Going west: India’s ayurvedic ingredient suppliers report higher demand from US and Europe

By Tingmin Koe contact

- Last updated on GMT

Arjuna Natural said that the demand for its BCM-95 Curcugreen turmeric extract were in the high two digits as a result of COVID-19. © Getty Images
Arjuna Natural said that the demand for its BCM-95 Curcugreen turmeric extract were in the high two digits as a result of COVID-19. © Getty Images

Related tags: India, Ayurveda

India’s nutraceutical ingredient suppliers have reported a higher demand for native ayurvedic herbs, such as turmeric and andrographis, especially from the US and Europe, partly due to COVID-19.

Kerala-based Arjuna Natural said demand for its BCM-95 Curcugreen turmeric extract had been in the "high two digits"​, with most demand coming from the US and Europe.  

“The demand has been high and earlier on, we made higher shipments to distributors who had anticipated higher demand,”​ the firm’s joint MD Dr Benny Antony told NutraIngredients-Asia.

He said that while India has been the largest producer and consumer of turmeric, the consumption in India was driven by more traditional usage of the ingredient, such as consuming it in its original form, or in a powder form in foods and traditional remedies.

Although Western consumers are increasingly aware of turmeric’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, there is less access to whole turmeric and since the culinary traditions do not incorporate the spice, supplements became the choice for consumers.

The firm’s turmeric extract could be incorporated in capsules, soft gels, tablets, effervescent ready-to-drink formulation, water dispersible and oil-miscible formulations as well.

Some of the finished product brands containing the extract include US brand PureMicronutrients and Health Thru Nutrition.

He added that episodes of panic-buying had driven purchase of turmeric-based supplements.

“It may also be speculated that in times of heightened alarm there may have been some amount of increased buying to extend the usage or otherwise,”​ he said.

Bengaluru-based Natural Remedies on the other hand, said demand for AP-Bio, the firm’s andrographis paniculata extract, had grew by over 100% year-on-year.

The increase in demand mainly came from the US, senior manager of global marketing Abey Thomas said.

“Immune health is on top of the mind for consumers, and this is a permanent behavioural change,”​ he said, adding that the herb was well-known for its immune health benefits.

Brands using the ingredient include US’s Pure Encapsulations and BioCeutical’s ArmaForce.

Challenges

The firms did not discount the possibility of building new facilities but re-calibrating and optimising existing manufacturing lines are their immediate plans to meet heightened demand.

For Arjuna, Antony said the firm was working with distributors and customers to ensure fair distribution of stocks.

“The high and increasing demand for BCM-95 has already been there and the current situation has steepened the growth curve. As a part of our long-term plans, we were already having ideas on the drawing board to increase capacity,”​ he said.

Natural Remedies, on the other hand, said it was evaluating all options, including expanding its production capacity.

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