The baby market is booming. Baby foods alone are up 7.2% and product ranges are growing all the time, making it essential for retailers to be ‘baby on board.’
11 March 2009 | 0
At a glance: BABY PRODUCTS
- The baby food market in Ireland is valued at €80 million and saw growth of 7.2% in the year to January 2009
- Infant milks accounts for 61% of the baby products category in value terms
- Growing up milks represent 10.2% of the total baby/toddler milk market
- The wet meal or jar market grew by 4.2% last year
- The fruit pot segment of the wet meals category is worth over €4.7m per annum
- The dry meal market is valued at €7.7million, and accounts for 33% of the meals category
- Juices and finger foods make up 10.1% of the baby food category in value share
- Finger food within the baby category has a year on year value increase of 6.5%
- The market for baby wipes and toiletries in Ireland is valued at E25m MAT.
- Johnson’s baby is the principal brand in the wipes market with 41% value share MAT and showing value growth of 11%
- The Milupa brand is growing at 14.1% (Source: AC Nielsen Scantrack, Jan 25th 2009)
- Cow & Gate continues to grow the wet meals category at 7.5%
- The Milupa dry range has the majority share of the dry market with 73%
- (Statistics released by Danone)
With birth rates rising steadily in the Republic of Ireland since 1994, the baby market is a thriving one. Valued at €80 million for baby foods alone, it has also shown impressive growth. Especially taking account of the current economic climate, growth of 7.2% in the year to January 2009 is a promising sign. The baby products market is a broad one with goods that seek to cover the many different stages in baby and infant development. Finger foods especially is a strong area for growth; demonstrating a year on year value increase of 6.5%.
Nutrition and convenience are both of prime importance for parents when choosing baby milks and feeds and manufacturers have improved formulae to appeal to these trends.
Market analyst Mintel has looked at the babies’ and children’s toiletries market and found that the baby sector is by far the largest and the more dynamic, and is witnessing a growth in products with natural formulations. In fact, there is even some adult usage, especially of ‘cult’ products, such as Johnson’s Baby Oil.
Sales that don’t jar
Cow & Gate and Milupa are number one and two brands respectively in the baby market, with the Milupa brand growing at 14.1% (Source: AC Nielsen Scantrack, Jan 25th 2009). Infant milks is currently the most important part of the category, accounting for 61% of category value, and premium products and liquid milk formats are driving the growth.
The wet meal or jar market grew by 4.2% last year and Cow & Gate continues to grow the category at 7.5%. Little Gourmet meals are the latest addition to the Cow & Gate food range, tailored for the nutritional needs of babies and toddlers. The perfect way to provide variety and introduce new flavours, vegetables and herbs into a baby’s diet, Little Gourmet meals include up to seven different types of steamed vegetables and a hint of herbs to develop babies’ taste palates. The range includes four recipes: Sole a la Crème, Tuscan Style Chicken Tagliatelle, Tender Beef Stroganoff and Beef with Steamed Vegetables and Penne. Steam cooked to preserve vitamins and taste, and packaged in foil sealed bowls to lock in freshness, they use no artificial colourings, flavourings or preservatives.
Cow & Gate also offers a range of 16 Organic recipes, including the family favourite Irish Beef Stew, each specifically developed by nutrition experts using only organically produced natural ingredients, carefully selected from certified organic farms. Cow & Gate’s range of organic jar meals continues to perform well within wet meals, with 35.5% share of the organic wet meals category.
Finally, Cow & Gate Baby Balance Dairy Desserts are a healthy treat and a valuable contribution to a balanced diet, with less sugar than any other leading brands, and providing daily calcium and real fruit purée. In a range of great flavours, and packed in handy plastic cups of four individual servings, they can make a nutritious dessert at home, or a convenient snack when out and about. The eye-catching packaging ensures that the familiar Cow & Gate Baby Balance branding is highly visible, whilst also communicating the key benefits of the new dairy desserts.
Mum’s the word
Heinz has been taking care of little appetites for generations with its comprehensive baby food range offering everything for baby from meals in jars and trays, to cereals, rusks, juice, potted fruity custard desserts and the Cook at Home range.
The highly successful Heinz Mum’s Own Recipe range is a unique concept in that all the varieties included are based on recipe suggestions that Heinz has gathered from real mums. Heinz Mum’s Own in its bright, eye-catching packaging, offers several varieties, including a range of desserts and breakfasts suitable for all ages from 4 to 6+ months, and tray meals suitable for 12+ months.
In deference to homemade baby food, Heinz created the Cook At Home range of premium pastas, sauces and gravies, which are specially formulated for babies and toddlers. Suitable from seven months onwards, Heinz Cook at Home makes it easy for mum to cook for baby at home with minimum fuss or work.
Heinz Farley’s Rusks, available in packs of nine or 18, are rich in calcium, iron and vitamins and contain no added colours, flavourings or preservatives. Heinz Rusks are also available in reduced sugar and gluten-free varieties. The Heinz baby food range also offers a range of baby juices.
TLC at every stage
For over 50 years, Irish Mums have trusted Liga as a nutritious and energy rich addition to baby’s diet. This iconic range, which includes Liga Original, Junior, Snack Packs and Liga C, has a product suitable for every stage of infant development from four months upwards and has enjoyed strong year on year growth.
Liga Original is fortified with vitamins and minerals; free from artificial colours, flavours and preservatives; portion packed for handy on-the-go eating; and has reduced salt and sugar. Liga Junior and Snack Packs, also free from artificial additives, are suitable for children aged nine and 15 months old respectively, and contain fun-shaped biscuits, easy for little hands to hold. Finally, Liga C, made with the natural juices of blackcurrants, rosehips and guava pears, is a rich source of vitamin C.
The Liga brand will be supported this year by a programme of highly targeted activity, including direct mail and in-store consumer promotions.
A caring approach
SMA has over 80 years experience in infant and toddler nutrition, and has a range of products to deliver a baby’s nutritional needs.
SMA Gold is a whey-based infant milk that provides babies with all the nutrients required, while being easy to digest and kind to developing kidneys. SMA White is a nutritionally complete casein (curd) based infant milk, made with a special balance of milk proteins for hungrier bottle fed babies, and may help delay weaning until the recommended time. SMA Progress is a follow-on milk to provide important nutrients that babies need but in a smaller amount of milk than infant formula, so babies still have an appetite for food. In addition, SMA also makes a range of products for babies with special feeding needs, including SMA LF (lactose free), Wysoy, High Energy and Staydown.
An important part of the SMA brand’s campaign is its advice phoneline for new parents, manned by a specially trained team of advisors. The SMA Careline is open from 8am to 6pm every weekday, with additional information available at www.smanutrition.ie.
The market at a glance
The market for baby wipes and toiletries in Ireland is valued at €25m MAT, down 5.6% on 2008, although volume sales are up by 0.5%
- Baby wipes constitute 64% of the market (€16m)
- While the market for baby wipes is experiencing negative value growth of -7.3%, Johnson’s baby is the principal brand in the wipes market with 41% value share MAT and showing value growth of 11%
- The baby toiletries category is worth just under €9m MAT, down 2.3% year on year
- The bath segment is worth €1.4m MAT and Johnson’s baby is the leading brand here, with 79% of value sales (+8.7% on 2008)
- The baby oil segment is worth €1.2m MAT and growing at 7.6%; in this segment, Johnson’s baby holds 97% value share and is driving growth (+9.9%)
- Baby shampoo is worth just under €1m and growing at 4.7%; this growth is driven by Johnson’s baby with 94% value share and growth of 3.4%. (AC Nielson Total Market, Scantrack, 25 Jan 2009)
No more tears
Johnson’s baby is celebrating 50 years of the ‘No more tears’ trademark. Much more than a trademark, ‘No more tears’ embodies a rigorous multi-step testing policy that is deeply rooted in Johnson & Johnson philosophy. Based on a deep understanding of the consumer and of the mother and baby relationship, 50 years ago Johnson & Johnson developed a new set of safety standards to mark the quality and gentleness of its mild soap-free shampoo. With the symbol mums can trust, Johnson’s products won’t irritate their baby’s eyes and will be gentle for baby’s delicate skin. The ‘No more tears’ trademark is found not only on Johnson’s baby shampoo but also on Johnson’s baby cleansers and wipes. ‘No more tears’ will be celebrated in the trade throughout April.