Infant Nutrition Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

Infant Nutrition Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

  • April 2021 •
  • 170 pages •
  • Report ID: 6062835 •
  • Format: PDF
The infant nutrition market was valued at approximately USD 79,416 million in 2020, and it is expected to reach USD 132,352 million by 2026, registering a CAGR of nearly 9% during the forecast period (2021 - 2026).

The rising cases of COVID–19 are expected to have a short-term negative impact on the export-import of the nutrition sector. The short-term impact on the nutrition segment is less prominent; however, the negative impact of COVID-19 on the global economy can have significant indirect effects on the nutrition segment of the market. The healthcare facilities, such as market players and government, are investing heavily in maintaining the supply of essential nutrition and food. Most baby food manufacturers were found focusing on ramping up the production of baby food to ensure availability. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) also recommended that during the COVID-19 pandemic, people should buy no more than 10 days to 2 weeks supply of formula to ensure the availability of formulas to everyone.

Certain factors propelling the growth of the market include an increase in the working mother population, higher spending on baby health, and the rising demand for organic baby food.

Over recent years, there has been a remarkable increase in the young working mother population. This has worked as a key factor in propelling the growth of the infant nutrition market, as these working mothers are majorly dependent on processed infant nutrition products. For instance, in the United Kingdom, the number of working mothers has increased to one of the highest in recent decades. In 2019, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) of the United Kingdom published data on families and the labor market. The data revealed that the number of mothers in the labor market had grown substantially over the last two decades. As per the figures, 66.2% of mothers were in employment in 2000, which rose to 75.1% by 2019. The low wages and high cost of living in cities increased the number of women working to support their families. Therefore, this factor is playing a key role in driving the infant food nutrition market, as working mothers are primarily dependent on processed child nutrition products.

Stress is also currently one of the most common problems faced by working women, which causes low milk production in them. These factors have encouraged the adoption of convenience-oriented lifestyles, making infant formula and baby foods more desirable.?

Furthermore, parents are also found spending more on their babies than in the previous years owing to several social factors. Presently, children are deemed more worthy of protection than they used to be. According to many surveys, parents spend a high amount of money on their babies, sometimes out of guilt, shame, or social anxiety.

Additionally, factors like the growth of the middle class, rapid urbanization, and rising rates of female participation in the labor force in many developing markets have encouraged the adoption of convenience-oriented lifestyles, making prepared baby foods and baby formula more desirable. The increasing middle-class population in the emerging and developing countries has opened new horizons in the infant nutrition market, as the need for products compatible with a working mom’s schedule is growing. Therefore, these factors boost the growth of the infant nutrition market.

Key Market Trends
The First Infant Formula Sub-segment is Expected to Show High Growth over the Forecast Period

The first infant formula includes a formula for 0-6 months old babies. These products are available in liquid, powder, and ready-to-use formats, with dairy being the main ingredient over all types of products. They are recommended if breast milk is unavailable or to supplement the baby’s diet. The benefits offered by these products include the convenience of feeding, nutrient-rich formula, and the option of lactose- and soy-free milk versions, which make this a good option, especially for working women.

The rising COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown measures introduced to reduce the spread of COVID-19 resulted in a rapid change in circumstances for pregnant women, new mothers, and their infants. The global food and beverages industry is one of the major industries suffering due to the outbreak of COVID-19. These factors have severely affected the baby infant formula market. There was a huge loss found disrupting the sales of the market products, and market players were found investing heavily in maintaining the supply of essential nutrition and food to children.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends iron-fortified cow’s milk infant formula, as it is most appropriate for babies (0 to 12 months old) who are not breastfed or who are partially breastfed.

Abbott and Reckitt Benckiser Group are found to be the two major companies with a major share in this category of products. Some of the major brands offered by these companies are SIMILA, ADVANCE, and Enfamil.

The market players resort to various strategic initiatives such as new product launches to strengthen their foothold in the market and expand their product offerings. For instance, in November 2020, Abbott launched its most innovative first infant formula yet, Similac Pro-Advance with 2’-Fucosyllactose Oligosaccharide† (2’-FL†), which is the first product in Canada with this breakthrough ingredient in infant formula.

However, due to the changing lifestyles and need to supply additional nutrients to infants apart from breastfeeding, the demand for first infant formula is expected to grow.

North America is Expected to Witness High Growth Throughout the Forecast Period

The market in North America is expected to grow due to the increasing number of working women and the increasing demand for baby food. The presence of high per capita healthcare expenditure, coupled with high awareness levels and rising disposable income, is also contributing to the growth of the market in the region.

Due to the rising COVID-19 pandemic, there is a huge loss found disrupting the sales of infant nutrition products due to the lockdown. There are rising efforts to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19 that is disrupting food systems, upending health and nutrition services, devastating livelihoods, and threatening food security. However, the market players are found investing heavily in maintaining the supply of essential nutrition and food to children.

The percentage of working women is high and rising in the United States. As per a 2019 report by the Catalyst Organization, in 2018, there were 75,978,000 women aged 16 years and over in the labor force, representing 46.9% of the total labor force. As a result of these factors, working women find infant/baby nutrition helpful, which can be fed to their babies even in their absence.

According to the 2020-2025 U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs)provided by the Infant Nutrition Council of America (INCA), the U.S Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS), commercial, iron-fortified infant formula was the only safe and recommended alternative for those who cannot or choose not to use breast milk in the United States.

There are also a rising number of start-ups in the United States that aim to work with existing infant nutrition companies to improve their blends. A start-up called Sugarlogix is using cutting-edge gene-editing tools to recreate the most commonly found breast milk sugars in a lab, which are known to be associated with boosting the baby’s immune system. Many more such initiatives are expected to boost the growth in the market. Hence, the robust guidelines and new initiatives and start-ups have helped the increasing demand for infant nutrition be met, which has helped the overall market growth in the region.

Moreover, there are consumers, especially in the developed countries, who are willing to pay premium amounts for such products, owing to the general perception of these products being healthier and safer compared to conventional products.

Competitive Landscape
Some of the companies currently dominating the market studied are Abbott Laboratories, Baby Gourmet Foods Inc., Bellamy’s Australia Limited, Danone SA, Royal FrieslandCampina NV, Reckitt Benckiser (Mead Johnson), and Nestlé SA. The market players resort to various strategic initiatives such as new product launches, mergers, and acquisitions to strengthen their foothold in the market and expand their product offerings. For example, in February 2020, United Kingdom-based baby food brand Piccolo entered into the infant nutrition milk sector by launching three new products: Organic First Infant Milk, Organic Follow-On Milk and Organic Growing Up Milk.

There are also stringent regulatory scenarios that create high entry barriers for new entrants in the market studied. Moreover, there is a significant investment needed in the R&D sector, which makes small companies be acquired or work in partnership with big players, which is highly beneficial for the market studied.

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