Clinical Nutrition in Focus

Clinical nutrition bolstered by trend for prevention over medication, global report reveals

By Nikki Cutler

- Last updated on GMT

istock | jansucko
istock | jansucko
The Clinical Nutrition market is set to witness annual growth of over 8.1% to 2025, spurred in part by nutritional supplements as healthcare providers increasingly focus on prevention, according to new research by Global Market Insights (GMI).

According to the report​, the market will exceed $87,530 million by 2025, largely driven by the ageing population, increasing cases of chronic diseases, a growing number of premature births as well as increasingly unhealthy diets and widespread physical inactivity.

Sumant Ugalmugale, one the report’s analysts, told NutraIngredients this market - valued at around $50,962 million in 2018 - is also bolstered by the rise in use of supplements as healthcare experts become increasingly aware of the significance of preventative nutrition.

“Oral nutritional supplements are experiencing a rapid growth as consumers as well as healthcare providers are increasingly focusing on health and wellness, ageing well and disease prevention.”

 “Even the National Institute for Health and Care Healthcare professionals believe that prevention is more effective than curative measures.

“Poor nutrition and unhealthy lifestyle are two of the causes for morbidity associated with chronic ailments such as coronary artery disease, ischemic stroke, diabetes, and some specific cancers. Preventative medical nutrition is an effective and affordable method of chronic disease prevention which can have better health outcomes.

“Hospitals and clinics are creating an institutional culture wherein patients and healthcare providers value nutrition. Institutions are developing a comprehensive discharge nutrition care and education plans, that can elevate the role of nutrition care in accelerated patient recovery.”

He adds that children’s clinical nutrition is another trend coming from increasing knowledge of the importance of adequate nutrition for optimal growth.

“The use of clinical nutrition in children is estimated to grow at a robust rate over the forecast time period.  Increase in demand for proper and adequate nutrition for child’s normal growth will spur the clinical nutrition market growth in the forthcoming years.”

He adds that there is also a greater emphasis on integration of cultural, sociological, economic and psychological preferences into clinical nutrition and ​physicians and nutritionists are striving to bridge a gap between the differences in culture and their accepted form of nutrition.

He explains: "Healthcare professionals are effectively working on programmes aimed at altering culturally driven food choices owing to the difference in their beliefs, attitudes and values.

“Cultural variation plays an important role in human nutrition and must be considered in clinical intervention, specifically, in areas with large immigrant populations.

“For instance, a large number of people in India follow a vegetarian diet. Similarly, Buddhist population adopts a more specific vegetarianism by excluding five pungent foods: garlic, leek, scallion, chives, and onion.

“Hence, cultural background should be understood well by nutritionists while establishing a nutritional plan for patients with different ethnicities.”

The report points out that a lack of awareness about clinical nutrition and stringent government regulations will inhibit the market to a degree but Ugalmugale points out that there are also numerous public and private initiatives to create awareness and increasing investments in products.

Life stages

The infant nutrition market held the largest market share in 2018, valued at over $30,989.5 million. GMI data shows the increasing number of preterm births and growing demand for milk based infant nutrition formula will be drive market growth.

Other factors fuelling the growth are the rising number of children suffering from malnutrition in emerging countries along with frequent introduction of new infant clinical formula.

The report adds that an increasing number of dairy intolerant children will drive soy based infant nutrition growth.

GMI predicts the adult consumer segment will witness significant growth of 6.1% over the forecast period owing to growing adoption of unhealthy food habits, combined with growing awareness about clinical nutritional products.

The report states that growth of the home healthcare sector is leading to the rise in demand for home enteral nutrition especially with the increasing number of compensation schemes. 

Global comparisons

Asia Pacific is the biggest market for clinical nutrition followed by Europe and North America, according to the report.

“High birth rates coupled with growing elderly population is a high impact rendering factor for increasing demand in Asia Pacific market, making it the fastest and largest growing region,” ​explains Ugalmugale.

“Increasing healthcare expenses and growing prevalence of heart diseases coupled with rising adoption of parenteral nutrition products will accelerate market growth in developed regions like North America and Europe.”

Latin America is the fastest growing region in clinical nutrition market. Ugalmugale says the disease-associated malnutrition has been reported in approximately 50% of adult patients in Brazil, Argentina, and other countries.

“Furthermore, presence of large pool of malnourished children, low parents educational level, early discontinuation of breastfeeding, growing prevalence of obesity and diet-related conditions such as hypertension, diabetes and cardiovascular disorders will fuel the industry size in Latin America."


The report's analysts estimate that China's clinical nutrition market will expand with a compound annual growth rate of more than 9.1% over the forecast time frame owing to increasing prevalence of chronic diseases as well as a substantial number of elderly people suffering from enfeebling condition.

The report adds that the increasing number of preterm births and notable number of malnourished children in the country will also stimulate demand.

South Africa

GMI values South Africa's Clinical Nutrition Market at $419.9 million in 2018 and this is estimated to expand at a 'significant rate'.

The country is expected to enjoy increasing sales of nutritional supplements thanks to the presence of associations such as South African Society for Enteral and Parenteral Nutrition which promote clinical nutrition.

Growing adoption of unhealthy food habits resulting in increased incidences of chronic diseases coupled with healthcare infrastructure development of the country will also favour industry growth.

Key players

According to the report, key industry players operating in global clinical nutrition are Nestle, Abbott Laboratories, Perrigo, Fresenius Kabi, Hospira, Mead Johnson, Baxter and B. Braun.

Ugalmugale explains that many of these firms are adopting strategies such as mergers, acquisition, strategic collaboration and geographic expansion to consolidate their market position as well as strengthen operational capability.

He points out that Danone is investing hundreds of millions into clinical studies and innovations.

“Danone accounted for significant market share with robust business growth owing to high revenue generated by fresh dairy products and early life nutrition segments.

"The company has strong R&D activities with 333 million euros budget, 508 patent families, 94 clinical trials underway.”

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