The global baby food market size was valued at USD 74 billion in 2021. It is projected to reach USD 128 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 6.2% during the forecast period (2022–2030).
Baby food is soft and easily consumed food prepared for infants aged four to six months until two years. In underdeveloped and developing countries, infants with low household incomes are fed with soft home-cooked baby food. However, in developing countries, prepared baby foods have witnessed increased demand due to urbanization and rising disposable income. Additionally, growing awareness of nutrition, improved organized retail marketing channels, and a rising number of women professionals further boost the baby food market.
|Fastest Growing Market||LAMEA|
|Largest Market||Asia Pacific|
|Report Coverage||Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends|
According to the United Nations, there has been a steep rise in the number of working women during the last decade. In 2019, the female employment rate stood at 47.8%, an increase in the trend over the past few years. The fast-paced, hectic lifestyle of women professionals leaves less time to breastfeed their babies or prepare healthy baby foods at home. This significantly increases the adoption of prepared baby food among working professionals.
Dietary practices adopted by mothers are the key factor in shaping a baby's health. The rise in the literacy rate of females in developing and developed countries has increased the awareness of the nutritional requirements of newborn babies. In some developed countries, delayed weaning was observed among infants aged 6–7 months. However, these cases of delayed weaning are expected to decrease with the rising awareness among parents.
The retail industry has become more organized in Asian countries, especially India and China. Improving economic conditions and changing lifestyles of consumers have increased the popularity of supermarkets and other organized retail structures. In 2019, supermarkets and health & beauty retail outlets accounted for maximum sales of baby food products in the Asia-Pacific. Hence, such factors are expected to drive market growth.
Stringent quality checks and strict mandates by governments and food departments pose significant restraints for the baby food market. Companies must adhere to safety guidelines to ensure the optimal quality of products. This leads to a higher cost of products, owing to competitive pricing, which, in turn, reduces companies' profit margins. Therefore, these factors hamper market growth.
Product innovations play an essential role in the growth of the baby food market. Intensive research and development activities have facilitated the launch of innovative products in the market. In addition, the safety of baby food is the prime concern among consumers and manufacturers. Tamper-proof packaging of baby food products ensures optimal safety of its contents. Innovations in improving the safety of these products through process improvements and technological advancements drive the growth of the baby food market.
Region-wise, the global baby food market is segmented across North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.
Asia-Pacific is the highest shareholder and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 5.6% during the forecast period. The high birth rate and improving population purchasing power in Asia-Pacific have significantly increased the demand for baby food and milk formula-based products in this region. Intensive R&D activities in the baby food segment are expected to help companies offer affordable baby food products in this region. Baby food products include milk powder, cereals, snacks, ready-to-drink fresh fruits, and vegetable juices.
Urbanization, improving lifestyle, and active women participation in the workplace are primary driving forces of the Asia-Pacific baby food market. Additionally, companies operating in this region focus on venturing into emerging markets and introducing innovative products based on regional requirements. Hong Kong is expected to be the fastest-growing market for the infant milk formula segment during the forecast period.
LAMEA is the fastest-growing region. The decline in poverty rates and disposable income in Latin American countries have increased the adoption of baby food products in this region. Baby food manufacturers have primarily focused on packaging aspects of products to prolong shelf life and minimize the risks of product contamination. Global baby food companies focus on the emerging LAMEA region, especially Brazil. An increase in the population of women professionals, high disposable income, and time constraints for cooking majorly boosts the baby food market growth in this region. In addition, an increase in organized retailing has facilitated the launch of innovative and new products in the market.
Europe is the second-largest region and is projected to reach USD 310 million by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 6.4%. According to the Food Safety Agency (SFA), a food trade association in France, food products consumed by adults are inappropriate for babies as they could adversely affect their health. Additionally, traditional foods do not fulfill the nutritional requirements of babies. Manufacturers are refining recipes with more organic and naturally healthy ingredients to improve their customer base.
An increase in purchasing power of consumers has also led to growth in overall sales of baby food products. Europe is witnessing moderate growth in the baby food market, owing to sluggish growth in population, coupled with the low birth rate in countries such as Italy, Germany, and the UK. Western Europe has witnessed a decline in retail sales of baby food products in the past few years. However, sales of baby food products are projected to grow in Germany, owing to the rise in the spending capacity of consumers and growth in awareness of proper nutrition for babies.
The global baby food market share is segmented by product type, distribution channel, and region.
Product type-wise, the global baby food market is bifurcated into Dried Baby Food, Milk Formula, Prepared Baby Food, and Others.
The Milk Formula segment is the highest contributor to the market and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 5.8% during the forecast period. Breastfeeding problems in women are the primary factor driving the market growth. Nowadays, women professionals prefer prepared milk-based baby food, owing to lack of time. Additionally, several producers advertise artificial formulas as a complement to breast milk. As a result, businesses are releasing milk formulations in various tastes and flavors to raise customer awareness of their brands.
The Dried Baby Food segment is the fastest growing. Due to increasing knowledge of the advantages of providing babies with a balanced diet, there has been significant growth in the demand for dried baby food over the years. Dried baby food products partly drive the market with longer shelf life. Market leaders offer a variety of goods enhanced with fruit components, such as bananas, tropical mangoes, apples, and dry fruits. The baby food business has expanded due to evolving socioeconomic variables and an improved standard of life brought on by a significant increase in disposable income. Furthermore, dried baby food prices are lower than prepared baby foods and milk formulations.
Prepared Baby Food holds the second-largest market share. This is attributed to new flavors and the need for nutritious ready-to-eat baby foods. The packaging of food products also plays a crucial role in overall sales. For instance, zip-lock pouches and handy containers are widely accepted as they are easy to carry, store, and use. These products describe the list of ingredients and the number of nutrients in the product. Additionally, packaged food products offer the convenience of preparing food while traveling and the inaccessibility of preparing home-cooked food.
Distribution channel-wise, the global baby food market is bifurcated into Supermarkets, Hypermarkets, Small Grocery Retailers, and Health & Beauty Retailers.
The Supermarket segment is the highest contributor to the market and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 5.4% during the forecast period. Improved lifestyle due to a considerable increase in disposable income, coupled with the influence of western culture, are the significant factors contributing to the growth of this segment. Supermarkets are becoming increasingly popular because they offer a wide variety of consumer items in one location, have enough parking, and have convenient operating hours. Additionally, some supermarkets have company representatives to assist consumers in selecting baby food products. Hence, these factors propel market growth.
Small Grocery Retailers are the fastest-growing segment. In India, the trend of buying groceries from small grocery retail outlets is high compared to other countries. Small grocery retailers are the highest revenue-generating distribution networks in the baby food product in the Asia-Pacific. Supermarkets and hypermarkets pose a significant threat to these retailers. However, small grocery retailers have the advantages of being present at convenient locations and the availability of products in small quantities. They also provide free home delivery services, in turn increasing their popularity. Supermarkets & hypermarkets have their presence restricted to urban areas. This gives a competitive edge to small grocery retailers to maintain their dominance in rural and semi-urban areas.
The Health & Beauty Retailers are the second-largest segment. According to the WHO, in 2019, around the globe, 45% of child deaths occurred due to malnutrition. These mainly occur in low-and middle-income countries. At the same time, in these countries, childhood overweight and obesity rates were on the rise. Growing concerns among parents regarding child malnutrition propels the growth of the baby food market. Health & beauty retailers offer professional consulting services to consumers for choosing appropriate baby food products.
The key players in the global baby food market are