There’s a global investing opportunity in a corner of health care that is both “significant and underappreciated,” according to Barclays. The segment is clinical nutrition, which the bank defined as an area focused on patients who need specific supplemental nutrition because of chronic health care conditions or because they are unable to eat. Barclays pointed to several growth drivers: “Rising chronic conditions, ageing populations and continued pressure on healthcare spending should continue to support the growth of this industry.” “Clinical nutrition provides supplemental nutrition for those who are malnourished and is a significant and underappreciated opportunity worth c.$19bn today, driven by strong underlying themes such as ageing population, malnutrition and an increasing focus on self-care,” the bank said in an April 12 note. It expects the market will grow to $28 billion by 2030, with China’s share of the market rising from 20% to 25%. It predicts the China market in particular could see a shift toward enteral nutrition — also known as tube feeding — and that its market share will grow from 20% currently to 46% by 2030. Stock picks Swiss food and beverage giant Nestle is in the best position to benefit from that shift toward enteral nutrition, given its “leadership in innovation” and “consistent outperformance” in clinical nutrition, Barclays said. For Nestle, that shift is also a catalyst for more growth in China as the market expands, the bank said. Barclays said French food company Danone’s medical nutrition business is a “hidden gem,” though it added that the onus is on its new management to “unlock its full potential.” It noted that this unit forms a “meaningful” 12% of group sales and 18% of earnings before interest and taxes. “We view it as a ‘hidden jewel’ where we expect increased investment from the new management team,” Barclays said. “Because there is so much focus on trends in Chinese infant formula within Danone’s large Specialised Nutrition division, we think the fact that 40% of this division is medical and adult nutrition is overlooked,” Barclays analysts wrote. ” We see medical nutrition as a natural hedge to Chinese infant formula, which has been impacted by declining birth rates for a number of years.” German health care company Fresenius is also a “clear beneficiary” of the shift toward enteral nutrition, as it’s set to leverage its leadership position in China in that area, the bank said. The bank said Fresenius is “unique in the market” since it’s the only big player to be active in enteral and parenteral nutrition, allowing it to tap its strength in both areas as well as capture a larger available market, the bank said. Parenteral nutrition is delivered via injection when the digestive system is not functioning properly. Referring to China, Barclays said: “Fresenius SE has the highest share in a market that is 80% parenteral, putting it in a strong position to capitalise on faster growth than in the rest of the world. It also has a strong position in enteral in the region, positioning it to benefit from the high potential for growth.” — CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed to this report.