The UK baby food market posted current value growth of 7% in 2012, to reach a sales value of £698 million by the end of the year.
There is no doubt that the market for pre-prepared food and snacks for infants is changing rapidly. The category has morphed from a simple selection of jarred purees, to an exciting and innovative array of pouches, mini-pots, steam-meals, sauces, baby pasta and even baby stock cubes. The list goes on and is constantly growing.
Recent growth within the market has not come from an increase in penetration or frequency among traditional baby food products. Instead, manufacturers have pushed the limits of baby food, into snacks and finger foods.
They've pushed beyond the boundaries of the aisle into dairy and chilled ready meals and they are keeping mums locked in to the category for longer by innovating products for older children.
There has been much press over the years discussing the link between junk food and IQ levels, and it is thought that this was a factor driving more parents to want to feed their babies the highest-quality food from brands they trust, as long as they feel they are also getting value for money.
59% of new mothers aged 35-39 are more likely to be financially secure and less discerning. There is opportunity to create new bespoke and premium baby food products to appeal to this market.
Nearly 65% of parents with children under 1 would like to try new baby food products and drinks. Improving the diversity of different and innovative baby products could increase penetration among this group.
Cow & Gate Nutricia Ltd continued to lead the United Kingdom baby food market in 2012, with its two leading brands Cow & Gate and Aptamil holding a combined share of 32% in value terms. Both Cow & Gate and Aptamil are expected to see increases in their value shares, due to a newly adopted marketing strategy to promote online sales.
For more information on the UK baby food market, see the latest research: UK Baby Food Market
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