- In Baby food industry in India, rapid urbanization, growing population, Increasing disposable income and growing number of women workforce has led to the fast paced growth in this industry, where the availability of good quality food is gradually increasing with innovation in product variant.
- In terms of evolution of baby food industry, the usage of innovative packaging techniques has given rise in the investment and research and development is carried out by major companies to offer better quality products.
- There is an emphasis in developing foods that are more organic due to an increased nutritional awareness among parents.
Ken Research announced its latest publication on, “Industry Forecast Report: Baby food in India’, which provides detailed information on the current market trends in the baby food market. In addition, the publication also includes the information regarding current scenario and challenges faced by the industry. Insights regarding changing consumer’s preferences and the leading players in the market.
The baby food market in India is witnessing rapid growth and is growing by 10-12% a year. India has the largest population of 0-4 year old in Asia. Additionally, due to the increasing number of working women, and the increasing parental concerns about nutrition have lead to its growth. Professionally-made food designed to meet the nutrition requirements of babies also address the problems of paucity of time for preparing baby food at home. Packed and bottled baby food is also considered as a supplement to mother’s feeding.
Moreover, rapid urbanization, growing population, increasing disposable income has lead to the fast paced growth in this industry, where the availability of good quality food is gradually increasing with the entry of international and domestic players in the Indian market and with an aim of bringing innovation in product variant.
Major baby food industry players include:
- Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) aka Amul
- Nestle India Ltd
- Nutricia International Pvt Ltd
- Raptakos Brett & Co Ltd
- Abbott Nutrition
- Mead Johnson Nutrition (India) Pvt Ltd.
Where, Nestle; Wockhardt’s Farex; and Heinz Breakfast Creamy Oat Porridge Cereal are the top three popular brands in India in baby food market. Nestle India Ltd maintained the lead in 2015. The company continued to leverage the popularity of its leading brands including Lactogen, Cerelac, Nan, Nestrum and Nestrogen.
Moreover, a growing trend of Merger and Acquisitions has been witnessed in the Indian Food industry over last few years. Nestlé’s acquisition of Gerber Food and Pfizer Nutrition are among some of the prime example leading to increasing market consolidation and thus intensifying the competition in the market.
Thus most of the top Baby Food Brands in India are known for providing the right amount of nutrition to babies. Prescribed by most of the famous pediatricians these baby food products are generally given to the child after he/ she completes 12 months. Baby foods produced by the top brands in this segment contain the right nutritional content required by the baby and are also easily digestible by him/her.
Baby food industry consists of companies that manufacture packaged foods for babies; it is ready to eat and readymade. Baby food is categorized into three main types, thick liquid, thicker liquid and solid foods for their right age. It can be mashed or pureed and fed to the baby. There are different types in which baby food is packaged; different types of containers to different food types, such as baby snacks, bottled baby food, canned baby food, cereals, fruits and vegetables, and meat.
However, the milk based baby food segment is expected to continue to dominate the Indian baby food market as it is considered to be the most convenient alternative to mother’s milk. Milks dominate the market and have outperformed cereals in volume terms.
Moreover, Bottled baby food too seems to be one of the leading segments in baby food market. With increasing demand in organic farming and organic foods, organic baby food production is also on rise. As the number of working women is increasing, demand for packaged baby food is witnessing a rapid growth with concern about nutritional benefits that baby food products offer. Due to its advantage in terms of storage for longer duration, convenience and time taken as opposed to homemade foods, baby food market is thriving with success in demand.
Additionally, companies like, Nestle are making an effort to provide its consumer with wide variety of options, where the markets are flooded with plethora of flavors, both wheat based (Cerelac) and Rice based (Nestum). Companies also segment products on the basis of age and need. Lactogen and Nan from Nestle, or Mama’s Best from Abbott Nutrition, are targeted at new-born as a substitute for breast milk, while Cerelac and Farex are supplements for children of six months and above. Further, Cerelac is segmented into types for infants from six months to a year, for one-year-olds, two-year-olds, three-year-olds, and so on.
In terms of evolution of baby food industry, the usage of innovative packaging techniques has given rise in the investment and research and development is carried out by major companies to offer better quality products. The innovative techniques include small pouches, secured packets and use of plastics for better packing has led to the creative designing of containers and boxes. Thus, baby food market is coming up with new fresh ideas to generate more revenues.
There is an emphasis in developing foods that are more organic and includes more enhanced ingredients for higher nutrition for babies that move beyond basic homemade foods. There is an increased nutritional awareness among parents, so the industry is driving innovation and allowing parents to choose variety of organic baby food.
Factors to be kept in my mind by the producer, considering consumers preference are listed below:
- Trusted brand Provides good overall nutrition
- Safe ingredients and processing
- Flavor or taste child likes
- Good price/value
- Offers wide variety of flavors/types
- On sale/promotion
- Type of packaging
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Ankur Gupta, Head Marketing & Communications