Nutrition Formulas, Liquid Foods, and Nutritional Supplements in Japan: Key Research Findings 2023

Market Size of Nutrition Formulas, Liquid Foods, and Nutrition Supplements for FY2022 Grew Steadily to 148,500 Million Yen, 101.6% of Preceding Fiscal Year

Yano Research Institute (the President, Takashi Mizukoshi) conducted a survey on the domestic market of nutrition formulas, liquid foods, and nutrition supplements, and found out the trends by segment, the trends of market players, and future perspectives.

Market Size Transition of Nutrition Formulas, Liquid Foods, and Nutrition Supplements
Market Size Transition of Nutrition Formulas, Liquid Foods, and Nutrition Supplements
Composition Ratio of Nutrition Formulas, Liquid Foods, and Nutrition Supplements (FY2022)
Composition Ratio of Nutrition Formulas, Liquid Foods, and Nutrition Supplements (FY2022)

Market Overview

The market size of nutrition formulas, liquid foods, and nutrition supplements for FY2022 was estimated at 148,500 million yen, which was 101.6% of that of the preceding fiscal year. In view of the market by composition ratio, the nutrition formulas market grew to 37,600 million yen (103.5% on year-on-year basis), the liquid foods market attained 81,800 million yen (100.1%), and the nutrition supplements market rose to 29,100 million yen (103.2%).

Trend-wise, the use of nutrition formulas is increasing steadily for homecare, for it is covered by National Medical Insurance. As the cost of liquid foods as hospital meals and meals for the elderly at nursing homes are covered by the national insurance as dietary treatment, the use of liquid foods as institutional meals is growing. Backed by the increase of senior population and the “Smart Life Project” led by the MHLW, the use of Nutrition Supplements as a method of avoiding undernutrition among seniors and the elderly is also increasing at hospitals, elderly facilities, and homecare.

On the other hand, moves to shift to general-purpose products that are cheaper were observed at hospitals and nursing homes, stemming from the price hike of nutrition formulas and nutrition supplements due to soaring raw material prices.

Noteworthy Topics

Increase of Oligomeric Formulas for Patients in Acute Phase of Treatment

In 2010, a foreign pharmaceutical company released a first oligomeric formula for patients in acute phase of treatment. The same firm launched a product for patients in hyperacute phase in 2017, and another liquid food in 2023 that reduce the incidence of diarrhea. The launch of these products have enabled physicians to choose the optimal option for patients in acute phase of care.

Increase in the number of new liquid foods for patients in acute phase of care since 2022 owes to the maker’s focus on profitability (products for acute care is more profitable than products for general use) and total revenue per user (by having their products used throughout the treatment process from acute phase to recovery phase).

Future Outlook

With growing senior population, we assume that nutrition formulas covered by insurance will be used more in homecare. Enhancement in the range of products, including high-calorie formulas, semi-solid formulas for PEG, foods with nutrient composition for long-term use, and improved flavor to be used as ONS (Oral Nutritional Supplements, products used for oral nutrition support, with the aim of increasing nutritional intake) will accelerate the market growth. Given the tightening of national insurance financing, uncertainty remains in further price raise, although price raises are witnessed in some products in response to the recent raw material price hikes. Increase of seniors at home will continue to underpin the demand volume. However, with uncertainties in drug price revisions, the nutrition formulas market is forecasted to grow slightly.

Growth of the liquid foods market slowed around 2012 and showing low growth rate since. Going forward, we expect the growth of the market to remain sluggish, at an annual growth rate of 1-2%. While senior population continues to expand, the products in solid-form, the products as supplementary foods (snacks), the products for preventing undernutrition, the products providing high calorie and/or high protein, and the products that can be taken by mouth, are welcomed. Whilst the number of nutritionally complete products in liquid form is decreasing gradually, new types of products are expected to cover for the decline.

As a means of improving the nutrition of the elderly, the demand for nutrition supplements as supplementary food (snacks and desserts) is constantly increasing at nursing homes. Going forward, with more seniors living at home (including seniors in pre-symptomatic state or healthy seniors) becoming users, the market of nutrition replenishing foods is expected to grow further. It is predicted that the market will expand mainly in the field of homecare, therefore, it is important for manufacturers to promote their products to the elderly at home and their families.

Research Outline

1.Research Period: October to December 2023
2.Research Object: Manufacturers of nutrition formulas, liquid foods, and nutrition supplements
3.Research Methogology: Face-to-face interviews by our expert researchers (including online interviews), survey via telephone, and literature research

What are Nutrition Formulas, Liquid Foods, and Nutrition Supplements?

In this survey, “nutrition formulas” refer to nutritionally complete formulas that are taken by mouth or by tube feeding (via nasogastric tubes or PEG tubes), which are classified as pharmaceutical drugs. “Liquid foods” refer to liquid, semi-solid or solid foods containing a balanced mixture of energy, macronutrients, minerals, vitamins, etc. as well as liquid foods for the patients of specific illnesses (liquid foods high in calories). The “nutrition supplements” indicate foods that are similar in composition to liquid foods for seniors or patients, which supplement a specific nutrient or nutritional value of a food (but not nutritionally complete formulas). The market size is calculated based on the shipment value of manufacturers.

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Nutrition formulas, liquid foods, and nutrition supplements

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