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How to start a nutritional food business in India?

21/06/2018 12:28:04 FSSAI
How to start a nutritional food business in India

Nutrition as a business idea:

In the food industry, the customer is the king, therefore, now there is no option but to innovate and bring alternatives that are healthy and nutrition based. The food industry is evolving to promote healthier lifestyles. On the other hand, people also want to eat healthy and tasty food. People inculcate good eating habits even while eating out. The ones accused of leading the junk food culture in the world- Mcdonalds, KFC, Pepsi, and Coke are now considering to offer products that are low in fat, sugar, and salt.


With income levels rising in Urban India, there is a considerable concern rising among people regarding health. People are keen on setting proper diets and implementing them in real lives. While the idea of nutritious food may appear to be a lucrative one, opening a nutritious food business may be effective too. There is no extent to which business may add services. These include; manufacturing, distribution, and sale. The market is untapped and has huge potential for growth.


Need for nutrition food business in India:

Lack of time and availability of adulterated food has deprived people of getting proper nutrition. People are now suffering from severe health conditions. One such indicator is the Vitamin D level in blood among women. A study conducted by SRL Diagnostics between 2013-2016 reveal 75 to 80% of women have inadequate vitamin D level. These rates are even high in South India. Besides this, there has been an alarming rate of malnutrition among children. According to a UNICEF Report, updated on May 2018, nearly half of deaths in children under the age of 5 years is attributable to undernutrition. This has posed a greater risk among children dying from common infection and severe infections because of delayed recovery. Moreover, increased stress level and tension at the workplace are also taking a toll. Therefore, holistic food nutrition has become the need of the hour.


How to initiate:

  1. Find a hole in the marketplace: One can find a food article that desperately needs a healthy makeover. Extensive market research may give an idea to begin or launch a new product.


  1. Make a delicious product: According to Chef Matthew Kenney, “everything is about the product”. Making a product delicious is a challenge in providing nutritious food.


  1. Adding a personal story: Personal stories can add a human touch to the product. Letting people know the person behind the creation of recipes, results after consumption of nutritious food, and effectiveness of the product allows customers to know how beneficial the product is.


  1. Utilize resources: Many food startups pay affordable rents and join supportive communities that are in favor of their working. Moreover, state governments may also offer incentives for promoting healthy food. For instance, in Kerala, the government wishes to launch incentives for farmers who grow pesticide-free vegetables.  


  1. Give great service: Being customer-oriented services are the underlying core of the business. People may prefer to come to healthy and nutritious food kitchens many times a day. In order to make it a regular staple for the neighborhood, it is important to provide quick delivery and speedy service.


  1. Creating trust: Sometimes, it becomes difficult to convince people that the product contains elements that are beneficial for health. It is challenging to convince people to pay worth extra money in exchange for the benefits they derive from it. For instance, it was difficult for Yakult to convince customers that the beverage contains a bacteria that is good for human health. In order to convince people, Yakult hired women and named them Yakult Ladies. These women could understand local culture and communicate well with households. The trust these ladies built was important for selling the product on one hand and creating barriers for further entry on the other hand.


Trends show that the industry is moving in a healthier routine. The food revolution has begun poised with healthy growth and new product offerings.


Licenses particular to Nutrition Food Business:

Dietary food supplements, food supplements, nutritional supplements and health supplements are some of the commonly used terms when we talk about the nutritional food business. There is a thin line of distinction between drugs and food supplements. This is because most of the ingredients used for the manufacture of nutritional supplement include ingredients which fall under the category of drugs as well as food supplements.


Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 is the prime Indian law governing food articles. It states that no person shall manufacture, sell or import any foods for special dietary uses and health supplements which the Central government has notified, except those in accordance with the FSSA. This makes it mandatory to categorize the food article as a dietary food supplement, food supplement, health supplements or nutritional supplements. This is important as the products under these categories are eligible to register under FSSAI.


The real confusion of licenses lies in products that claim to have high amounts of vitamins and minerals. In contrast to this, Indian markets are also flooded with drugs that are multivitamin tablets and products containing nutrients. Liberty is taken by manufacturers to avoid stringent drug laws and garb the food safety laws. In such cases, all those involved in the business are liable to the risk of prosecution for the matters of incorrect categorization.


Categorization is highly specific if the contents and quantum of nutritional values and supplements are mentioned for commercial reasons. Lack of statutory or judicial measures to decide such aspects have given businessmen the liberty to choose what they want. Accordingly, categorization of health and nutritional food articles would depend upon the ingredients or composition of it and is also subjective to the authorities that encounter them.


Claims are often made by the producers and providers of food articles. They have widespread conviction to promote a product by promoting powers of the food articles that help human well-being. These claims may also be traditional beliefs about the nutritional value of the food article. For instance; saffron is good in asthma, lemon pickle is good for immunity, chyawanprash is considered an immunity booster, certain foods like onions, ginger, pepper are considered hot, and certain foods like coconut, melons are cold. This is a tricky regulatory challenge. However, FSSA has made sure that such claims can only be made on the basis of scientific pieces of evidence.

Are you confident and Motivated enough to Start New Nutritional Food Business in India?

Legaldocs will guide you in getting all necessary Food Licensing and Registration required to start your New Nutritional Food Business, Please click on the following link to connect with our consultants.

Apply for Nutritional Food Business

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