Baby in bloom!
According to Euromonitor International, Irish consumers are likely to continue looking for higher-quality baby food, with premium brands and value-added products set to continue driving sales growth. In particular, Euromonitor reports Irish parents are expected to continue preferring value-added products with additional features, with health and wellness likely to be a major focus. With that in mind, we highlight the leading brands and innovations that are top of the pack when it comes to delivering care and quality for precious little ones
21 March 2023
When it comes to feeding their little ones, parents will always want the best products and quality they can get. Indeed, one report from Euromonitor International published in September 2022 found that demand for high quality and premium brands is expected to go up as parents seek added value.
The analyst reported Irish consumers are likely to continue looking for higher-quality baby food, with premium brands and value-added products set to continue driving sales growth. In particular, Irish parents are expected to continue preferring value-added products with additional features, with health and wellness likely to be a major focus.
According to Euromonitor’s ‘Baby Food in Ireland’ report, although Ireland’s official population now tops five million, indicating that the country’s population is growing, closer analysis reveals that the main reason for the country’s expanding population is migration from other European countries. That said, Euromonitor finds that migration among young couples is likely to continue being a favourable factor for sales of baby food during the forecast five-year period. Low breastfeeding rates also maintain sales of baby food, especially milk formula, Euromonitor states.
Significantly, Ireland is one of the leading global exporters of infant milk formula, thanks to our thriving dairy farming industry. In 2014, one in seven babies worldwide consumed products manufactured in Ireland.
A recent UK-based report by Mintel entitled ‘Baby Food and Drink Market Report 2022’ also revealed some interesting findings that are likewise pertinent to the Irish market. According to Mintel, parents’ high level of environmental concern around baby food and drink offers a call to action, especially in light of their increased eco-consciousness as a result of the pandemic. With recycling claims widespread in the category but holding little sway on purchase, Mintel argues that brands need to take a more proactive approach to sustainability, also spelling out to consumers the tangible benefits of buying ‘greener’ products.
Specifically, Mintel found that 66% of parents of 0–4-year-olds report concern about the environmental impact of baby food and drink packaging. 66% of parents of 0–4-year-olds also give their children homemade food at least once a day.
While Mintel predicted that scratch cooking will increase, it also found that “many parents’ greater willingness to pay more for products intended for their children than for themselves should support sales to some extent”.
Looking towards future market trends until 2026, Mintel found that trend for delayed motherhood could offer the “potential to grow value sales by facilitating trading up, older mothers tending to be better off financially”.
Cooking kits designed for parents and toddlers to use together are a promising area for brands to explore, Mintel reports. These products have the potential to appeal during the income squeeze as a fun and relatively inexpensive activity for parents and children to do together while also teaching children valuable life skills.
Mintel also published a ‘UK Baby Products Market Report’ in 2021, which found that the babies’ and children’s personal care products, nappies and wipes category had grown in value for the first time in several years, rising by 2.8% in value to £676m in 2020. Mintel found that parents have acted more cautiously as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, demonstrating stockpiling, bulk-buying and increased hygiene behaviours, which have driven higher spend across all three segments.
Mintel stated that Covid-19 has accelerated parents’ concerns towards babies’ skin health as 63% of parents of 0-4-year-olds who buy babies’ personal care products, nappies or wipes think that babies’ skin can be damaged by washing/cleaning a lot. Brands can look to innovate in moisturising claims, microbiome-friendly formulas and natural antibacterial ingredients to appeal to these concerns.
The analyst also found there are opportunities for the category to premiumise in line with eco-ethical trends, which show no sign of stalling; when it comes to babies’/children’s personal care, 21% of parents who buy them are interested in biodegradable formulas. Moreover, emotional wellbeing has become more important, suggesting opportunities for aromatherapy ingredients, mood-boosting scents or massage applicators.
Keeping babies’ bottoms happy
Caldesene powder has been keeping babies’ bottoms happy by preventing and treating nappy rash for over 45 years. All parents or carers have to do is simply cleanse and dry the affected area, and sprinkle on Caldesene after each nappy change or as directed by a doctor.
Caldesene is the only medicated powder available for nappy rash and is available in 20g, 55g, and 100g formats. Available in pharmacies and supermarkets nationwide, for more information go to http://www.caldesene.ie/.
Ireland’s number one baby cereal
With an impressive 67%* market share, Milupa is Ireland’s number one baby cereal.
Milupa Cereals are ‘Tailored for Little Tummies’ through every step in the weaning journey. Milupa’s flavours provide taste and texture progression for little ones all the way up to one year. What’s more, Milupa Cereals contain no added sugar or salt** and no added flavourings, colours or preservatives.
*(Source: Nielsen Scantrack Sales Value MAT 29 Jan 2023)
**(Contains naturally occurring sugars and sodium only)
Gold standard in baby nutrition
SMA Pro Follow-on-Milk recently received a Gold Award at the ninth annual National Product Awards (NPPAs) at a ceremony hosted by Ireland’s specialist parenting publisher and content agency, Zahra.
The NPPAs are Ireland’s first and only independently verified consumer awards of products and services for young families. Created by Zahra in partnership with Kantar, the NPPAs aim to uncover the most trusted products on today’s market, according to parents.
2022 has been the award’s most competitive year to date, with more than 200 products entered by brands across Ireland and overseas. SMA Pro Follow-on Milk’s win in the highly competitive ‘Best Follow-on Formula’ category is in recognition of the brand’s robust commitment to research and development in achieving the highest standards in baby nutritional products.
SMA Nutrition has been pioneering research in baby nutrition for over 100 years and has over 70 years’ breast milk research. The company has subsequently produced the SMA Pro range of Follow-on and Growing Up Milks, expertly created with nature in mind to support babies’ unique nutritional needs. SMA Pro Follow-on Milk is tailored for babies from six months as part of a varied weaning diet. It is enriched with iron to help support normal cognitive development in a baby’s brain. Inspired by research into nature’s wonderful nutrients, SMA Pro Follow-on Milk also contains 2’FL – the brand’s latest breakthrough in baby nutrition.
We are delighted that SMA Pro Follow-on Milk has received gold in the ‘Best Follow-on Formula’ category at this year’s National Product Awards,” said Catherine O’Connor, senior brand manager at Nestlé Nutrition Ireland.
“This win in a highly competitive category and in a year of record-high entries to the awards overall is testament to our commitment to pioneering research and excellence in baby nutrition,” she continued. “This award is particularly special for us as a team, given that it has been voted for by parents, which shows that SMA Pro Follow-on Milk is not only highly regarded within the industry, but is also a trusted product among our most important critics; Irish parents and their babies.”