Prepared Foods Exclusive: Food, Drink and Disease Recovery

At present, nutritional management is more a concept than a well-defined market segment, yet it represents a clear opportunity for food manufacturers, clinical nutrition players and supplements providers alike.  For example, with companies like Danone showing significant sales growth in products that are aligned to this area, competition in this segment is likely to intensify in the near future, forecasts Business Insights.

Characterized by the medical supervision of diets, nutritional management begins when enteral feeding is no longer required, but foods for specific medical conditions are either required or are beneficial and are recommended by healthcare professionals. Both clinical nutrition products and functional foods can move into this space (as can supplements players), and it can be expected that in the future these companies will compete intensively to develop both the right types of products to target this area, as well as to fill the gaps in their marketing competencies with respect to targeting this area.

Against a background of increasing commercial pressures, the need to find new markets and exploit them has never been greater. At the same time, changes in prevailing healthcare thinking with respect to the role of nutrition means that better nutritional care of patients is increasingly on the agenda of governments and healthcare professionals alike. Add to that the rise in diseases (often associated with aging populations) that can be managed effectively with better nutrition, and a burgeoning market segment is being created.

At present, this area is not well addressed; clinical nutrition products tend to focus on enteral feeding; and functional foods neither target this area presently, nor are their benefits specific enough to allow them to do so; and crucially, consumers’ needs and wants are often overlooked and are not reflected in product design. However, regulatory guidelines are encouraging healthcare professionals to close the gap that exists between the recognition that improved nutrition can aid disease management and recovery and actual practice. Increasingly, this means that they can be marketed to with products that help in this goal.

Business Insights report “Opportunities in Nutritional Management: Food and drinks to Aid Disease Recovery” breaks new ground -- being the first to identify and size what is set to be a growth area and the first to establish what the crucial steps to developing successful marketing strategies in this area will be. Not only does this report provide unique analysis on what the patient audience for nutritional management products is both now and in the future, it also identifies what the latest research on the role of ingredients and products are and sets out clear steps for companies to further develop research and marketing plans if they seek to target this area.

No one type of company currently has the full set of marketing skills or products to target the area of nutritional management. Companies which act quickly to develop effective products and fill out their skill sets are likely to enjoy significant first-mover advantage. For food companies, developing pharmaceutical-style research capabilities and building channels to market will be key, once effective products have been identified. These companies should seek to maximize their advantages in developing branded products, which are highly appealing to consumers. Clinical nutrition players will need to develop an ability to produce products which offer great taste and textures in order to drive consumer willingness to choose their products over those of their rivals.

A crucial skill that companies will need to develop will be the ability to incorporate the needs of both future marketing strategy and consumers’ needs into the product and research design phase. This will allow the maximum benefit from scientific testing to be gained in future marketing. “Opportunities in Nutritional Management: Food and Drinks to Aid Disease Recovery” provides analysis and frameworks in order to develop effective marketing strategies and assess where gaps are likely to exist in the marketing capabilities of different types of companies interested in targeting this area. This area is of interest to both clinical nutrition players seeking to develop products more suited to non-tube feeding and food manufacturers with functional food products who may wish to either extend opportunities for their currentbrands or launch new products into new areas. It also offers interest to supplementmanufacturers. As such, the Business Insights report also focuses the analysis with respect to these three main interested groups of readers.

To discover which new ingredients and products, by disease, are most likely to play a role in nutritional management in the future and assess which disease areas provide the best opportunities in terms of patient targets and the scope for product development in the future, click here.

From the December 7, 2009, Prepared Foods E-dition