key factor driving the usage of VMS among 42% of working women. Among the health issues that they report experiencing are hair loss (27%), sleep disorder (15%) and recurring cold/flu (14%). Furthermore, Mintel research shows that about two in five (45%) of working women who consume VMS self-medicate when they have health issues, while 49% mostly visit health professionals for treatment.

“Using VMS to prevent health issues is lower among working women as they are more likely to use VMS for treatment. This highlights the need for VMS brands to position the value of VMS in preventive healthcare to increase usage. Our research shows that working women are concerned about mental health, respiratory diseases and thyroid concerns in the future. Brands can explain how certain VMS products help in maintaining health while also reducing the chances of developing such issues in later life.” Banerji added.

Beauty benefits of VMS popular among younger women

Mintel research shows that 42% of working women aged 18-34 (vs 31% of total sample) agree that consuming VMS is effective in helping them age healthily. According to Banerji, products offering beauty benefits can communicate how long-term skin and hair health is a part of healthy ageing.

“Mintel 2023 Global Consumer Trend Me Mentality explores how consumers are eager to refocus on themselves. This includes how they feel and look, and they are increasingly looking at beauty-benefiting claims to support their outer beauty. VMS brands offering beauty benefits can focus on the glamour aspect or talk about a radiant and moist appearance of the skin, in addition to slower skin ageing, to attract young women to the VMS category,” she said.

Addressing women’s hormonal health in functional food and drink

The food and drink category is also taking inspiration from VMS to cater to the unique needs of women. According to Mintel research on functional food and drinks in India, 85% of metro-dwelling women find packaged food and/or drink products that help maintain hormone balance appealing.

“Functional food and drink brands can develop variants based on women’s nutritional needs. For example, they can innovate functional food and drink with added micronutrients and ingredients that boost or regulate hormone levels while promoting overall health and wellness,” Banerji concluded.

Additional research on nutraceuticals and interviews with the analyst are available upon request from the Mintel Press Office. For those interested in purchasing the full report, please visit the Mintel Store.

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