March 2020 onwards, as the coronavirus began to rage in India, so did the demand for immunity boosting products.
Products such as olive oil, soya oil, mustard oil, fortified bread and biscuits, and powdered chocolate drinks saw a 20%-40% increase in demand.
According to a report by Nielsen, in March 2020 demand for immunity boosting products grew dramatically from the preceding three months, with Chyawanprash sales increasing by 81% from 2%, branded packaged honey by 35% against 10%, and turmeric by 38% from 7%.
Dabur's Chyawanprash sales hit the roof, so much so, that the homegrown brand decided to expand its portfolio of immunity boosting products multifold.
The brand has already launched Dabur Tulsi drops that are made from five rare tusli, and help boost immunity. These drops can be had with water, milk or tea to cure cold and cough.
As per reports, Dabur will also be introducing products such as amla juice, giloy-neem, etc. The company has also expanded the production of its existing products such as Chyawanprash, to cater to the rising demand.
To spice things up, or rather to sweet things up, brands are also coming up with immunity boosting ice-creams.
Karnataka based Dairy Day Ice Cream brand has launched 'Dairy Day Plus' - a unique range of ice creams having immunity-boosting ingredients.
The new immunity boosting ice-creams have been introduced in two flavours- haldi (turmeric) and the good old Chyawanprash.
The Ice-cream sector in India has been witnessing a fall in sales due to the lockdown, and the general lack of interest in people towards stepping out of homes for anything 'non-essential'.
The ice-cream sector also lost out on its peak season of March-June, which contributes 40%-45% of the sector's annual sales. The industry estimates that its losses could be as high as Rs.4,000 - Rs.5,000 crore this year.
In such a scenario, immunity boosting ice-creams only come across as an innovative step forward to reverse the losses.
Interestingly, since the outbreak, demand for soft drinks has fallen to be replaced by an increase in demand for milk, as consumers become more health conscious.
As per reports, milk beverage share has increased from three to five percent of the business between pre-Covid and post-Covid period.
Profiting on this demand for milk, dairy space giants, Amul and Mother Dairy have also released a clutch of immunity drinks such as Ginger Milk to Tulsi and Haldi Milk.
In another venture, FMCG giant the Indian Tobacco Company or ITC has partnered with direct selling company Amway India to launch a range of products in the segment.
The company has come up with one-of-its-kind immunity boosting fruit juices—the new B Natural + range that contains clinically proven immunity boosters.
And although for now, the ITC is selling the new product with help from Amway's chain of micro-entrepreneurs, it will soon expand to digital marketing, working with Amazon, Milkbasket, Bigbasket and the likes, catering to the demand of these immunity boosting products, that industry experts opine, will only increase for now.