The global baby products industry caters to around 4 million babies on a yearly basis, generating retail revenue of nearly $7 billion, according to Packaged Facts. The market encompasses different segments, which can be divided into: toys, feeding accessories, wipes, disposable diapers, body care products and soothers.
Demand for baby products has grown due to a rising number of babies to be catered to, partly because people are starting families later. Product innovation and development has allowed retailers and manufactures to widen the market, using new technologies and advanced marketing approaches. Research from firm Key Note points to the contribution of changing lifestyle trends to the market, including mothers returning to work earlier giving rise to greater demand for breastfeeding equipment such as sterilizers and pumps.
The market segment comprised of baby safety equipment has benefited from recent changes in social attitudes towards childrearing and government legislation regarding child safety in children’s homes. Baby monitors locks, and stair gates are recording particularly strong sales.
- The global baby food and infant formula market is expected to hit almost $24 billion by 2015, according to Global Industry Analysts. The US, the EU and Asia-Pacific combine to represent over 80% of the overall market. Elements fueling the market include higher disposable incomes, improved products fortified with nutrients, and an increasing number of mothers with employment. In the years to come, this market segment will benefit from falling breastfeeding rates.
- Baby foods and infant formula products fare well in economic downturns as an essential rather than luxury product category. Parents are increasingly educated, with higher levels of disposable income, and greater awareness of health issues. This leads to greater demand for nutrient-dense products, leading companies to focus on product quality, marketing and innovation. Specialized, fortified and soy-milk based formulas are recording increasingly strong sales.
- The world safety seat and pram market is highly competitive. Companies compete through brand-specific marketing and price. The outlook for this market segment is unclear due to constant changes in distribution and supply patterns.
- The global disposable diaper industry is expected to exceed $33 billion by 2017, according to Global Industry Analysts. Growth potential is high in regions such as Eastern Europe, Asia-Pacific and Latin America, offering relatively untapped markets compared with the mature markets of the US and the EU, where designer diapers continue to fuel growth. Challenges facing the market include increased demand for cloth diapers and non-biodegradable disposable diapers.
India’s baby products market is becoming the most rapidly growing baby care market thanks to a growing population below the age of four, rising parental disposable income and greater awareness concerning baby care. According to RNCOS, this market will record 12% yearly growth through 2014. India will also attract many leading international companies, diversifying their product portfolios in a bid to claim a share of the Indian market.
Key players in the global baby products market include Johnson & Johnson, Gerber Products, Wakodo, Morinaga Milk, Nestle, Procter & Gamble, California Baby, Synutra, Mead Johnson Nutrition, Kao, Babies 'R' Us, Pampers, Beech-Nut Nutrition, UniCharm, SMA Nutrition, Hain-Celestial, SCA Hygiene Products, Danone, Hero, Abbott Nutrition, The Parent Company, Seventh Generation, Fisher-Price, Organix Brands, Kimberly-Clark, Earth's Best, HJ Heinz, and International Inc.
The global baby products market continues to go through changes, with companies diversifying their product portfolios to offer ever-increasing product ranges. Traditionally limited to everyday products such as diapers and baby powers, today’s baby care industry offers a wider range of product lines such as cradle cap treatments and massage oils. Companies are also building on the basic essentials of creams and powders to extend product ranges through added extras like scented hypoallergenic baby powder with aloe vera and vitamin E.
The industry must continue increasing marketing budgets to combat bad publicity, which can put a dent in product sales such as the blow to the formula market caused by reports of melamine contaminated milk products. Such scares damage consumer confidence and company credibility, necessitating strong publicity campaigning as a remedy. Government involvement in manufacturing practices is also likely to increase, meaning that companies will have to comply with standards set in place to help protect consumers.
Asia represents an important region in the global market, with its near 60% yearly birth rate providing the incentive for companies to concentrate their efforts on this region. The region is also attractive for international and domestic players due to increasing numbers of women in the workforce and rising affluence leading to higher per-child spending.
Charles Lazarus initially started Children's Supermart (which would evolve into Toys "R" Us) in Washington, DC during the in 1948 as a baby-furniture retailer.
Babies“R”Us is the nation’s leading dedicated juvenile products retailer. Since opening its first store in Westbury, NY in early 1996, the company has since grown to approximately 260 locations nationwide. Babies“R”Us features a wide selection of products for newborns and infants, including cribs and furniture, car seats, strollers, formula, diapers, bedding, clothing for preemies through size 48 months, toys and plenty of unique gift ideas. Babies“R”Us also offers a convenient online and in-store baby registry that eliminates guesswork and geographic barriers from gift-buying so friends and relatives can easily go to any store location or www.babysrus.com to select, buy and send the right gift directly to the expectant parents.
The first Babies“R”Us location opened in 1996 in Westbury, New York. Today, Babies“R”Us operates as a specialty baby products retailer and has grown to approximately 260 locations across the country since its first store opened. The stores offers new and expectant parents a broad assortment of products for newborns and infants, including cribs and furniture, car seats, strollers, formula, diapers, bedding, clothing and toys. Its popular Babies“R”Us Registry has been used by more than 11 million moms to date.
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