According to the recently released report by Bekryl, Global Medical Foods Market (Food for Special Medical Purposes Market) was valued at US$ 11.2 billion in 2018 and will register 4.6% CAGR during the forecast period. It is estimated to reach US$ 11.7 billion by 2019 end. Demand for medical foods has heightened in the last three years owing to changing lifestyle and substantial increase in chronic illness such as Diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease to name a few. Moreover, patients prefer outpatient settings rather than inpatient environment. Many healthcare professionals prefer recommending medical foods to reduce heavy drugs intake and offer better quality of life. Medical foods popularity has led many companies to focus on launching range of products. The ecosystem is expected to hyper-competitive with further emergence of new entrants in the market. Majority of the industry players control a large set of value chain, thereby minimizing supply chain gap and generating higher profit margins on products.
Excerpts from the reports states North America to be the lucrative destination for companies in 2019. North America medical foods market accounted for 33% of global revenue share in 2018. Close to 60% of regional revenue was generated by Nestle and Abbott in 2018. The region has the highest per capita income and healthcare expenditure. Also, over 45% of the regional population is aged above 50 years – requiring special living treatment. These factors have substantially driven the growth of medical foods product in the region. Large pool of the revenue is concentrated to major players. These players are further strengthening market position by high patenting activities. There are over 60 FSMP companies operational in North America.
Asia Pacific is expected to register fastest growth during the forecast period driven by increasing sales in China and India market. According to the China State Administration for Market Regulation, a total of 34 medical food products has been approved till July 2019. Growth in the China medical foods market is significantly high. Foreign players accounted for the majority of the FSMP sales in the region.
Companies are shifting from dietary supplements and packaged food materials to medical food based products
Demand for healthy diets and consumer perceptions towards food as medicines has led many giants to prioritize their marketing strategy towards medical foods. Consumers prefer purchasing supplements or foods that are clinically proven and are able to minimize the ill effects of chronic illness. The trend is stronger among aging population that accounts for 22% of total population. As a result, few major companies have prioritized their business towards medical foods. This is expected to help companies generate higher profit margins and further expand business presence. For instance, Nestlé is actively enhancing its presence in the medical foods segment through its already wide distribution networks worldwide. In 2016, Nestlé Health Science entered in agreement with Seres Therapeutics to develop food products that can restore natural microflora of the gut. Further, in 2018, Nestlé has invested US$ 151.3 million in two factories in China in order to boost its medical food products and skincare products.
Another major company, Danone opened Nutricia Cujik production facility in March 2019. The company has invested USD 266 million in production plant to meet increasing demand of specialized infant nutrition especially in Europe.
Regularization of medical foods has led to emergence 0f many new players in the market. While few players are focusing on enhancing distribution channel, others are emphasizing on product R&D to ensure long term sustainability. For instance, BASF entered the Medical foods market in 2017. Such developments could potentially prove a challenge to already established players. BASF Corporation entered in distribution agreement with DIEM Labs LLC to commercialize its first U.S. medical food products for Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) patients.
Diabetic Neuropathy to be the Largest Therapeutic Application Segment in 2019
By therapeutic applications, medical foods sale is expected to be dominant in diabetic neuropathy segment. The segment was valued at US$ 3,659.9 million in 2018 and will continue to register significant growth throughout the forecast period.