Packaging plays a key role in the field of supplements and cosmetics, and half of the battle of choice is won if the packaging is right, says Varun Jaidka, strategic partnerships manager at TOSC International, a manufacturer of pharmaceutical formulations.
TOSC exhibited its range of pharmaceuticals, nutraceutical products and cosmetics at the recent Cosmohome Tech Expo held from 19 – 21 July 2023 at New Delhi’s Pragati Maidan. TOSC is in the field since 1985, focusing on domestic as well as export markets.
The company has three broad verticals – pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals and cosmetics. For skincare, it has face washes, body washes, cleansers, moisturizers, lotions, and creams. It has the non-sticky types to suit the summer months or humid weather. Some of these cosmetics come in the OTC (over the counter) category while other products can be prescribed by a dermatologist or a cosmetologist.
In pharma, it has tablets, lotions, and ointments for external applications. It also has liquid orals and syrups, capsules, and recently started with injectables as well. For nutraceuticals, it has the same dosage forms for health supplements, bodybuilding and skin care-related supplements.
The company has an in-house design team that takes care of all the design requirements. “The most important factor is the end use of the product. If the product is supposed to be placed in the prescription-led market wherein a doctor is writing a prescription, it will have a separate requirement. Whereas, if it is placed in the supermarket shelves, it will have a very different requirement,” says Varun Jaidka, strategic partnerships manager at TOSC.
In the supermarket shelves, we look out for the ‘pick-me-up’ factor so that product speaks for itself and the consumer is compelled to pick it up, he says. “Packaging is the most important thing when it comes to a supplement or a cosmetic. Half of the battle of choice is won when you have got the packaging right. Ultimately, it is the first impression of your product. Only when you win that battle, you get the opportunity to serve the customer for the next 30, 40 or maybe 60-odd days,” he says.
Everybody talks of quality but specifically when it comes to cosmetics and nutraceuticals, there is too much that can be done and delivered, he continues. But delivering quality is particularly a challenge today. Getting an effective product that is actually able to deliver its commitment to the consumer is the real challenge.
Talking about the cosmetics industry, he says, “The industry is at a crossroads today wherein we are moving from the offline channels to eCommerce. Almost every week, we get at least two to three inquiries from budding or upcoming eCommerce brands where there are people who aspire to launch their own brand, their own private label. That I feel is the way forward.”
There is an established offline market as well but then the reach is always a question mark with the eCommerce companies, he says. “The courier companies of today are able to reach tier 2 and tier 3 cities as well in a day or two. That is where I feel is the next growth for the cosmetics and the supplements industry.”
“Pharma is pretty much the same. There are new molecules we have from time to time but then, at the end of the day, it is all the same unless and until we have the ePharmacy rules and regulations sorted for the Indian market. I do not see much of a change coming in. There are 1MGs and NetMeds of the world but that is a very small thing. It is not really enough to shake the industry,” he concludes.