Global Medical Foods Market: Overview
Often confused with dietary supplements or nutraceuticals, medical foods are specially designed foodstuffs intended to cater to the distinct nutritional requirements of a patient suffering from a particular health condition and are to be administered only under supervision of a medical personnel. As a dietary management strategy, medical foods are those that are especially designed, formulated, and processed considering the patient’s needs as opposed to the naturally occurring foods that are recommended by physicians as part of overall diet for management of symptoms. The patient typically has an impaired or a limited capacity to ingest, absorb, digest, or metabolize nutrients in ordinary food. In such situations, the modifications in diet do not suffice and therefore medical foods are necessary.
Global Medical Foods Market: Growth Factors
After the introduction of a milk formula for infants known as Lofenalac, medical foods began to gain traction steadily to include a plethora of products for the treatment of disorders and illnesses associated with nutrition. These health conditions include cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, mitochondrial disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and inborn metabolism errors. The incidence of rare conditions such as motor neuron disease (MND) has been escalating. Because MND is an irreversible condition for which no treatment or drugs are available, the only alternative is to curb the progression of the disease. As medical foods can compensate for nutritional deficiencies that are responsible for progression of such conditions, they are considered an ideal alternative to ordinary food.
Moreover, the health of numerous patients who are receiving treatment for chronic conditions is adversely affected by the drugs used in the treatment and often suffer from nutritional deficiencies. Medical foods are increasingly being recommended by healthcare practitioners including dieticians for overcoming these nutrient deficiencies, transforming the global medical foods market dynamics. For instance, the bone health is restored by medical food consumption by improving bone mineralization since these foods contain zinc and vitamin D.
Before they are introduced in the market, medical foods require effective results from clinical trials along with approval from experts to ensure their safety. Therefore, the regulations and rules pertaining to the launch of new medical foods might hinder the growth of the medical foods market. However, the fact that patients do not require a prescription for buying medical foods can ensure increased sale.
Global Medical Foods Market: Segmentation
The global medical foods market can be segmented by administration, end-user, form, health condition, and region. External use medical foods and internal use medical foods are the two broad categories of the global medical foods market by method of administration. The internal use medical foods are likely to collect significant revenue over the forthcoming times. Several market players are introducing medical foods that have better taste and texture. By end-user, the global medical foods market can be segmented by pediatric use and adult use. The adult use segment is expected to dominate the global medical foods market. On the basis of form, the market can be classified into liquids, powders, capsules, bars, and tablets. The key broad segments on the basis of health condition can be gastrointestinal disorders, chronic conditions, pain management, and psychological & neurological disorders. The chronic conditions segment presents considerable opportunities, owing to the alarming increase in patients suffering from diabetes and similar chronic conditions.
Global Medical Foods Market: Regional Analysis
North America medical foods market is projected to account for the largest share in the total revenue of the global medical foods market, owing to increasing awareness regarding the benefits of medical foods, the growth in geriatric population, heavy investments in R&D initiatives, and beneficial government policies across countries such as Canada and the US.
Asia Pacific has also been demonstrating greater acceptance for medical foods. The increasing geriatric population, coupled with the significant increase in chronic ailments is contributing toward the market expansion. As the taste and texture of medical foods is improving, it is becoming more palatable than medical foods of the past. This might also lead to greater acceptability of medical foods across the region.
Global Medical Foods Market: Competitive Players
Pamlab, Nestle Health Science, Caret Group, BASF, and Ajinomoto Co., Inc. are some noteworthy market players operating in the global medical foods market. Agreements, collaborations, mergers, and acquisitions are frequently being undertaken by a majority of medical foods manufacturers on a global scale.
Global Medical Foods Market: Regional Segment Analysis
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