April 20, 2024

Global Enteral Feeding : An Ever Growing Industry

The global enteral feeding formulas  continues to rapidly expand driven by an aging population and increasing prevalence of chronic diseases. Enteral feeding refers to the delivery of nutrients directly into the gastrointestinal tract through a tube, needle, or stoma. It provides nutrition to patients who are unable to obtain sufficient nutrition through the oral route due to medical conditions or disabilities. With more people now living longer lives while battling health issues, the need for enteral feeding continues to significantly rise representing a multi-billion dollar opportunity for industry players.

 Size and Growth Projections

The Global Enteral Feeding Formulas  was valued at $6.5 billion in 2020 and is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 7.5% from 2021 to 2027 according to analysts. North America currently dominates the  with the highest revenue share of over 40% due to advanced healthcare infrastructure and higher acceptance of enteral nutrition among clinicians and patients in the region. However, Asia Pacific is emerging as the fastest growing  with double digit growth rates forecast in countries like China, India and South Korea led by rising incomes, growing medical tourism, increasing prevalence of chronic disorders and an influx of  players into these nations.

Types of Enteral Feeding Formulas

Standard formulas represent the largest segment to date accounting for over 50% of global sales. These formulas provide balanced nutrition via carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals. Disease specific formulas make up another significant share and include formulations for conditions like diabetes, renal failure, hepatic disorders and more. Recently, fiber-containing and fiber-free segment has gained momentum responding to changing consumer demands. Fiber-containing formulas offer dietary fiber to support gut health and regular bowel movements in tube-fed patients. Fiber-free alternatives are preferred by those with gut dysfunction. Specialized formulas for conditions such as pulmonary disorders, diabetes, hepatic disorders, short bowel syndrome and more are other emerging product categories.

Key Players in the Industry

Some of the leading enteral feeding formulas manufacturers globally include Abbott Nutrition, Nestle, Danone, Fresenius Kabi, B. Braun Melsungen and others. Abbott Nutrition commands the highest  share of over 20% driven by their wide product portfolio and robust geographical presence across 150 countries. They sell brands like Ensure, PediaSure and Glucerna targeted at different patient segments. Nestle holds the second position through brands such as Nutren, Peptamen among others. Fresenius Kabi, a  leader in clinical nutrition devices, has expanded their offerings through acquisitions of enteral feeding product companies providing complementary formulas and solutions.

Research and Development Activities

Companies are spending significantly on R&D to expand product lines, address unmet needs and gain competitive advantages. There is substantial focus on developing disease specific formulations with customized macronutrient ratios, components to impact metabolic pathways and more. Production of formulas suitable for tube sizes as small as 8 French is another priority area backed by rising numbers of patients requiring very small bore tubes. Developing products with properties like reduced odor and aftertaste is also important considering tube-fed patients frequently report better tolerability and compliance with such varieties. Technologies to facilitate home delivery of enteral formulas through outsourced compounding pharmacies and home care companies have accelerated over the years further broadening access.


Rising prevalence of chronic diseases across all global regions especially non-communicable conditions like neurological disorders, cancers and gastrointestinal diseases requiring enteral tube feeding in large patient populations is a key macro driver. Rapidly growing aging demographics particularly in developed nations where over 65 population make up significant  shares is another crucial aspect. With seniors more frequently battling multiple morbidities necessitating tube feeding support, this demographic shift will strongly impact industry expansion. Increasing availability of low cost enteral feeding devices, awareness programs and reimbursement coverage expansions in developing countries are additional significant contributors expected to fuel global  potential in the long run.

In summary, the global enteral feeding formulas industry is anticipated to maintain robust growth driven by aging populations worldwide, rising incidence of chronic health conditions requiring nutritional assistance and evolving product innovations. As the need for enteral nutrition rises continuously, manufacturers are uniquely positioned to leverage available opportunities through expansion into newer regions, development of advanced medical formulations, efficient distribution systems and collaborative efforts with device makers and healthcare institutions catering to tube-fed patients across care settings. The future undoubtedly looks bright for this evolving clinical nutrition sector.

*Note:
1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it