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Coronavirus Fears Push Indian Consumers Towards The Organic Aisle

Coronavirus Fears Push Indian Consumers Towards The Organic Aisle

People are realising the importance of the immunity system, said Kapiva founder Ameve Sharma

Organic and natural food products with high Vitamin C content are seeing higher sales, according to startups

Beyond products, organic startups are also spreading awareness of staying safe

After claiming the lives of over 6K individuals around the world, coronavirus has undoubtedly become the biggest fear in the minds of people today. While most are taking precautionary measures such as using sanitizers on hands and wearing masks all the time, some Indians have chosen to focus on diet and nutrition to improve their immunity.

With stocks of sanitizers and masks running low around the world, choosing organic food and healthy snacks and beverages seems to have become the next big thing.

“During these current challenging times, people are realising that it is essential to build the immune system through natural means,” said Kapiva founder Ameve Sharma. Mumbai-based Kapiva manufactures ayurvedic food and beverage products.

Like Kapiva, many other companies that are selling organic and healthy products have also seen a spike in sales as the Covid-19 infection spreads. Speaking to Inc42, new-age FMCG startups producing healthy drinks and food confirmed that sales have increased amid the pandemic.

As coronavirus spreads through human contact, people are avoiding going to supermarts to buy food products, Rakyan claimed. With more shopping being done online, the visibility for organic products is higher. “Individuals are buying our products from online platforms rather than small grocery stores. Sales from our own website have also picked up recently,” he said.

Cold-pressed juice maker Rawpressery founder Anuj Rakyan said that sales for packaged healthy drinks have spiked 30% between February and March 2020. Without revealing exact sales figures, ayurvedic products brand Aadar founder Adil Shah also confirmed that sales have grown in recent weeks. Similarly, startups such as StartSlo, Antidot and others also claimed to have seen higher sales. But what’s the connection between coronavirus and organic products?

Is Vitamin C The Key?

Most startups told us that the sales of products which have high vitamin C content have spiked up. For Rawpressery, this means fresh orange juice and other products with high vitamin C content such as grapefruit juice are selling well.

Kapiva’s Sharma said consumers have shown interest in products such as tulsi giloy juice, wild amla juice and other such products. Similarly, StartSlo’s amla shots are selling well. It is worth mentioning that amla is also a rich source of vitamin C. Sharma said that the vitamin C content of amla is higher than that of oranges and lemons.

According to Kapiva, consuming foods rich in antioxidants and that have antimicrobial properties is good practice in general, but this has seen higher adoption in recent months. These properties are commonly found in herbs, fruits, and vegetables.

Immunity In Focus

Dr G Prakash, deputy CMO of Jindal Naturecure Institute, recommended consuming more yoghurt to support active microbiomes. “It will help in boosting immunity,” he added.

He believes Indians need to make sure that their diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fat and lean protein to improve immunity.

Beyond products, organic startups are also spreading awareness on staying safe and preventing the spread of coronavirus infection. For instance, Kapiva is using its social media channels to spread awareness about immunity building.

While herbs, fruits, and vegetables are commonly available in nearby markets, but the self-quarantine means many are happy to spend a little extra to have them delivered home. The rising disposable incomes, easier availability of these products on delivery platforms, the right brand positioning, and the concern towards boosting immunity have all played a big part in this.

“People are shifting their attention to their Indian roots that have worked in their favour in the past and perhaps, might help again in the future,” Sharma added.

Note: We at Inc42 take our ethics very seriously. More information about it can be found here.