During the pandemic, most women took a step back on their health and nutrition as they were over-burdened with household work, office work, and kids. All over the world, women’s health is a major concern, as the flip side of the increasing number of women in the global workforce shows itself in lesser focus and time spent on health maintenance.
Nutritional deficiency is one of the most common factors behind several health problems and diseases, such as osteoporosis, vitamin deficiency, and infertility. Therefore, good nutrition and a strong focus on overall wellness play a major role in ensuring women’s health. Moreover, it helps uplift their mood and energy levels.
Besides proper nutrition, it is essential to maintain a hormonal balance, which can also influence the physical and mental health of women.
Every month, women, who constitute 50 percent of the population, go through hormonal changes that affect their health, skin, hair, fitness, and mental health. There are not enough conversations and solutions to address this issue because it is tabooed as 'women's health'.
We are observing a slow change in the women wellness market where various brands are now concentrating on a wider range of issues like endometriosis, mental health, menstrual, and menopausal health, instead of focusing solely on fertility and pregnancy.
An increase in disposable incomes, coupled with a rise in health-consciousness, has now expanded the market for health and wellness products. India is now warming up to a more holistic idea of women's health and wellness characterised by the goal of being the best version of oneself in terms of health.
Consumer needs, aspirations, and requirements are evolving, and together, these have led to Fast Moving Health Goods (FMHG) becoming a flourishing market in the country. Various brands like Cipla are focusing on the nutrition needs of women with the launch of products in the nutritional deficiencies, bone health, and sexual health categories last year.
This indicates the huge potential of the women wellness market in India.
There is an emergence of femtech in healthcare companies that revolves around the need to better serve women, whether for medical needs that are specific to them or bringing in gender specificity for devices and solutions. These solutions are focused on holistic wellness.
Fertility, pregnancy, and maternal care are some of the major areas of concern, particularly for women opting for late pregnancies or those at higher risk of complications due to physiological factors.
From nutraceuticals emphasising bone health, sexual health, to skin and hair vitamin supplements, the landscape of reproductive health is changing drastically.
There is a growing awareness with emerging research in gender-based areas, particularly in the differences between men and women in the prevalence of diseases, treatment approaches, and the different outcomes of disease management. We can expect innovative new drugs and lower-cost alternatives to existing therapies within the next decade.
These will hopefully address and improve the treatment of health conditions that are specific to women or are tailored to meet their requirements. The converging economic and demographic trends in India have laid the foundation for an opportunity in the women's wellness segment. The COVID-19 pandemic provides an excellent prospect for the growth of the women-centric consumer and health goods market.
More and more businesses from OTC, pharmaceuticals, functional foods, FMCG, nutraceuticals and dietary supplements are making a foray into this high growth segment.
Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta