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GSK planning nutrition products

GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, a division of leading pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline makes its foray into the specialist nutrition category, reports Ruchi Hajela.

business Updated: Jan 31, 2008 22:48 IST
Ruchi Hajela

GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, a division of leading fast moving consumer goods and pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline made its foray into the specialist nutrition category.

“With the changing economy, lifestyles are changing and our eating habits do not meet all the requirements of our body. Hence, supplementary nutrients are required,” Pritendra Chawla, Head of Strategic Innovations Group at the company said.

The company is known for its products like Horlicks, Boost and Crocin amongst others and has now launched a protein rich powder based supplementary food ActiBase under the new category.

“The specialist nutrition category in India is worth Rs 500 crore and is growing at the rate of about 30-35 per cent annually, Zubair Ahmed, Managing Director, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Limited told reporters. Globally, the category is as big as USD 30 billion. Recently, companies like Nestle had acquired Swiss based pharmaceutical company Novartis for $2.5 million, and Groupe Danone (a leader in dairy products) took over Numico for about 12 billion pounds. Group Danone

The concept of supplementary foods is not new in India. Danone had also entered into a joint venture with Japan’s Yakult Honsha to launch its probitoic products in India and had recently introduced its probiotic drink in the market.

Amway had ventured into the nutrition and wellness category with its mineral rich Nutrilite in 2001. The company has about 16 products under the brand in India. About fifty per cent of our turnover of Rs 800 crore has come from the health and wellness category,”William Pinckney, Managing Director, Amway India told Hindustan Times. “Nutrilite has consistently accounted for about half of Amway’s turnover, “he added.

Going forward, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare will create sub categories for its existing brands, Ahmed said. Recently, the company had launched Horlicks targeted specially at women. The company also plans to bring its global brands into India within the next two-three years. “The market is mature and we plan to bring in Sensodine – a toothpaste brand, Lucozade Sport for athletes, and Ribena – a Vitamin C based fruit drink. However, there are regulator challenges at present and also that the stability of products is to be tested, which takes about nine months,” Ahmed said. He, however, declined to comment on the company’s sales targets for the specialist nutrition category.