Baby food and formula market consists of soft, easy consumed food with the infant formula for the replacement of natural breast milk. Specifically, the products under baby food are majorly categorized for four to six months, whereas the infant formula is majorly for the babies under the age of twelve months and usually prepared for cup feeding or bottle feeding from powder or liquid. Specifically, The U.S. Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) has defined the infant formula as a food specially represented for special dietary use for infants because of its complete or partial replacement of human milk. On the other hand, baby food comes in different varieties and tastes. It can be ready made food from the market or the homemade mashed up food.
The market of baby food and formula is a huge market and its major growth has been seen in past 5 years. It is expected to witness major growth in the next seven years owing to the increase in the growth of working women and increase in the people awareness about the product’s convenience, quality, comfort and benefits associated with it. Nowadays, parents with time have become very precise in giving proper nutrition to their child through any mode whether it’s a mashed-up food or an infant formula.
Due to this fact parents are ready to spend any amount, but due to the increase in competition in the baby care market where numerous branded products at different price points come in parent’s attention, market is going to be stiff in future. Hence, this becomes the major restrain for new players to enter in the market. In this market key drivers are growing awareness of parent’s to partially or completely substitute the daily natural food products, increase in the number of working women population, consciousness of parents to provide nutritious rich food, and attention of parents to the growing diseases owing to the increase in pollution to food products.
According to the World Bank, between 1960 and 2013 the birth rates around the world have declined to more than 45% on an average. Majorly, due to that parents have become more critical in choosing the right baby’s food product. Companies find themselves in difficult stage where they must provide the utopian products in a stiff competition that too at a lucrative price points so that parents mind and heart can be won.
Baby infant formula is generally segmented into the three types; first being the Powder type which is prepared by mixing the scoops of powder with sterilized water and can be stored for less than 30 days in a cool place, second being the Concentrated liquid type which is majorly prepared with sterilized water in equal proportion and can be stored for less than 24 hours in a refrigerators, lastly ready to use type which do not need any water mix and can be stored for less than 24 hours in a refrigerators.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has benchmarked the quality standards on the basis of nutrition level to ensure that the products are safe and supports healthy growth in infants. Due to this reason, producers of the same have set the nutritional level above the FDA set points which are different for different segments. Other than infant formula which is for babes less than 12 months of age, there are baby foods which are segmented according to the food type such as Cereals, Fruits, and Vegetables, Meats, and Sweet & Salty foods. Baby foods are produced majorly for babies four to five years old.
Baby Food and Formula sales share is highest in developed region whereas growing fastest in developing regions. Globally European region constitutes to be more than 50% sales values for baby food and more than 25% sales values for infant formula. From other developed regions North America constitutes more than 30% in the baby food and more than 40% in the infant formula. These regions is expected to constitute to account more than 30-40% each in baby food & in infant formula as they are heavily investing in producing the best quality products with utmost care to the nutritious level.
The other main reason for them to remain main regions for these products is due to the drastic increase in the awareness and dependency. Other very important region is Asia Pacific which is currently accounts for more than 10% sales value in infant formula and more than 5% in the baby food. Asia Pacific region is the fastest growing region as it includes countries such as India, China, Japan and Singapore which are the fastest developing nations economically.
There is a huge transition in the working population of women. Due to this here use of baby food products and infant formula have substantially increased. Latin America has also shown the highest market growth in sales value of more than 40% in 2014 and is expected to foster same growth rate in forecasted period. Major vendors in this market are Abbott Laboratories, Danone SA, Mead Johnson & Co. LLC, Nestle SA. Other prominent vendors are Ballamy Organics, Meiji, Nurture Inc, Parent’s Choice etc.
Research Support Specialist, USA