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The global infant formula market size was valued at USD 50.46 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 109.10 billion by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 10.6% during the forecast period.
Infant formulae are specially designed formulations for infants preferably below one year of age. Numerous government organizations such as the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), World Health Organization (WHO), and others have specific rules regarding the formulation of infant food to ensure the high quality of the product. Stringent regulations regarding the quality of the products are expected to encourage consumers to buy new products without hesitation. For instance, in 2019, FSSAI drafted new rules regarding the standards for infant formulae for special medical purposes, premature infant milk substitutes, and lactose-free infant milk substitutes.
Sudden Disturbance in the Global Supply Chain has Affected Market Growth
The demand for infant formula is steady during this pandemic situation, however, the long term corollaries are hard to forecast as of yet, owing to supply chain disruptions and negative impact on the global trade of the product. Moreover, the increasing concerns regarding the new born’s health as they are at high risk of infection are gravitating parents to opt for premium products which, in turn, boosts the immunity of the baby.
The uncertainty allied with the market situation is making it difficult to predict the market statistics in the future years. The companies operating in the market are embarking on the partnership and digitalization to increase their global presence during this pandemic situation. For instance, In March 2020, The Kraft Heinz company aligned with childcare websites in China i.e. Babytree, to donate approx. 4,000 boxes of the company’s infant nutrition to families in need through the Shanghai Fosun Foundation.
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Increasing Consumer Shift towards Clean-label and Plant-based Products
The global market for infant nutrition is booming, with strong potentials of rapid growth in the sector among a flurry of innovation with crucial ingredients such as probiotics and human milk oligosaccharides. Increasing demand for clean label, plant-based, and organic products has emerged as a trend in recent years. The rising consumer shift from chemical ingredients to all-natural and plant-based ingredients is predicted to support the organic and clean-labeled infant nutrition product growth.
The fortification of infant formula with vitamin D is increasing as it plays a potentially significant role in balancing the microbial population in the infant’s gut. The increasing spread of COVID-19 has contributed to raising concerns for infants' health and well-being and to assure that market’s leading players should actively capitalize on launching vitamin-D fortified infant formula.
Intensifying R&D Activities to Support the Growth of Market
The global market is driven by promising demand dynamics such as fertility rates, suboptimal breastfeeding rates indicating the early dependence on the breast milk substitute. The modernization and evolving lifestyles of the consumers are also driving product growth. The convenience of the product along with compositional enhancement is propelling the demand among the parents.
The increasing investment by prominent key players on the research and development of innovative products is expected to positively impact the infant formula market growth. For instance, in January 2019, Nestle S.A. opened a new research center in Ireland. The center will focus on developing inventions in milk-based infant and maternal nutrition products for the world market.
Growing Focus on Infant Care and Nutrition is Offering Ample Opportunities for Manufacturers
The fastest growing attention and focus on the nutritional needs of infants are the other major factors driving the market across the globe. The increase in the number of working females and mothers, coupled with the substantial rise in their discretionary spendings has boosted the sales of baby nutrition products. The increasing cases of lactation, medication, lack of support and qualified lactation experts, unsupportive work policies, and cultural norms are some of the attributing factors that can boost-up the product demand.
According to the Global Breastfeeding Scorecard, 2019 by the World Health Organization, and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the current rate of breastfeeding remains suboptimal as compared to the standard recommendations across the world. There are many cases across the world, where mothers voluntarily prefer infant formula instead of breastfeeding to their children, thus relying exclusively on the market products. Therefore, manufacturers are improvising and innovating their formulations to closely mimic the breast milk composition.
Stringent Rules and Regulations to Curtail the Growth of the Market
Strict rules and regulations concerning the launch of new products along with the complicated process regarding the registration of new products are predicted to hamper the product’s growth. Moreover, lower acceptance for premium or high prices products across some developing regions (due to low per capita income) can also be an obstacle for the growth of the market.
“Infant Milk Formula to Secure Larger Revenue Chunk in the Global Marketplace”
The infant milk formula segment has witnessed strong value-based sales and it is one of the leading categories in the emerging economies, owing to the lack of acceptable alternatives in the market. The limited availability of convenient and nutrient-dense products is encouraging the manufacturers to develop and bring forth innovative products in the market. The rising consumers’ prosperity towards their infants and baby milk enables them to afford a diverse range of infant milk formula products available in the market.
The follow-on milk segment is predicted to witness the highest CAGR in the global market studies during the forecast period. The ability of premiumized follow-on milk formula to mimic the nutritive function of breast milk due to its high in protein, calcium, iron, and other micronutrients content is predicted to boost the infant formula market share of the product. Moreover, infants with low iron levels or a poor weaning diet are required extra nutrition from their diet, as a result, the demand for follow-on milk is expected to increase at a healthier pace.
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“Specialty Stores to Gain Greater Sales Traction in Upcoming years”
The market has witnessed a rapid demand across supermarkets/hypermarkets channels. These mass merchandisers offer enhanced convenience, separate baby sections, bundling offers, schemes, and convenient shopping experience to buyers under a single roof. Moreover, such distribution channels are expected to act as “one-stop-for-all” regarding infant formula.
Specialty stores are the other rapidly growing distribution channels, as the store provides a wide range of baby foods, specialized products, breast milk substitutes along with the other baby care products at a single platform. The convenient way of shopping with a diverse product portfolio is enticing consumers to purchase from specialty stores. Most of the consumer prefers to buy the product under the guidance of a specialist and experienced nutritionist that are present in such specialized stores.
North America Infant Formula Market Size, 2019 (USD Billion)
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“Asia Pacific to Hold Prominent Share in the Global Market”
Asia Pacific is the largest market for infant formulae products in the world. The regional market projected to register a CAGR of 10.88% during the forecast period (2020-2027). The regional market is majorly driven by the strong demands emerging from high birth rates. The strong motivation provided to the domestic industry and the greater dependency on imports among rising demand for higher, quality, and premium products have also propelled the market growth. The presence of China, which is a major consumer of infant and baby food products in the world is another prominent reason for the region’s dominance. Moreover, China’s decision to abolish its “one-child” policy and an increase in the birth rate within the country are predicted to positively impact the growth of the market.
Middle East & Africa is witnessing a surge in the demand owing to rising working women population and increasing awareness regarding the products benefits and nutritive value. Moreover, the increased acquaintance to westerns lifestyle and underlying strength of the economy is likely to positively impact product growth.
“Industry Focus on Innovation and Development of New Products to Significantly Aid Market Growth”
Previously, the product portfolio was less diversified, however with the change in time and increase in product demand market players are capitalizing on new product developments. Companies such as Nestle S.A., Danone SA, and others are embarking on diversifying their product portfolio and base expansion to increase their market reach and production capabilities. Nestle S.A. is one of the leaders in the infant nutrition and baby food. The company has a strong global presence and held 20% of the global market share in infant formula segment in 2018. Innovations and expansion of business are the key strategies adopted by the company to compete in the global market. In March 2020, Nestle S.A. introduced a first-of-its-kind, single material pouch for its baby food products. The newly designed-to-be-recyclable pouch is made from polypropylene (PP), a versatile form of plastic available commercially.
The market research report provides qualitative and quantitative insights on this market and detailed analysis of market size and growth rate for all possible segments in the market.
An Infographic Representation of Infant Formula Market
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Along with this, the report provides elaborative industry analysis and the key dynamics and competitive landscape. Various key insights provided in the report are the overview of related markets, recent industry developments such as mergers & acquisitions, the regulatory scenario in key countries, and key industry trends.
Value (USD Billion)
By Distribution Channel
Fortune Business Insights says that the global infant formula market was valued at USD 50.46 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 109.10 billion by 2027.
Growing at a CAGR of 10.6%, the market will exhibit steady growth in the forecast period (2020-2027)
The Infant Milk segment is expected to be the leading segment in the market during the forecast period.
The rising focus on infant nutrition is predicted to drive the growth of the global market.
Nestle S.A., Danone SA, Abbott, Arla Foods amba, and Yili Group are some of the top key players in the market.
Asia Pacific is expected to hold the highest market share in the global market.
Mass merchandisers, such as hypermarkets/ supermarkets are expected to hold the dominant share.
The introduction of plant-based, clean label, and organic products are some of the emerging trends.
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