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Infant Food Business: Key Trends Explained

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Global Baby Food Industry

The world baby food industry (as part of the world package food business) recorded close to 5% growth in 2010, generating more than $10.3 billion, according to research from MarketLine. The market is expected to reach almost $13.2 billion by 2015, representing almost 28% expansion over five years. The market is expected to grow by more than 20% in terms of volume between 2010 and 2015 to exceed a volume of 1.9 billion kilograms.

This global market involves the retail sale of baby foodstufs including snacks, bottled food, canned food and cereal. The global food and pediatric nutrition markets are estimated to have a combined worth in excess of $41.5 billion in 2012, reports Transparency Market Research. The two are expected to reach close to $64 billion in 2017.

Demand for baby food continues to rise as consumers are increasingly aware of the importance of meeting their babies’ nutritional needs. According to Koncept Analytics, parents encouraging their children’s early development by making effective nutritional choices. While growth in established marked such as the US and the EU does not appear to offer vast potential, developing nations are recording increased demand, particularly in countries like India, Brazil and China. 

Key Segments

Bottled baby food represents the leading market segment in the global baby food industry. MarketLine estimates bottled baby food accounts for more than 47% of the overall market in terms of value.

The global organic baby food market is forecast to exceed $2.25 billion by the end of 2012, according to research from RNCOS. This will make organic baby food the market segment recording the fastest rate of growth in the baby food industry in emerging nations.

Industry Leaders

Nestle is the world leader in the global baby food market, holding just over 37% of the market share reports MarketLine. Nestle employs more than 280,000 people spanning over 80 countries, and it generated close to $84 million in sales in 2011. The company’s infant nutrition sector offers nutrient systems designed to enhance babies’ immune defenses and reduce allergic symptoms.

Regional Market Share

The EU holds in excess of 44% of the world’s baby food market, estimates MarketLine. The EU baby food market recorded yearly growth of almost 3.5% between 2006 and 2010, generating almost $4.5 billion in 2010. Market growth is expected to slow slightly to a yearly rate of less than 3.5% between 2010 and 2015. The market is forecast to exceed $5 billion by the close to 2015.

Baby food demand in emerging markets points to good growth opportunities. Markets recording the highest rate of growth include Poland, Romania, China and Russia. China’s baby food product market is expected to maintain yearly growth of 15% over the four-year period ending 2012, according to research from RNCOS. Major obstacles in the baby food industry in these regions include the monopoly of leading players and elevated price.

The US baby food industry was worth $1.5 billion in 2010, having recorded yearly growth in excess of 5% for the four preceding years, reports MarketLine. Bottled baby food represents the leading market segment, generating more than $910 million in 2010, or more than 62% of the overall market. Market growth is expected to slow to a yearly rate of just over 2.5% between 2010 and 2015, when the market should generate $1.7 billion.

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Parent industry: Packaged Food
Related industries: Dried Food, Frozen Food, Canned Food, Cooked Food, Chilled Food, Pet Food

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