The launch marks the growing role of omega-3s, especially docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), in maternal nutrition.
DHA, supplied by US-based Martek Biosciences, has already been included in the majority of infant formula brands. Its role in foetal and infant development is supported by numerous studies and is further backed by advice issued by the UK's Food Standards Agency this week.
Indeed Martek is aiming to make further inroads into this category with its DHA and arachidonic acid oils. In a recent interview with NutraIngredients.com, Scott Van Winkle of US analysts Adams, Harkness & Hill said the company's two real opportunities over time will be selling DHA and ARA in supplements for pregnant women and as food ingredients.
While Horlicks in India is consumed mostly by children, Glaxo has been looking to expand the range. Last year it added a soy-based version for the older population called Horlicks Plus.
The brand has given strong topline growth to Glaxo's Indian business, with sales up 17.6 per cent in 2003. Sales of Mother's Horlicks, to which it will add DHA, were up 49 per cent.