According to a report by Infiniti Research Limited, the global medical nutrition market is expected to grow at a steady pace, clocking a CAGR of 6.7% during the period 2012-2016. The market was dominated by the Americas in 2012, followed by the EMEA region (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) and the APAC region (Asia-Pacific). One of the main drivers in this market is a marked increase in theincidence and prevalence of various diseases and illnesses globally. Further, the increasing aging population worldwide, which is in need of medical nutrition products to treat various diseases and conditions, is contributing to the growth of the market. However, one of the major challenges in this market is the unfavorable reimbursement regulations imposed by the government in various countries. The lack of standardization in reimbursement norms for medical nutrition products has rendered these products unaffordable to price-conscious consumers.
The U.S. represents the largest regional market for medical nutrition products in the Americas due to the increasing availability of innovative products and the growing aging population. In the EMEA region, Europe represents the largest market for medical nutrition products. Within Europe, Germany and the UK are expected to drive the growth of the market mainly because of the increasing aged population and the growing number of people suffering from health disorders. The high demand for medical nutrition products in Australia, China and India are driving the growth of the market in the APAC region.
The report categorized the global medical nutrition market into three product segments: infant nutrition, parenteral nutrition, and enteral nutrition.
The global infant nutrition market has been witnessing steady growth during the last decade. The main factors driving the increasing adoption of infant nutrition products are innovation involving novel health ingredients, organic infant formulas and foods, as well as convenient and attractive packaging.
The specialized segment is the fastest growing segment in the global enteral nutrition market. The growing consumer awareness about health foods and wellness products is driving the growth of this market during the forecast period.
Parenteral nutrition is nutrition that is delivered to patients intravenously, bypassing the usual process of ingestion and digestion. The global parenteral nutrition market incudes segments such as amino acid-based products, dextrose-based products, fat-based products and additives-based products. The global parenteral nutrition market is currently faced with challenges in the form of stringent federal regulations in the U.S. and lack of research breakthroughs for new products.
Infiniti Research Limited cited that the global medical nutrition market has many growth opportunities mainly because of the increasing awareness about health, nutrition and diet among people. Hence, food product manufacturers are trying to develop new products with added health ingredients. The vendors in the market are adopting an effective marketing and promotional strategy, and are providing quality products that meet consumers' expectations.
The global medical nutrition market includes a large number of small and large vendors. Groupe Danone S.A., Nestle Group, General Mills Inc., Abbott Laboratories, Pfizer Inc., Mead Johnson and Company, and Fresenius Kabi AG are some of the leading vendors in the market. The increasing number of mergers and acquisitions in the market is changing the market share composition frequently. In April 2012, Nestle acquired Pfizer's Infant Nutrition business for U.S. $11.85 billion. The acquisition is expected to boost Nestle's presence in the Infant Nutrition market in China, since Pfizer had a major presence in that country.