The global infant nutrition market size was valued at USD 44.90 billion in 2022. It is estimated to reach USD 115.50 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 8.5% during the forecast period (2023–2031).
Adequate infant nutrition is fundamental to a child's continued health from birth to late adulthood. During the first three years of an infant's life, proper feeding plays an instrumental role in lowering morbidity and mortality and preventing chronic diseases throughout the life span. A balanced diet also promotes the cognitive and physical development of an infant. Infant nutrition products are formulated to meet the dietary requirements of infants or young children, which is fundamental to their continued health from infancy to late adulthood. These products support normal growth, development, functioning, and resistance to infections and diseases among infants and young children.
Furthermore, these products are the best alternatives for breast milk as they contain the correct proportions of calories, minerals, vitamins, proteins, fats, and fluids to ensure adequate nutrient intake. However, these products lack the immunological components found in breast milk. Infections may be resisted by the immunological components in breast milk. Hence, according to pediatric nutritionists, breast milk is the best source of nutrition for infants. Infant formula is available for infants whose moms are unable or choose not to breastfeed.
The global infant nutrition market has grown rapidly in the past owing to the surging percentage of working women and increasing awareness of infant nutrition products among new parents. Rising e-commerce platforms have helped in escalating the demand for infant food enriched with vitamins such as vitamin D. In addition, several governments have undertaken initiatives to address infant malnutrition and generate health awareness. UNICEF and WHO are constantly increasing awareness of child nutrition, reducing childhood morbidity and mortality, and promoting healthy feeding practices.
Parents have a high awareness of infant formula ingredients sourced from whey. Around 55% of mothers in China prefer products containing whey proteins. Most Generation X and millennial mothers recognize and prefer products that contain whey-derived ingredients. This trend is witnessed in China, one of the world's largest infant formula markets. Therefore, increasing consumer awareness of the significance of adequate nutrition for children drives the market's growth.
The infant formula is supplemented with probiotics, prebiotics, or symbiotics. The prebiotic approach aims to increase the resident bacteria considered beneficial for human health, including bifidobacteria and lactobacilli. However, the probiotic approach entails using living microorganisms in the diet. Both approaches have been adopted in infant formula feeding as they closely simulate the gut microbiota composition seen during breastfeeding. These bacteria are good or friendly and already present in high levels in the digestive system of breastfed infants. This trend of using probiotic ingredients in infant formulas, baby foods, and supplements for healthy childhood is driving the market's growth.
Breast milk is the finest source of nutrition for an infant, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). WHO opposes using infant formulas for infants up to six months. Furthermore, marketing and advertising of these products are banned in several countries. Also, according to the new EU legislation (2016/127 and 2016/128), advertising and marketing of infant formula are restricted. The EU legislation and the WHO International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes have strictly regulated the use of commercial or educational materials to idealize the use of breast milk substitutes, such as infant formulas and follow-on formulas. Hence, these strict rules and regulations may hinder the market's growth.
Nearly 47% of people worldwide choose organic goods and drinks because they are concerned about the environment. Health-conscious consumers have become increasingly curious about how the foods they consume are manufactured, especially for children. Most markets are shifting toward natural claims that are not category-specific and in the pediatric nutrition area. Therefore, sustainability and healthcare concerns propel the demand for organic infant nutrition products. Similarly, the keen interest among parents to procure organic infant nutrition products and ensure sustainability is driving the demand for organic infant formulas.
In 2019, nearly 10% of the global new product launches for infant formulas featured an organic claim, increasing by 7% since 2015. Using natural and organic ingredients addresses the parents' concerns regarding product safety and environmental sustainability. Also, organic baby products minimize and even prevent a child's exposure to these substances. Furthermore, factors such as the rising number of working mothers worldwide and the substantial increase in their spending power have created tremendous opportunities for the global market players to increase the sales of their organic infant nutrition products.
The global infant nutrition market is segmented by product type, form, and distribution channel.
Based on product type, the global infant nutrition market is segmented into first infant formula, follow-on formula, growing-up formula, and specialty baby formula.
The first infant formula segment owns the highest market share and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 7.99% during the forecast period. First, infant formula milk is mostly whey-based with casein: whey ratio of 40:60, about the same as breast milk. First infant formula, often known as first milk, is a good source of nutrients for babies up to six months old. It can also be included in a weaning diet from six to twelve months. It is advisable to give breast milk or formula milk as drinks to infants aged below 12 months. In addition, the two types of proteins in cow's milk are whey and casein. The first formula based on whey protein is considered easy to digest than other types of formulas. Moreover, infants above six months who have been introduced to solid foods can also be given the formula.
Follow-on formula milk mostly consists of casein, with a casein-to-whey ratio of 80:20. According to manufacturers, milk with higher casein content takes longer to digest, which keeps an infant satiated for a longer duration. Follow-on formula is food added to the weaning diet of infants aged six months and above. This formula supports the transition from infant formula to solids. In addition, follow-on formulas claim to support an infant's health and well-being in transitional feeding phases and even when they are toddlers. Follow-on formulas are best suitable for babies with low iron levels or an inadequate weaning diet at that age.
Based on form, the global infant nutrition market is divided into powder formula, concentrated liquid formula, and ready-to-feed formula.
The powder formula segment is responsible for the largest market share and is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 7.43% over the forecast period. Powdered infant formula (PIF) is a term used to cover both breast milk fortifiers and breast milk substitutes. It comes in canisters and little packets. The powder in the cans makes enough prepared formula to make somewhere between 90 and 200 ounces. This formula must be mixed with water before being fed to the baby. In addition, the powder is added to premeasured water and shaken until it gets dissolves. The standard measurement followed includes one scoop of the powder for every two fluid ounces of water. It is considered to be the most economical formula.
The concentrated liquid formula is directly added to the water. Although these formulas are relatively costlier than powder formulas, they are easy to prepare. The standard measurement includes an equal amount of concentrated liquid with water. For instance, to prepare four fluid ounces of infant formula, two fluid ounces of the concentrated liquid formula are mixed with two fluid ounces of water. It is important to measure the components precisely, as incorrect measurements could make an infant sick.
Based on the distribution channel, the global infant nutrition market is divided into supermarkets and hypermarkets, convenience stores, pharmacies and drug stores, online channels, and others.
The supermarkets and hypermarkets segment owns the highest market share and is anticipated to exhibit a CAGR of 6.95% over the forecast period. Sales of infant nutrition items at supermarkets and hypermarkets are included in this segment. These stores are typically self-serving outlets with a broad selection of food and other home goods. Most big players have begun providing a wide selection of infant beverages through supermarkets and hypermarkets. Moreover, these markets follow sales strategies such as discounts, buy-one-get-one offers, and complimentary products to attract more consumers. Such offers accelerate the sales of infant nutrition products as they are in high demand among consumers and drive the market's growth.
The online distribution channel has gained momentum post the rapid internet penetration and advancement in e-commerce shopping sites. Amazon, Alibaba, Flipkart, and Firstcry, among others, are the major websites for purchase. Additionally, vendors are upgrading their official websites with major trends, infant nutrition statistics, proven formulas, sustainability concerns, and online forums to keep consumers engaged. The latest news and statistics are also enhancing end-users knowledge, which can lead them to purchase the product. Website-only discounts, offers, new user benefits, and free shipping are other drivers for the segment.
Asia-Pacific Dominates the Global Market
Based on region, the global infant nutrition market is bifurcated into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa.
Asia-Pacific is the most significant global infant nutrition market shareholder and is anticipated to exhibit a CAGR of 8.47% during the forecast period. Factors such as the growing preference for natural and organic infant formulas, the addition of prebiotics and probiotics in infant food, and the increasing use of goat milk in infant formulas will provide several new opportunities for players during the forecast period. The demand for infant formula is higher in emerging countries due to the increasing purchasing power of parents. Therefore, market players must address rapidly changing consumer requirements to meet emerging demands. Furthermore, an upsurge in the online sale of infant nutrition products is expected to increase the overall revenue of vendors in the industry. The primary elements contributing to the growth of the infant nutrition market in Asia-Pacific include the dynamic and competitive environment in the Chinese market. In addition, the large consumer base and rapidly increasing purchasing power are attracting many multinational brands to the region. Many foreign infant formula brands are expanding their geographical presence in lower-tier cities in China.
North America is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 6.29% over the forecast period. The increasing awareness of health and wellness and the rising number of highly nutritious products drive the demand for infant nutrition in North America. Most infants in the region are born premature and, as a result, cannot breastfeed. Therefore, nurses or parents feeding their babies infant formula is considered the best breast milk alternative. Preterm births accounted for 10.09% of the total births in the region in 2020. In addition, advances in the follow-up formula and increasing investments in R&D for innovative product formulas focused on improving the health of infants have further helped in market expansion.
In Europe, the major factors attributing to the expansion of the market are the increasing population of baby boomers and participation of women in the workforce, encouraging mothers to accept milk formula, and preparing baby food. Germany, the UK, France, Spain, and Italy are major markets for infant nutrition in the region. Further, increasing fertility rates in developing countries should contribute to the infant nutrition market in the region. In addition, most of the world's population lives in developing countries. Therefore, rapid urbanization and rising disposable income in developing countries will stimulate market growth during the forecast period.
In Latin America, the infant nutrition market is witnessing considerable growth due to innovative package design and a rising preference for organic and natural infant products that provide specific health benefits focusing on children's physical and cognitive development. Additionally, changing lifestyle patterns with increasing disposable income have encouraged consumers to purchase personalized infant nutrition products. The market has developed due to changes in how people have started focusing on nutritional products for their infants.
The Middle East and Africa infant nutrition market is anticipated to increase significantly as a result of factors including the growing consumer base, economic expansion, and high birth rate. The market players are intensively investing in R&D activities to produce innovative products. This will give players a new market opportunity to expand and penetrate the region and further drive the market's growth.
|Report Coverage||Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends|
"Find new revenue generation opportunities"