Early 1990s- Bull worker & Tara's (primarily sucrose and milk powder)
Late 90's- Protinex, Protinules and other OTC proteins (groundnut protein + sucrose and maltodextrin)
2000- 2005- Imported Whey supplements (High lactose, highly indigestible)
2005- 2010- Better quality Protein supplements (imported)
2010 – 2015- Good quality imported protein supplements & Poor quality Indian protein supplements (low manufacturing standards)
2015 – 2020- Import barriers on imported brands led to proliferation of Indian brands
2020 & Beyond- Dozens of Indian Protein brands
The West has been cozying up to the idea of supplements for a while now, but India has only recently started witnessing rapid growth. So what’s fueling this protein craze in India:
1. Pandemic- Survival of the fittest. Fitness came centrestage.
2. Dispensation of Myths- misconceptions about protein are now largely taken care of thanks to the good work of top class experts & educators like Kaizzad Capadia Luke Coutinho
3. Social acceptance- Protein consumption is now commonplace in urban households and not considered unnatural or performance enhancing in nature
4. Demographic expansion- Protein has moved from the gym to the kitchen. Importance has been culturally recognized.
5. Accessibility- Easy availability in both online and offline channels with a large variety to choose form.
6. Affordability- Competition brings downward pressure on pricing. Different sizes and price ranges for different budgets.
7. Form factors- Protein has moved from gym powders to snacks and food formats. Bars, cookies, chips, nuggets you name it and the protein claim is now ubiquitous on most labels.
Duplicacy, Non-compliance and Customer Confusion remain the leading pain points for the category. Most domestic brands tend to over-exaggerate their marketing claims, while genuine products are still hard to come by in certain parts of the country (primarily Tier 2 & 3).
Confusion is still rampant for new users to the category in terms of which product is the right fit for them.
As Indians take to sport and fitness with a new found zeal, protein supplements are increasingly becoming standard part of the monthly shopping list.
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