The global medical foods market size was USD 21.10 Billion in 2021 and is expected to register a revenue CAGR of 5.4% during the forecast period. Increase in global geriatric population suffering from chronic disorders, such as multiple sclerosis, dementia, and swallowing difficulties, is creating demand for special dietary management, which is expected to drive market revenue growth over the forecast period. Rising application of medical foods for specific dietary management to treat particular diseases, and their increasing use to control diabetic neuropathy are other factors expected to support revenue growth of the market. Moreover, constant innovations by manufacturers and growing promotional campaigns are expected to have a positive impact on the market during the forecast period.
In order to treat metabolic disorders, there is huge demand for new medical foods for specific treatment purposes. Medical foods are being adopted by several healthcare organizations and professionals to manage and control diabetes and diabetic neuropathy, which is a key market driving factor. Diabetes is one of the most concerning diseases, as its prevalence has been rising at a fast pace. The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that almost 1.5 million deaths are caused by diabetes every year. An unhealthy lifestyle is the leading cause of diabetic neuropathy, and medical foods can act as a remedy against this disorder, which is expected to increase their demand during the forecast period.
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Many leading industry consolidation activities by manufacturers, such as acquisitions, product launches, promotional campaigns, mergers, and partnerships are supporting market revenue growth. The COVID-19 pandemic has also impacted the medical foods market and is expected to continue to do so during the forecast period. The pandemic has created several problems, but there have been some favorable changes as well. Increasing adoption of medical foods for dietary management to deal with nutritional deficiencies and strengthen the immune system during the pandemic is expected to drive market revenue growth.
However, lack of awareness among the masses regarding the proper use of medical foods is a major factor that can hamper market revenue growth. Moreover, high costs of medical foods and low availability of these products in developing economies can limit revenue growth of the market to a certain extent during the forecast period.
Driver: Rapid increase in the global geriatric population suffering from several chronic diseases
Increase in geriatric population suffering from chronic disorders, such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, multiple sclerosis, and others, is creating demand for specific dietary management, along with proper treatment and medication. Rising awareness among the senior population to adopt proper dietary changes is increasing demand for medical foods. Medical foods are a complementary category of therapeutic agents that aid in the treatment of several diseases nutritionally and can often be as useful as prescription drugs. Many physicians and patients have incorporated medical foods as a part of a total disease control strategy to get proper treatment results. Medical foods often help patients in managing sleep, pain, and other disorders, which in turn, is expected to increase their demand and drive market revenue growth during the forecast period. Studies suggest that the world population above 60 years of age will rise from 12% to 22% in the next ten years, thus increasing demand for medical foods. Moreover, preference for consuming specific foods instead of drugs to treat chronic diseases, such as obesity and diabetes, is expected to support market revenue growth over the forecast period.
Restraints: High costs and low availability of medical foods in developing countries could hamper revenue growth of the market
Medical foods are expensive as compared to traditional food products, and it is not always easy for patients with a low disposable income to afford medical foods for treatment, which can be a major challenge to market revenue growth. In addition, most developing economies have low availability of medical foods, which makes them more expensive. Low investments in medical foods in developing countries, leading to their low adoption, is also a major challenge for the market. This leads to decrease in product variation, which in turn, limits market revenue growth. Furthermore, lack of awareness among common masses regarding the proper use of medical foods is expected to hamper revenue growth of the market during the forecast period.
Based on product, the global medical foods market has been segmented into powder, pills, liquid, and others. The powder segment accounted for largest revenue share in 2021. High commercial availability of medical foods in powder form is a key factor expected to drive revenue growth of this segment. The ease of consuming powdered medical foods, and rising usage by the pediatric and geriatric population are also expected to drive revenue growth of this segment over the forecast period. In addition, the powder form can be administered through both oral and enteral routes to patients of all ages, which is expected to increase their demand further. Moreover, manufacturers are developing medical food products according to consumer preference, which is expected to have a positive impact on the segment during the forecast period.
The liquid segment is expected to register the fastest revenue growth rate during the forecast period. Intake of solid food is limited or impossible for pediatric or geriatric patients or in case of clinically diagnosed dysphagia, or when the oral physiology is limited. The ease of consumption of liquid medical foods and their commercial availability are expected to drive revenue growth of this segment. Furthermore, many doctors recommend intake of liquid formulations to patients who suffer from various gastrointestinal disorders or after surgeries for better recovery. Intake of liquid medical foods provides sufficient hydration and electrolyte balance to the body, which is expected to increase their demand and thus, drive revenue growth of this segment.
Route of Administration Outlook:
Based on route of administration, the global medical foods market has been segmented into oral and enteral. The oral segment accounted for largest revenue share in 2021. Regular practice of oral administration of clinical foods is a key factor expected to drive revenue growth of this segment over the forecast period. In addition, increasing production of oral medical food products in the form of pre-thickened products, pills, and powder is expected to support revenue growth of this segment.
The enteral segment is expected to register the fastest CAGR during the forecast period. Cardiovascular and several other chronic metabolic disorders often lead to patients facing difficulties in oral consumption and swallowing, which increases preference for feeding medical foods through the enteral route of administration. Furthermore, manufacturers are focusing on development of technologically advanced enteral feeding tools and devices to ease the process, which is expected to drive revenue growth of this segment over the forecast period.
Based on application the global medical foods market is segmented into chemotherapy-induced diarrhea, diabetic neuropathy, pathogen-related infections, Alzheimer’s disease, and others. The chemotherapy-induced diarrhea segment accounted for largest revenue share in 2021. Frequent episodes diarrhea can interrupt chemotherapy sessions and dosage patterns, and so increasing use of medical foods to control diarrhea in patients receiving chemotherapy is expected to drive revenue growth of this segment. In addition, use of cytotoxic medicines also leads to chemotherapy-induced diarrhea, and the frequency of severe diarrhea caused by these cytotoxic drugs ranges from 5 – 44%. Medical foods play a key role in treating such diarrhea, which is driving revenue growth of this segment. Medical foods are easy to digest and so they are recommended to patients to recover from the loss of absorptive surfaces and mucosal damage caused by chemotherapy-induced diarrhea. In addition, physicians usually instruct patients to stop the medication and consume liquid medical foods that can provide bowel relief. Thus, growing preference for medical foods to resolve chemotherapy-induced diarrhea is expected to support revenue growth of this segment over the forecast period.
The diabetic neuropathy segment is expected to register the fastest revenue growth rate during the forecast period, due to growing prevalence of diabetes and rapid growth in the number of patients who can develop neuropathy. Additionally, various new measures and initiatives taken for the management of diabetes through diets and medical foods is expected to drive revenue growth of this segment. Growing preference for consuming medical foods rich in omega-3, lipoid acid, and Vitamin B12 instead of pharmaceutical drugs is another factor driving revenue growth of this segment. Moreover, physicians have already adopted medical foods for management of neuropathy. Almost 50% adults suffering from diabetes are affected by peripheral neuropathy, and rising neuropathy cases is expected to increase demand for medical foods.
North America accounted for largest revenue share in the global medical foods market in 2021. Robust presence of key market players in countries in the region is driving market revenue growth. Strategic developments by key players, such as collaborations, mergers, and product launches, are also expected to drive revenue growth of the market. Moreover, increasing incidence of chronic diseases and rising awareness about medical foods are expected to have a positive impact on the North America market.
The market in Asia-Pacific is expected to register the fastest CAGR over the forecast period, due to increase in the number of diabetes and cancer patients. Almost 50% of annual cancer cases in the world are observed in Asia-Pacific, and deaths due to cancer in the region is expected to increase by almost 36% over the forecast period. In addition, a large population and rising awareness among the masses regarding medical foods for better health and dietary management are expected to drive market revenue growth. Furthermore, presence of several key players in the region and multiple untapped opportunities in the healthcare sector are supporting revenue growth of this regional market.
The medical foods market in Europe is expected to register a steady revenue growth rate over the forecast period. Europe has a large elderly population that is at a high risk of developing several respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. Europe accounts for nearly 3.9 million deaths annually due to cardiovascular diseases, and the numbers are expected to increase in the near future, which is expected to increase demand for medical foods in the region. In addition, increase in the number of underweight and malnourished individuals is expected to drive demand for medical foods. Almost 40% of patients in European hospitals are malnourished or underweight, and doctors are adopting medical foods to deal with dietary issues, which is expected to drive market revenue growth in Europe.
Competitive landscape of the global medical foods market is moderately consolidated with few key players operating on global and regional levels. Key players are engaged in strategic alliances to expand their respective portfolios and gain a robust footing in the global market. Major players in the market include Targeted Medical Pharma, Medtrition, Inc., Nestle, Abbott Laboratories, Danone, Fresenius Kabi, Primus Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Mead Johnson & Company, LLC, Victus, Inc., and Meiji Holdings Co.
- In October 2020, Nestle Health Science launched protein-based liquid medical foods in China for special medical purposes. The main component of that drink is galactomannan, a highly soluble dietary fiber, which can improve and prevent gastrointestinal disorders and diarrhea.
- In August 2020, Nestle acquired IM HealthScience to expand its medical food portfolio. The companies are focusing on new product development to broaden their product portfolios for different indications, which will help to hold a strong grip on the market. Moreover, continuous efforts in promotion and marketing by manufacturers for high adoption of their products is expected to increase revenue of the global market.
Segments Covered in the Report
This report offers historical data and forecasts revenue growth at a global, regional, and country-level, and provides an analysis of market trends in each sub-segment from 2022 to 2030. For the purpose of this report, Reports and Data has segmented the global medical foods market based on product, route of administration, application, sales channel, and region:
Medical Foods Market Report Scope
Segments covered By Product Outlook, Route of Administration Outlook, Application Outlook, Sales Channel Outlook, Regional Outlook
By Product Outlook
By Route of Administration Outlook
By Application Outlook
Pathogen Related Infections
By Sales Channel Outlook
Middle East & Africa
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