Boosting Sports With Nutrition
Varun Khanna’s Fast&Up first developed and launched in 2007 in Switzerland and came to India in 2015. It is the innovative Swiss technology and effervescent science that has helped Fast&Up give nutrition products that were never seen in the country before though were available in international markets.
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According to Euromonitor International, the sports nutrition market in India is worth Rs 1,376 crore, expected to grow at 22.8 per cent CAGR by 2023. The market comprises three segments: sports food, sports drinks, and sports supplements. According to experts, sports supplements are gaining popularity as Indians — increasingly feel the need to ‘meet their supplementation requirements’ in order to stay healthy and active.
On the other hand, the total beverage market in India is about 43,000 crores and is growing approximately at about 15-18 per cent projected to reach 130, 000 crores by 2023. This includes all kinds of beverages such as energy & hydration drinks, food powder, probiotics, juices, nectars including tea, coffee, etc.
Given the health benefits, health drinks are focussed on the urban consumer which is a smaller market yet growing significantly. It is the fastest-growing subset of the beverages market. It is likely to reach 15,000 + crores by 2023. The key growth drivers include growing health awareness amongst the middle class, rising affordability and urbanisation.
Varun Khanna’s Fast&Up is working in a similar direction. The company was first developed and launched in 2007 in Switzerland and came to India in 2015. It is the innovative Swiss technology and effervescent science that has helped Fast&Up give nutrition products that were never seen in the country before though were available in international markets. Hence, Fast&Up was launched in India to promote ‘Active Living’ and it is humbling to see it being trusted and adored by sports-persons, health and fitness enthusiasts who have chosen to be active and live healthily. During the last financial year, the company generated INR 100 crore.
Here is the excerpt from an interview with Varun Khanna, Founder, Fast&Up
What has been your journey like?
In one word? Incredible. Aeronutrix Sports Products Private Limited was founded 4 years back and is one of the fastest-growing nutrition brands in the country. It was launched in 2007 in Switzerland and came to India in 2015. We are proud to say that Fast&Up is India’s first effervescent sports nutrition brand. The idea for the brand was birthed by the belief that active living is important for the wellbeing of an individual. It is perceived that active living comes at the cost of a restricted lifestyle but the brand believes in making your daily nutrition a fun experience through tasty, effervescent and easy to use products. ‘Fast&Up’ is the flagship brand that has multiple products catering to performance in sport and intelligent nutrition supplements for an active lifestyle. We are proud to say that today Fast&Up is favored by sports-persons, health and fitness enthusiasts who have chosen to be active and live healthily. The last 4 years have taught us invaluable lessons and given us a new family that is a Fast&Up family of our team and athletes we work with.
What are the current trends in the industry?
The consumer of today wants to feel active and feel like an athlete. The ’20s are going to be more about what now goes on within. The past 2-3 years have seen a sudden spike in the nutritional and supplement offerings available to the nation. With Innovative effervescent electrolytes to high quality amino acids, the average Indian has now got options beyond the basic ‘protein’ and the ‘vitamins' which defined “nutrition” in India for the longest time. E-commerce has also opened up the avenues, products don’t need to be imported through grey channels, but are available officially online. Urban India has been given a nutritional boost and it is definitely running with it. This acceptance and rise in the category can be seen in the Industry numbers, Innovator brands like Fast&Up have seen a 4-fold increase in revenues over the past few years.
How is Fast&Up different from other companies in the domain?
It is a quality product. I don’t want to sound arrogant but it is my humble opinion on our products because I know the kind of Research & Development, we have done on every product we have introduced. We are the only nutrition brand in the country to start the initiative of getting Informed-Choice certification across our flagship products. It is a voluntary certification program to attest to the quality of products and we took this initiative because we were very clear about one thing - the athletes of our country deserve only quality products to help them ace their training and excel in their performance on a world stage. We want to give them the right nutrition because champions are made before the main event. Along with this, India is a young country, and young citizens need to have the right nutrition to stay active and achieve everything we have set out to! To activate our country and ensure a fit and a healthy nation is our vision.
What is the reach of Fast&Up's products?
We primarily address the need for active living in the age group from 25 to 45. Fast&Up products promote ‘Active Living’ and are favored by sportspersons, health and fitness enthusiasts who have chosen to pursue healthy living. Our customer base has been growing year-on-year but our biggest gratification is the repeat purchase and the strong relationship that people have built with Fast&Up for their fitness. Since our inception, more than 5 million Indians have experienced Fast&Up.
What is the major factor for the growth of the company? How do you plan to go forward?
Fast&Up has grown more than 40 per cent year on year and we can safely say it is one of India’s fastest-growing nutrition brands. - Fast&Up has received funding from investors like Sixth Sense, Kotak Fund, and Tek Friday. Fast&Up is also backed by esteemed investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala. Future plans include making Fast&Up the nutrition of active India and taking Fast&Up beyond India. Today, Fast&Up is available in 2000 stores across India. Fast&Up is currently selling online and offline. We have our own e-commerce website and are available on all leading e-marketplaces. We are currently also aggressively growing in the retail space with a focus on specialised nutrition stores, MTOs, and pharmacies. We are focusing on our omnichannel strategy to get the Fast&Up to every active Indian across India.
What is the future of the industry? Where do you see your company going?
It is an exciting phase for the country and the sports industry with initiatives by individuals like Major Poonia (Fast&Up was the partner for the Fit Bharat Challenge), teams, organizations (Fast&Up is the official energy drink for PROCAM International running events) and even the Government of India. We are very excited about the new phase of an active, fit and sports-enthusiastic India. The industry is poised to definitely see growth.
With the current health care in the world today, it is imperative to talk about the importance of immunity and create awareness on the same. How this affects the industry, we will have to wait and watch.