Mexico’s Health And Wellness Baby Food Retail Sales Market Outlook: Ken Research


Mexico is a hub for the baby food market in the South American region. It is the second largest market in South America for baby food, after Brazil, with a worth estimated to be around a billion US dollars. All this takes shape despite the fact that the country is witnessing declining birth rates in recent years. According to the study, The Baby Food Sector In Mexico, 2018, the baby food market has been growing at a good pace despite contrary trends.

The main factors that are responsible for the current prosperous growth of the industry are the increasing number of women joining the workforce who tend to replace breastfeeding with milk formula at the end of a short maternity leave. They also tend to start purchasing prepared and dried baby food in order to save time. Maternity leave in Mexico is generally for twelve weeks and this short period not only promotes prepared baby food but has also been noted to negatively affect breastfeeding rates which, according to surveys are already lower than the WHO standards.

Another observation that has been made is that Mexico is one of the countries making the fastest progress against child malnutrition and Mexicans have become especially aware of the importance of feeding their babies with foods that can meet their nutrient requirements. This observation has been backed by 2017 statistics too that reveal that almost all of the total baby food retail sales are in the health and wellness category and the country ranks first in the South American region for health and wellness baby food retail sales. Parental concern fuels this sector. In terms of growth organic baby food and particularly organically prepared baby food recently recorded the strongest performance despite high unit price. Other types of health and wellness products that have been developing are lactose free milk and hypo-allergenic milk formula.

Milk formula is the most popular category among Mexican consumers, despite all the efforts made by the authorities to promote breastfeeding, consumer demand for milk formula is still on the rise as reflected by an important increase in retail sales from 2013 to 2017. Retail sales of milk formula are almost exclusively in powder form since only two companies offer liquid milk formula in Mexico. The subcategory of special milk formula has outperformed other subcategories under milk formula. Special baby milk formula is designed to nourish babies with allergies, those who cannot digest standard milk formula or to address specific conditions such as reflux or diarrhea. The progress of this subcategory is being supported by an increasing number of pediatricians who prescribe it not only as a treatment but also to prevent certain conditions.

In Mexico the baby food sector is led by international companies while domestic brands do not have a significant presence. Nestlé is clearly dominating the market with more than half the total share in retail sales and is outperforming its competitors in all categories evident by its control of nine-tenth proportion of the dried baby food sector and prepared baby food sector among others. It has recently launched innovative product designs that explain its position as the leader. Such products include the Apple and Strawberry Flavored Cereal which is enriched with six vitamins and minerals in addition to Sodium Free Purified Water for Babies which has a balanced content of minerals whilst being light on a baby’s stomach and are Kosher certified.

The Mexican birth rate is expected to fall further in coming years but the baby food market is expected to grow. To encourage breastfeeding the government has taken steps such as the regulation of promotion of milk formula which continues to remain the baby food product type with the biggest market. Under it, special baby milk formula has and is further expected to show considerable growth. The health and wellness baby food market has been expanding and thus, many brands are enhancing the nutritional content of their products by adding vitamins and minerals.

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Ankur Gupta, Head Marketing & Communications