Health and Nutrition Trends

Women’s health: an expanding market

Women’s health has just recently become the subject of a great deal of research and innovation. Various solutions to prevent particular illnesses or discomforts have been appearing on the market, offering women products to meet their very specific needs. This market is a part of the personalized nutrition trend. The expansion of nutrition for women has been particularly noteworthy in 2023, where the category entered the Top 10 of trends.


A woman’s life and the needs it engenders


The menstrual cycle

The menstrual cycle has traditionally been a little-discussed subject with the issues surrounding it failing to be recognized. More recently, however, the subject has broken the surface and become a topic of a great deal of discussion and research. Which makes sense given the number of women who suffer from the effects, whether physical or mental, of the menstrual cycle: premenstrual syndromes, menstrual pain, dysphoric disorders or even endometriosis. [1] For example, in the United Kingdom, 72 % of women experience pelvic pain. [2] Endometriosis is a disease that affects 10 % of women, bringing pain as well as a risk of infertility. [15] In addition, some women may also have iron deficiency during heavy periods. [3] In the face of such issues, women are on the lookout for products that can reduce their effects.



Pregnancy and breastfeeding are times when a mother must receive appropriate nourishment. From the outset, the baby needs specific nutrients to ensure the proper development of its different organs. Once born, the child is subjected to the external environment, which requires the immune system to work to protect it. A Breastfeeding mother is the source of all the baby’s basic nutrients while also providing what it needs for immunity. In pace with advances in knowledge about women’s health, increasing attention is being paid to nutrition during pregnancy, especially in Asia. In fact, 73 % of pregnant Chinese women adjust their nutrition according to their stage of pregnancy, with 64 % of these women taking supplements. [12] To find out more about the place of dairy ingredients in the market for pregnant and breastfeeding women, you can consult an article on this very subject by clicking here.


The menopause and older age

The menopause is the stage of life where ovulation and menstruation cease, generally at around 45 to 55 years of age. For some women, these changes can have an impact on both physical and mental health. The most common effects are the appearance of hot flashes, difficulty sleeping, mood changes and depression. Many women look for a solution to ease the secondary effects of the menopause. Moreover, these consumers also want products offering other specific health benefits. For example, 64 % of Italian women over the age of 55 want products to help maintain proper brain function. [4] Sleep is also an important issue for older women. In 2021, a survey in the United Kingdom found that 48 % of women over the age of 55 had trouble sleeping. [4] Consumers needing a remedy for this look in particular to their nutrition for the solution. In Thailand, 42 % of women over 45 are interested in dairy products that are beneficial for sleep. [4]


In addition to the menopause, the simple fact of ageing has consequences for health. Osteoporosis, a deterioration of bone tissue, affects a great many women. This disease also affects men but in smaller numbers: 87 % of people who suffer from osteoporosis are women. [11] Finally, sarcopenia is another disease brought on by age, characterized by loss of muscle.


The nutrition market for women


A fast growing market

The nutrition market for women has recently seen significant growth and is expected to reach the 63 billion dollar mark by 2028, with an annual growth rate of 8.2% (CAGR 2018-22). [5]. Women’s health is marked by hormonal changes, from menstrual cycles, pregnancy and breastfeeding to the menopause. Each different stage has its own specific nutritional needs to which daily diet must be adapted.

This market is especially important in North America, where it is expected to rise to 25.5 billion dollars by 2028. [14] Europe and Asia are two other regions that should progress in the years ahead, to reach, respectively, 22 billion dollars and 11.6 billion dollars by 2028. [6,7] Female consumers expect real progress in terms of specialized products for their health and nutrition. In China, specialized nutrition for pregnancy is in high demand. A massive 73 % of female consumers pay special attention to their diet during pregnancy in order to meet their specific nutritional needs. [8] The antenatal and postnatal nutrition market grew by 16 % between 2018 and 2022. [9]


Food supplements: still in high demand

Increased knowledge about the relationship between diet and health has vastly increased the popularity of nutritional products for motherhood. From 2017 to 2021, food supplements, dairy drinks and tea were favorite categories in the APAC region. Nevertheless, other categories are emerging, such as snacks, biscuits and plant-based beverages. [10] These products are rich in calcium, protein, minerals (calcium, phosphorus, etc.) and vitamins (A, B & D). Of all the food supplements available for pregnant or breastfeeding women, those experiencing greater growth are the ones able to make claims for joint health, skin health, energy and endurance. [9]

Today’s awareness of a link between diet and menstruation has allowed a new market to emerge, with products being specifically developed for the menstrual cycle. In 2021-2022, 40 % of new launches were for hot drinks and 28 % were for vitamins and food supplements.[2] Some of these products target specific phases of the menstrual cycle (the menstrual, follicular, ovulatory or luteal phases). [2]

Specialized nutrition to meet the specific needs during menopause and the needs of ageing generally is another area richly supplied with food supplements. However, there is a good opportunity here for dairy products. [3] Products developed for this sector emphasize the ability to soothe joints and muscles, the beneficial effects for the skin and a reduction of the symptoms associated with the menopause.

To find out more, take a look at The benefits of dairy ingredients for maintaining bone health



Sources :

[1] Les troubles prémenstruels, enjeu négligé de la santé publique, Le Monde, 2022
[2] Nutrition Watch: menstrual health, Mintel, 2023
[3] A Review of Clinical Guidelines on the Management of Iron Deficiency and Iron-Deficiency Anemia in Women with Heavy Menstrual Bleeding, Diana Mansour, Axel Hofmann & Kristina Gemzell-Danielsson, 2020
[4] Dairy can help ease symptoms felt by menopausal women, Mintel, 2023
[5] Global Woman Nutrition Market, Industry Trends and Forecast to 2028, Data Bridge Market Reseach
[6] Europe Women Nutrition Market, Industry Trends and Forecast to 2028, Data bridge Market Research
[7] Asia-Pacific Women Nutrition Market, Industry Trends and Forecast to 2028, Data bridge Market Research
[8] Nutrition Watch: Women’s health, Mintel, 2020
[9] Prenatal and postnatal nutrition, nutrition insight, 2023
[10] Nutrition watch: maternal nutrition in APAC, 2022
[12] Innovating for Women’s health; Optimizing Wellness across Lifestages, Nutrition Insight, 2023
[13] Patent insights: maternal nutrition, Mintel, 2022
[14] North America Women Nutrition Market – Industry Trends and Forecast to 2028, Data bridge Market Research
[15] Endométriose, une maladie gynécologique fréquente mais encore mal connue, Inserm, 2018



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Author : Elodie Macariou

Elodie Macariou is Senior Product Manager and works in the Marketing department of Lactalis Ingredients. She is responsible for the management and development of the milk powder, milk protein and industrial cheese ranges. She also coordinates Lactalis Ingredients’ CSR approach. She holds an engineering degree in Food Science and Business Management, completed by a Master's degree in Business Administration.