Ready to use therapeutic food (RTUF) is energy, vitamin, and mineral enriched food that is already prepared and specifically produced for severe acute malnutrition (SAM). Ready to use therapeutic food is digestible and can be easily consumed by children even and they are excellent sources of protein as they are single food sources rich in all essential nutrients which are important for treating malnutrition. Ready to use therapeutic food is mainly produced from peanut-based paste, sugar, oil, and powdered milk with added minerals and vitamins. Hence, ready to use therapeutic food is safe to feed children suffering from malnutrition as they can be easily digested and contain all the essential nutrients for the healthy development of the body.
The global ready-to-use therapeutic food market is estimated to account for slightly less than US$ 342.8 million in terms of value in the year 2018 and it predicted to grow at a CAGR of 10.3% during the forecast period (2019-2027)
Growing government and NGO initiatives regarding malnutrition treatment is expected to foster the market growth of ready to use therapeutic food. For instance, in 2012, Initiative to End Child Malnutrition (IECM) was established as a collaboration between the division of Global Health and Human Rights (GHHR), the Harvard College Global Hunger Initiative (GHI), and Karoli Lwanga Nyakibale Hospital in Rukungiri District, Uganda. This was transferred to local communities in Uganda by December 2014. Hence, rising such initiatives is expected to drive the market growth of ready to use therapeutic food.
The growing focus of UNICEF to encourage local manufacturing of RUTF to increase the production of RUTF is expected to offer potential opportunities to the market of ready to use therapeutic food. Moreover, local governments are also taking the initiative to encourage the local production of RUTF which is further expected to create numerous opportunities for the local manufacturers to enter into the market. For instance, in August 2016, following a continuous increase in the number of malnourished children in Nigeria, Sokoto State government announced that it would start producing RUTF locally.
Growing government shift towards local ingredients is expected to hinder the market growth of RUFT. The Standard RUTF formula by UNICEF contains ingredients such as milk powder, peanut, oils, and vitamins and minerals and in most of the region peanut and milk powder are not cost-effective in every region. Thus, local manufacturers and governments prefer cost-effective substitutes for peanuts and milk powder to produce RUTF products. This factor is expected to restrict the market growth of ready to use therapeutic food.
On the basis of product type, the semi-solid therapeutic food dominated the global ready-to-use therapeutic food market in 2018 with a 91.3% of market share in terms of value, followed by drinkable therapeutic food and solid food
The rising focus of the manufacturer to expand the production facility for the RUTF to cater to rising demand for this food is expected to stimulate the market growth over the forecast period. For instance, in February 2020, Ariel Foods FZE has launched its RUTF factory in Lagos. RUTF factory will produce Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Foods, an UN-recommended product used to tackle severe acute malnutrition. Hence, rising such initiatives will favor market growth over the forecast period.
The growing focus of UNICEF to encourage local manufacturers in Africa countries to enhance the supply chain management in order to improve the delivery of products in the region is expected to augment the market growth over the forecast period. For instance, in April 2016, UNICEF opened a new warehouse for ready-to-use therapeutic food products in Gerji, Ethiopia, for treatment of malnourished children in the drought-prone area.
Key players operating in global ready-to-use therapeutic food market are GC Rieber Compact AS, Diva Nutritional Products, Edesia USA, Hilina, InnoFaso, Insta Products, Mana Nutritive Aid Products, Nutriset SAS, NutriVita Foods, Power Foods Tanzania, and Tabatchnik Fine Foods.
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