Home Healthcare IT Medical Foods Market Size, Top Share, Growth, Report to 2031

Medical Foods Market

Medical Foods Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Route of Administration (Oral, Enteral), By Product (Powder, Pills, Others), By Applications (Chronic Kidney Disease, Minimal Hepatic Encephalopathy, Chemotherapy Induced Diarrhea, Pathogen Related Infections, Diabetic Neuropathy, ADHD, Depression, Alzheimer's Disease, Nutritional Deficiency, Orphan Diseases, Others), By Sales Channel (Online Sales, Institutional Sales, Retail Sales) and By Region(North America, Europe, APAC, Middle East and Africa, LATAM) Forecasts, 2023-2031

Report Code: SRHI55875DR
Study Period 2019-2031 CAGR 5.01%
Historical Period 2019-2021 Forecast Period 2023-2031
Base Year 2022 Base Year Market Size USD 22.27 Billion
Forecast Year 2031 Forecast Year Market Size USD 34.54 Billion
Largest Market North America Fastest Growing Market Europe
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Market Overview

The global medical foods market size was valued at USD 22.27 billion in 2022. It is estimated to reach USD 34.54 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 5.01% during the forecast period (2023–2031). The significant rise in preterm births, particularly in developing countries such as India and China, is anticipated to accelerate market expansion.

Medicinal foods are prepared food items taken or delivered orally while being monitored by a doctor and designed to meet specific dietary management or nutritional needs. These include vitamins, minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, taurine, folic acid, selenium, calcium, and magnesium. They are processed specifically for the patient who needs a thorough and tailored diet for a chronic or therapeutic disease or condition.

A variety of illnesses, including ulcerative colitis, gastroesophageal reflux disease, chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction, insomnia, Crohn's disease, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and inherited diseases of amino acid and organic acid metabolism disorders, can be treated with medical foods. Patients who cannot eat, digest, absorb, or metabolize typical foods or nutrients through enteral feeding tubes or regular oral feeding are given these foods, which come in powder, pills, and capsule form.

Market Dynamics

Global Medical Foods Market Drivers

Growing Prevalence of Chronic Diseases

Chronic conditions like Alzheimer's disease, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, disorders of the central nervous system, and other conditions requiring clinical nutritional care have become more common over time. Around 45% of the U.S. population, 133 million, suffers from at least one chronic condition. Over 1.7 million people die yearly in the U.S. due to chronic conditions. The growing incidence of chronic illnesses is among the critical factors expected to boost the demand for enteral feeding, fueling the growth of medical foods.

Amino acid-based enteral nutrition manages sleep disorders, depression, osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Enteral nutrition is used to manage the food of patients with a reduced ability to digest, consume, absorb, and metabolize a typical meal and those with specific nutrient needs. Enteral nutrition helps relieve symptoms or slow down the progression of a chronic condition. This, in turn, is beneficial for increasing the growth and adoption of medical foods in the coming years.

Growing Demand for Neonatal and Preterm Enteral Feeding

The high prevalence of preterm births, especially in emerging nations like India and China, is expected to expedite market growth. According to WHO, one in 10 babies is born preterm, a global concern. Therefore, the high incidence of preterm births in emerging economies, improving healthcare infrastructure, and growing healthcare expenditure and patient awareness are expected to be among the major aspects boosting the market expansion during the forecast period.

Moreover, the commitment of NPOs and NGOs toward the prevention and care of preterm births, such as Every Woman Every Child, to advance the global strategy on women's and children's health is expected to boost the demand for neonatal and preterm enteral feeding formula, thereby proving beneficial for the medical foods market.

Global Medical Foods Market Restraint

Lack of Awareness in the Medical Community

Medical foods are restricted by the medical profession's widespread ignorance and lack of knowledge of these foods. Medical practitioners must prescribe and oversee the consumption of medical meals. Although these products are becoming more popular, consumers, doctors, and pharmacists still don't fully understand them. This aspect makes it difficult for doctors to recommend or embrace medical foods, which may impede the market's expansion. The idea that medical foods can help with the management of chronic diseases is not shared by all doctors. Therefore, a lack of awareness among medical professionals and patients is expected to impede the market's growth.

Global Medical Foods Market Opportunities

Shifting Trend Toward Consumption of Disease-Specific Formulas

Increasing incidence of targeted diseases and advancements in drug development are driving the demand for disease-specific formulas. Medical foods are increasingly used for personalized treatment of diseases like cancer and cystic fibrosis. These conditions require special nutrition to avoid any drug interaction. For instance, special digestive enzyme capsules are administered for cystic fibrosis.

Prominent companies such as Nestlé specialize in personalized medical foods, including Deplin for depression and Metanx for diabetes. Deplin is different from nonprescription folic acid as it contains already-activated folate. Notably, 70% of the patients suffering from depression have a low ability to activate folate. Therefore, the demand for medical foods, such as Deplin, is increasing for various non-metabolizing patients. Due to their contributions to increased treatment efficacy and higher levels of general medical care, these factors help fuel the demand for medicinal foods. Moreover, an increase in research activities in various fields, such as nutrigenomics, proteomics, and metabolomics, establishes links between food and genes, which can further boost the need for medical foods in personalized treatment regimens, creating market growth opportunities.

Regional Analysis

Based on region, the global medical foods market is bifurcated into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa.

North America Dominates the Global Market

North America is the most significant global medical foods market shareholder and is anticipated to exhibit a CAGR of 5.8% during the forecast period. North American region includes the U.S. and Canada markets. This region has a very large geriatric population, a huge chronic disease burden, and very high public and private expenditures on healthcare. Increasing preference for home-based enteral therapy has resulted in fewer patient visits to hospitals and clinics. Moreover, the key factors driving the market are high awareness about medical nutrition, the presence of key players, and various initiatives being undertaken to curb the incidence of disease-related malnutrition. Disease-associated malnutrition adds a significant burden on the healthcare system. For instance, as per the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), in 2017, there were around 41 million people in the U.S. facing hunger. Likewise, around 12.3% of people in the U.S. were food insecure. Such factors signify malnutrition's rising prevalence, fueling the market growth.

Europe is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 1.9% over the forecast period. Many chronic illnesses, including heart disease, lung disease, and others, disproportionately affect Europe's huge elderly population. According to data released by European Cardiovascular Disease Statistics 2017, cardiovascular diseases account for nearly 3.9 million deaths in Europe and over 1.8 million deaths in the EU. Europe is witnessing a surge in several medical issues, including cancer and autoimmune diseases. There will likely be a greater need for medical foods, also known as foods for special medical purposes, as the number of people suffering from malnutrition and underweight continues to rise. According to Specialized Nutrition Europe, forty percent of adult hospital patients in the European Union are malnourished. Approximately USD 136.8 billion (EUR 120 billion) is the monetary cost of malnutrition in Europe.

In Asia-Pacific, the presence of key participants such as Abbott, Nestle, Danone, and Fresenius Kabi and the high revenue generated by these companies are key factors for the largest market share. Countries such as Japan, China, India, and Australia are some of the major countries in the Asia Pacific. The region has a large patient pool, and the geriatric population in the region is surging. Lifestyle changes are increasing the prevalence of various illnesses, such as cancer, diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders, and autoimmune diseases. This is expected to propel the demand for medical foods to manage chronic diseases.

Japan has a large elderly population at a high risk of chronic conditions. Nutritional deficiencies are more common in the aging population, which is expected to boost the demand for medical foods in Asia. According to a 2018 article by Hunger Notes, Asia had the world's highest number of undernourished people. Moreover, the prevalence of malnourishment in South Asia is rising. For instance, it increased from 9.4% in 2015 to 11.5% in 2016. This represents high growth potential in the medical foods market.

The Middle East and Africa medical foods market is in the nascent growth stage. According to a report published in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Center for Studies on Aging (CSA), and Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), the geriatric population in Arab countries was projected to grow from 4.1% in 2010 to 12% by 2050. The burden of chronic diseases is also significantly rising in this region, creating favorable opportunities for market growth.

Moreover, the adoption of foods for special medical purposes is also gradually rising. In 2017, Danone, one of the key market players in this region, announced the launch of the Healthy Plate Mates Project in Dubai to address child obesity issues in the country. Such initiatives are anticipated to have a positive impact on market growth.

Report Scope

Report Metric Details
By Route of Administration
  1. Oral
  2. Enteral
By Product
  1. Powder
  2. Pills
  3. Others
By Applications
  1. Chronic Kidney Disease
  2. Minimal Hepatic Encephalopathy
  3. Chemotherapy Induced Diarrhea
  4. Pathogen Related Infections
  5. Diabetic Neuropathy
  6. ADHD
  7. Depression
  8. Alzheimer's Disease
  9. Nutritional Deficiency
  10. Orphan Diseases
  11. Others
By Sales Channel
  1. Online Sales
  2. Institutional Sales
  3. Retail Sales
Company Profiles Nestle Danone Abbott Fresenius Kabi Targeted Medical Pharma Inc. Primus Pharmaceuticals Inc. Mead Johnson & Company LLC Medtrition Inc
Geographies Covered
North America U.S. Canada
Europe U.K. Germany France Spain Italy Russia Nordic Benelux Rest of Europe
APAC China Korea Japan India Australia Taiwan South East Asia Rest of Asia-Pacific
Middle East and Africa UAE Turkey Saudi Arabia South Africa Egypt Nigeria Rest of MEA
LATAM Brazil Mexico Argentina Chile Colombia Rest of LATAM
Report Coverage Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends
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Segmental Analysis

The global medical foods market is segmented by route of administration, product, application, and sales channel.

Based on the route of administration, the global medical foods market is segmented into oral and enteral medical foods. 

The oral medical foods segment owns the highest market share and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 4.7% during the forecast period. Oral supplementation of vitamins and nutrients is a common practice. Several types of products are administered through the oral route. The different oral supplements are available in powder, liquid, pills, pudding, and pre-thickened products. Generally, most people requiring Oral Nutritional Supplements (ONS) are treated using standard ONS products with a calorific value of 1.5 to 2.4 Kcal/mL. These products are available in different flavors to suit patient requirements. The demand for orally administered medical foods is driven by initiatives that provide support, increased preference for orally administered products, and commercial viability.

Based on product, the global medical foods market is bifurcated into powder, pills, and others. 

The powder segment dominates the global market and is projected to exhibit a CAGR of 5.4% over the forecast period. The most common form of medical food is powder, which can be taken orally or mixed with milk or water for enteral administration, according to the doctor's orders. Patients of any age can benefit from medical foods in powdered formula, particularly when taken orally. Manufacturers are creating new product categories that cater to consumer preferences, which include a strong inclination toward powdered formulations. For instance, Tylactin RESTORE Powder, a hydration beverage for the dietary control of Tyrosinemia, was introduced by Cambrooke Therapeutics, Inc. in September 2016.

Based on application, the global medical foods market is divided into chronic kidney disease, minimal hepatic encephalopathy, chemotherapy-induced diarrhea, diabetic neuropathy, ADHD, pathogen-related infections, depression, Alzheimer's disease, nutritional deficiency, orphan diseases, and others. 

The diabetic neuropathy segment is the most significant contributor to the market and is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 5.5% throughout the forecast period. Diabetic neuropathy is a condition of nerve dysfunction that arises as a result of diabetes. For instance, according to Healthline, around 60 to 70% of people who have diabetes have some or other form of neuropathy. The highest revenue share is attributed to high disease prevalence and increased focus on nutritional management. Moreover, the risk of neuropathy significantly increases with aging, changes in diet, and unhealthy lifestyles. A few medical food products used to treat this condition are Percura capsules, METANX, Foltanx, and others.

Based on sales channels, the global medical foods market is divided into retail sales, institutional sales, and online sales. 

The institutional sales segment is the largest revenue contributor to the market and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 4.1% throughout the forecast period. Institutions that purchase medical foods include hospitals, long-term care centers, hospices, and disability facilities. Doctors influence the purchase decision of medical foods. Since the consumption of medical foods is recommended under medical supervision, the revenue generated through institutional sales is the highest. Due to the high consumption of medical foods for the management of chronic diseases, which is primarily influenced by healthcare institutions like hospitals, clinics, and care centers, institutional sales held the majority of the medical food market. Moreover, major players rely on institutional sales channels facilitated by a team of sales representatives who directly sell to medical facilities and doctors.

Market Size By Route of Administration

Market Size By Route of Administration
  • Oral
  • Enteral
  • Recent Developments

    • April 2023- ADM collaborated with the biotechnology startup Brightseed to create functional synbiotic products. By 2025, the companies anticipate introducing their synbiotics as functional constituents in foods, beverages, dietary supplements, and medical foods.
    • May 2023- CULT Food Science Corp. announced a share exchange with Peqish Group, Food & Hospitality Inc. The parties will exchange USD 187,500 in business shares under the Share Exchange Agreement.

    Top Key Players

    Medical Foods Market Share of Key Players

    Medical Foods Market Share of Key Players
    Nestle Danone Abbott Fresenius Kabi Targeted Medical Pharma Inc. Primus Pharmaceuticals Inc. Mead Johnson & Company LLC Medtrition Inc Others

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    Medical Foods Market Size ?
    he global medical foods market size is estimated to reach USD 34.54 billion by 2031.

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