The Southeast Asia medical foods market size was valued at USD 1.4 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.1% from 2023 to 2030. According to the World Health Organization, the aging population in Southeast Asia is overgrowing. The rate of increase in the population of people aged 60 or above was 9.8% in 2017 and is expected to rise to 13.7% by 2030 and 20.3% by 2050, respectively.
Nutrition is a key factor in the aging process and a significant contributor to future health, helping to maintain good health. However, in South Asia, malnutrition contributes to the development of geriatric syndromes in older adults, which increases the risk of naturally developing poor health or chronic diseases. Besides, changes in lifestyle and the environment have led to modifications in the pattern of diseases among the elderly in Southeast Asia.
South Asia experiences a large burden of malnutrition among children aged under 5 years. The region’s population continues to struggle with malnutrition challenges encompassing both, undernutrition & overnutrition, with micronutrient deficiencies being very common. According to the UN, Asia’s undernourished population increased from 361.3 million in 2019 to 418.0 million in 2020, increasing the occurrence of undernourishment from 7.9% to 9.0% respectively. South Asia has been severely impacted, accounting for 89% of the increase in the undernourished population in Asia.
Malnutrition in Indonesia is a complex issue, owing to the coexistence of obesity and undernourishment in multiple demographics. In Indonesia, millions of adolescents and children are threatened by the high prevalence of stunting & wasting amid the burden of malnutrition. The country has made significant progress in reducing stunting, wasting, and food insecurity.
In addition, an increase in research activities in various fields, such as proteomics, nutrigenomics, & metabolomics, to establish links between food & genes, has further boosted the need for medical foods in personalized treatment regimens. Furthermore, medical foods are used to improve metabolic errors, wherein a specific enzyme defect can inhibit the normal metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates, & fats.
The Global Hunger Index (GHI) helps to monitor the countries if they are achieving hunger-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It measures the performance of countries on four component indicators: child wasting, undernourishment, child stunting, and child mortality. The GHI can specifically help market players identify the requirement for medical foods among different countries in Southeast Asia.
In Southeast Asia, medical food pricing varies significantly due to product quality, strength, and purity, as well as differences in distribution channels. High-priced products are typically sold through the health practitioner distribution channel. Medicare ideally does not allow reimbursement for non-FDA-approved therapy, including medical foods. This adds to the burden of patients seeking lifelong nutritional support, owing to the significant long-term out-of-pocket expenditures required.
The oral route of administration segment held the largest market share of 68.5% in 2022. The administration of nutrients and vitamins through the oral route is widely practiced. There are several types of products, which are administered through the oral route. The different oral supplements are available in the form of powder, liquid, pills, pudding, and pre-thickened products. Increased preference for orally administered products, commercial viability, and supportive initiatives are among the key factors driving the demand for orally administered medical foods.
Enteral feeding is the most preferred method for nutritional support when the gastrointestinal tract is functional, and the patient is unable to manage his nutritional requirements through an oral diet. Lack of proper nutrition has a great impact on patient recovery time and sometimes, it may lead to several unwanted complications. Enteral feeding formulas are developed to suit the nutritional requirements of pediatric patients, adults, the geriatric population, and pregnant women.
The powder segment dominated the market with a revenue share of 35.6% in 2022. Medical foods are most widely available in powdered form, which can be administered through the oral route or enteral route by mixing with milk or water, as advised by the physician. Medical foods in the form of powdered formula are suitable for patients of all age groups, especially in the case of the oral route. Companies are launching their products in the Southeast Asian market to cater to the growing demand for powder medical nutrition foods.
For instance, in August 2019, Spring Sheep Milk Co. announced the launch of the Sheep Milk Toddler formula in the Malaysian market. The liquid product segment is anticipated to witness the fastest CAGR over the forecast period. These formulations are highly adopted by pediatric and geriatric populations when the intake of solid formulations is limited or impossible. The increasing commercial viability of these products and rising adoption due to ease of administration are driving segment growth.
The adult segment dominated the market with a revenue share of 94.7% in 2022. Southeast Asian countries face difficulties in achieving nutrition targets of the World Health Assembly and Sustainable Development Goals, which is of major concern among women, specifically in pregnant women. The countries are specifically facing challenges in reducing thinness and increasing the heights of women. For instance, as per a UNICEF report published in 2019, 1 in 5 women in the Southeast Asia region had a body mass index of less than 18.5 kg/m2, and around 1 in 10 women suffer from short stature.
According to an article published in the Journal of the Department of Medical Services in March 2022, the incidence of inborn errors of metabolism in children in Thailand was around 15,421 in the first 10 months of 2020. Medical foods are important in pediatric patients and are considered the cornerstone of therapy for inborn errors of metabolism.
The chemotherapy induced diarrhea segment dominated the market with a revenue share of 15.3% in 2022. Diarrhea is one of the most common side effects of chemotherapy, which can lead to morbidities and mortality. According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, in 2020, approximately 2.25 million new cancer cases were reported in Southeast Asia. Access to newer therapies is limited in the region for the treatment of cancer owing to the high cost of medications.
Diabetic neuropathy is expected to showcase the fastest CAGR of 6.2% over the forecast period. According to the National Library of Medicine, in September 2020, the prevalence of diabetic neuropathy was around 58% in Indonesia in 2019. High disease prevalence and increased focus on nutritional management are key factors that can be attributed to the growth of this market segment over the forecast period.
Based on sales channel, the institutional sales segment dominated the market with 40.6% of the revenue share in 2022. Medical foods are consumed under medical supervision, and consumption of enteral & oral medical foods is high in healthcare institutions such as hospitals, clinics, and care centers. The purchase decision of these products is largely influenced by healthcare professionals such as doctors.
The online sales channel segment is anticipated to register the highest CAGR during the forecast years in the Southeast Asia medical foods market. The shift toward online channels can be attributed to the rising internet penetration in the region, which has increased the adoption of digital health solutions.
In terms of end-use, the homecare segment dominated the market with a 45.2% revenue share. According to an article published in October 2019, the point prevalence of home enteral nutrition in long-term care centers in Singapore was around 136.6 per 1,000 residents. Most of them received nasogastric tube feeding, while others received percutaneous endoscopic gastrotomy. Hence, the segment is expected to grow over the forecast period due to the increase in the number of patients opting for home enteral nutrition in the region.
In Southeast Asian countries, the demand for nursing homes and long-term care is growing with the rapidly aging population and increasing older population living alone. According to a report by the Asian Development Bank published in May 2022, there are approximately 277 registered nursing homes in Indonesia serving around 3,260 older residents. The rising number of nursing homes and the high prevalence of undernutrition & malnutrition in nursing homes in Southeast Asia are expected to boost the demand for medical foods in these facilities.
Indonesia had the largest market share of 31.0% as of 2022. A significant proportion of children in Indonesia suffer from malnutrition, including undernutrition & overnutrition. This has inflicted a huge economic burden on the government, costing billions of dollars in lost productivity and treatment. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic amplified the malnutrition rate in the country owing to reduced budgets for nutrition to address the effects of the pandemic. Some prominent players in Indonesia's medical foods market are PT Otsuka Indonesia, Danone Indonesia, and Fresenius Kabi Indonesia.
Singapore is projected to showcase the fastest growth rate over the forecast period. Malnutrition is often an unrecognized risk in hospitalized or nursing home patients in Singapore. As per a study conducted by Abbott, SingHealth Polyclinics (SHP), and Changi General Hospital (CGH), in 2021, approximately 80% of the elderly population was at risk of malnutrition in Singapore. In addition, malnutrition assessment & screening is the most common nutritional research conducted in Singapore.
Companies are collaborating to leverage their technological capabilities and strategically investing in various mergers & acquisitions to expand their portfolios of medical foods. For instance, in February 2023, Nestlé entered a research collaboration with EraCal Therapeutics to identify novel nutraceuticals relevant to controlled food intake. Some key players in the Southeast Asia medical foods market include:
Mead Johnson & Company, LLC
Fresenius Kabi AG
Ajinomoto Cambrooke, Inc.
B. Braun Melsungen AG
The market size value in 2023
USD 1.5 billion
The revenue forecast in 2030
USD 2.1 billion
CAGR of 5.1% from 2023 to 2030
The base year for estimation
2018 - 2021
2023 - 2030
Revenue in USD billion and CAGR from 2023 to 2030
Revenue forecast, company share, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends
Route of administration, product, patient type, application, end-use, sales channel, region
Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia
Key companies profiled
Danone S.A.; Abbott; Nestlé; Mead Johnson & Company, LLC; Fresenius Kabi AG; Ajinomoto Cambrooke, Inc.; B. Braun Melsungen AG
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This report forecasts revenue growth at regional and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2018 to 2030. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the Southeast Asia medical foods market report based on the route of administration, product, patient type, application, end-use, sales channel, and region:
Route Of Administration Outlook (Revenue, USD Billion, 2018 - 2030)
Product Outlook (Revenue, USD Billion, 2018 - 2030)
Patient Type Outlook (Revenue, USD Billion, 2018 - 2030)
Application Outlook (Revenue, USD Billion, 2018 - 2030)
Chronic Kidney Disease
Minimal Hepatic Encephalopathy
Chemotherapy Induced Diarrhea
Pathogen Related Infections
Other Cancer-related treatments
Severe Protein Allergy
End-use Outlook (Revenue, USD Billion, 2018 - 2030)
Sales Channel Outlook (Revenue, USD Billion, 2018 - 2030)
Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Billion, 2018 - 2030)
b. The Southeast Asia Medical Foods market size was estimated at USD 1.4 billion in 2022 and is expected to reach USD 1.5 billion in 2023.
b. The Southeast Asia Medical Foods market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 5.1% from 2023 to 2030 to reach USD 2.1 billion by 2030.
b. Indonesia dominated the Southeast Asia Medical Foods market with a share of 31.0% in 2022. The growing prevalence of malnutrition and undernutrition in the country and the rising initiatives to promote the use of medical foods by international authorities are expected to propel the market growth over the forecast period.
b. Some key players operating in the Southeast Asia Medical Foods market include Danone S.A.; Abbott; Nestlé; Mead Johnson & Company, LLC; Fresenius Kabi AG; Ajinomoto Cambrooke, Inc.; B. Braun Melsungen AG.
b. The growth of the Southeast Asia Medical Foods market can be attributed to the growing demand for disease-specific formulas and the rising prevalence of chronic diseases. Dietary management of chronic diseases and rare conditions is a developing or emerging focus area for manufacturing companies of medical foods, which is positively impacting the market growth.
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