2023
9
UK Baby Food and Drink Market Report 2023
2023-04-19T04:06:40+01:00
OX1156393
2195
162538
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Report
en_GB
"Ongoing pressure on household incomes over 2023-24 will continue to erode volume sales of manufactured baby food by favouring scratch cooking. Promoting their products as components in home-cooked meals, offering…

UK Baby Food and Drink Market Report 2023

£ 2,195 (Excl.Tax)

Description

Stay ahead of the curve in the baby food and drink market and future-proof your business with Mintel’s UK Baby Food and Drink Market Report. Inside the full report, you’ll be provided with consumer-led market intelligence that outlines the trends and behaviours affecting your industry, alongside data-driven recommendations that help you to benchmark and align your strategy with other baby food and drink market professionals. Read on to discover key insights from the full report.

Our Report Delivers Insights On

  • The effects of the cost-of-living crisis on the market size, share and segmentation of baby food products, formula milk and drinks.
  • Parents’ attitudes and purchasing behaviours relating to baby food and drink.
  • Factors considered important by parents when buying baby food and drink.
  • Parents’ motivations for giving their children homemade food.
  • Launch activity in the baby food and drinks market and opportunities for further innovation.

Current Landscape of the UK Baby Food and Drinks Market 

The cost of living crisis has impacted the baby food and drink market in 2022, resulting in a decrease in volume sales and an increase in prices. This trend is anticipated to continue into 2023, with consumers turning towards home scratch-cooking and breastfeeding for longer. Volume sales may be partially supported by a shift towards own-label products, but this will put pressure on value sales growth.

  • UK Baby Food and Drink Market Size: The market declined by 3.2% over 2018-22, now estimated at £706 million in 2022.
  • UK Baby Food and Drink Market Share: Aptamil and Cow & Gate accounted for 70% of category value sales for baby formula milk. 

Consumer Attitudes and Trends Shaping the Baby Food and Drink Market

Declining birth rates

The decline in birth rates seen over 2016-21 is likely to continue in the coming years as wage growth lags inflation over 2023-24 and with the continued decline in younger adults. In the full report, Mintel’s analysts identify the long-term impact of this trend on the market’s growth. 

Breastfeeding rates return to growth 

After dipping over 2020-21, the prevalence of breastfeeding at 6-8 weeks in the UK grew in 2022. Mintel’s independent research linked this to the rising prices within the formula milk segment and pressures on household finances. Discover how the cost of living crisis will continue to favour longer breastfeeding in the full report. 

  • 49% of parents breastfeed their child at 6-8 weeks. 

Homemade food leads over manufactured

Parents choose to give homemade food to their babies for a variety of reasons. As well as practical considerations, such as saving money, there is also an emotional element, with giving children homemade food seen as part of being a good parent. Understand how this development impacts businesses in the UK baby food and drink market and how providers should respond in the full report. 

  • 84% of parents feed their 1-year-old and under homemade food. 

Untapped Opportunities for Businesses in the Baby Food and Drink Market

Sustainable Packaging

Mintel’s market intelligence reveals that sustainable packaging holds promise as a means for baby food and milk brands to earn parents’ goodwill and drive purchases across the category. 

Baby food market continues to draw inspiration from adult food trends

In the full market study, Mintel reveals how brands can innovate by creating products that can help children develop a varied and adventurous palate and allow them to engage with the wider household’s eating habits. 

Purchase our full report to reveal the comprehensive list of innovation opportunities and discover how your business can connect with consumers and grow during times of financial uncertainty.

Looking for more information on the UK Baby Food and Drink Market? Take a look at UK Parents’ Attitudes towards Children’s Food and Drink 2023, or explore our extensive baby food market research. 

Our Market Research is Essential for Market Professionals Wanting To…

  • Understand how consumers think and spend
  • Analyse industry trends
  • Identify investment and innovation opportunities
  • Discover the market leaders
  • Gain a competitive advantage 
  • Benchmark their own financial performance
  • Enable more informed decisions, faster

Expert Analysis from a Food & Drink Specialist

Ongoing pressure on household incomes over 2023-24 will continue to erode volume sales of manufactured baby food by favouring scratch cooking. Promoting their products as components in home-cooked meals, offering recipes and further NPD in short-cut cooking products should allow brands to tap into the home-cooking trend and to drive purchase.”

Alice Baker

Alice Baker
Senior Food & Drink Research Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • Key issues covered in this Report
    • Products covered in this Report
  2. Executive Summary

    • The five-year outlook for baby food, drink and milk
      • Figure 1: Category outlook, 2023-27
    • The market
    • Inflation ensures shallower value sales decline than that of volumes over 2018-22
    • Declining inflation with slowing inflation expected for 2023-27
      • Figure 2: Market forecast of retail value sales of baby food, drink and milk, 2017-27
    • Income squeeze dampens volume sales of baby food and milk
      • Figure 3: Value sales of baby food, drink and milk, by segment, 2020-22
    • Birth rates rose slightly in 2021 but remain down on pre-pandemic; ageing UK population will further reduce these
    • Breastfeeding rates return to growth over 2021-22
      • Figure 4: Aggregate breastfeeding rate at 6-8 weeks for England, 2017/18-2021/22
    • Companies and brands
    • Aptamil and Cow & Gate lose out to rivals in the declining formula milk market
      • Figure 5: Leading brands’ sales in the UK retail baby milk market, by value, 2021/22-2022/23
    • Ella’s Kitchen retains top position; own-label and smaller brands gain ground
      • Figure 6: Leading brands’ sales in the UK retail wet and dry baby food market, by value, 2021/22-2022/23
    • Brands continue their efforts to expand user base; some progress on sustainability
    • Advertising spend on baby food falls in 2022 as brands switch to social media for marketing
    • The consumer
    • Homemade food leads over manufactured; usage of all types remains unchanged
      • Figure 7: Usage of different types of baby food, by age of child, 2022
    • Nutritionist approval is valued by nine in 10 baby food buyers; resealability and sustainability are neck and neck
      • Figure 8: Priorities when buying baby/toddler food, 2022
    • Various reasons underlie parents’ choice of homemade food
      • Figure 9: Reasons for giving homemade food, 2022
    • Offering recipes stands to help brands to drive purchase of ready-made products
      • Figure 10: Behaviours relating to baby food and drink, 2022
    • Dairy/plant-based blends and sustainable packaging appeal strongly in formula milk
    • Parents’ views of baby/toddler snacks as healthier signal further potential for brand extensions
      • Figure 11: Attitudes towards baby food and drink, 2022
  3. Issues and Insights

    • Offering recipes stands to help brands drive purchase of ready-made products
    • Snacks for older children hold strong potential for baby food brands
    • Sustainable packaging sways six in 10 formula milk buyers
  4. Market Size and Performance

    • Inflation ensures shallower value sales decline than that of volumes over 2018-22
      • Figure 12: Retail value and volume sales of baby food, drink and milk, 2018-22
  5. Market Forecast

    • Volume sales to fall over 2023-24; some improvement thereafter
      • Figure 13: Category outlook, 2023-27
    • Slowing inflation expected for 2023-27, dampening value growth
      • Figure 14: Market forecast for retail value sales of baby food, drink and milk, 2017-27
      • Figure 15: Market forecast for retail volume sales of baby food, drink and milk, 2017-27
    • Learnings from the last income squeeze
    • Forecast methodology
  6. Market Segmentation

    • Baby food volume sales fall in 2022 as economising parents opt for homemade versions
      • Figure 16: Retail value and volume sales of baby food, drink and milk, by segment, 2020-22
    • Rapid inflation drives up formula milk value sales despite weak volumes
  7. Market Drivers

    • Inflation will continue to eat into consumer spending power over the course of 2023
    • Steep rise in formula milk prices drives rise in shoplifting and charity referrals…
    • …prompting fears of babies’ health crisis
    • Rise in baby food prices erodes volume sales in 2022
    • Further interest rates increases will hit mortgage-holders
    • High inflation and rising interest rates will compound the impact of the slowing recovery
    • Consumer spending power will be curbed
    • Low unemployment is helping underpin wage growth, though not keeping level with inflation
    • Consumers’ financial wellbeing has fallen from the highs of 2021…
      • Figure 17: Household financial wellbeing index, 2016-23
    • …and most people are feeling the effects of price rises
    • Income squeeze over 2023-24 will hinder sales of prepared baby food…
    • …and of formula milk
      • Figure 18: Usage of formula milk, by how people describe their household finances, 2022
    • Pressure on household finances will favour own-label products
    • Birth rates rose slightly in 2021 but remain down on pre-pandemic
      • Figure 19: Live births in England & Wales, 2016-21
    • Age of mothers at childbirth reaches its highest point since records began
      • Figure 20: Mean age of mothers at first childbirth in England & Wales, 2016-21
    • Ageing UK population will hinder category growth
    • English government extends free childcare allowance
    • Breastfeeding rates return to growth over 2021-22
      • Figure 21: Aggregate breastfeeding rate at 6-8 weeks for England, 2017-22
    • Formula milk industry slammed for “underhand” marketing strategies
    • Baby food’s sugar content comes under renewed scrutiny
    • BDA criticises baby food brands over pouches’ sugar content
    • Baby /toddler breakfast foods called out for “worrying levels of sugar”
  8. Market Share

    • Aptamil and Cow & Gate lose out to rivals in the declining formula milk market
      • Figure 22: Leading brands’ shares in the UK retail baby milk market, by value and volume, 2020/21-2022/23
    • Success of premium variants keeps SMA’s sales decline shallower than the overall category
    • Kendamil’s focus on its organic and British credentials drives its success
    • Ella’s Kitchen loses volume sales, but to a lesser extent than the overall category
    • M&S ousts Ella’s Kitchen in favour of Piccolo
      • Figure 23: Leading brands’ sales and share in the UK retail wet and dry baby food market, by value and volume, 2020/21-2022/23
    • Varied range helps Heinz to grow sales despite the decline in the market
    • Cow & Gate experiences steep sales decline as it loses distribution
    • Piccolo benefits from raised public profile
    • Shoppers’ economising tendencies and NPD activity boosts own-label
    • Challenger brands benefit from increased distribution
    • Kiddylicious and Organix outperform in the baby snacks segment
      • Figure 24: Leading brands’ sales and share in the UK retail baby finger foods/snacks market, by value and volume, 2020/21-2022/23
    • Heinz loses sales as baby drinks volume sales decline continues
      • Figure 25: Leading brands’ sales and shares in the UK retail baby drinks market, by value and volume, 2020/21-2022/23
  9. Launch Activity and Innovation

    • Brands continue in their efforts to expand their user group
    • Organix and Kiddylicious release snacks for children aged 3+
      • Figure 26: Examples of snacks launches from baby food brands aimed at preschool children, 2022
    • Piccolo adds snacks and baking kits
      • Figure 27: Piccolo adds baking kits to its range, 2022
    • For Aisha extends into snack bars
      • Figure 28: Example of For Aisha’s Oaty Bars range, 2023
    • HiPP launches meals suitable for children aged from 10 months
    • Own-label ups its launch activity in 2022
      • Figure 29: Launches in the UK baby food and drink market, by private label and brands, 2018-22
    • Morrisons adds new meals, while Lidl makes developmental claims on its snacks
      • Figure 30: Examples of own-label baby food launches, 2022
    • Cow & Gate refreshes its packaging
      • Figure 31: Cow & Gate redesigns the packaging on its formula milk range – Before and After comparison
    • Sustainability claims rise, but little real innovation
      • Figure 32: Share of baby food, drink and milk launches with selected environment-related ethical claims, 2018-22
    • Milk leads over food on environment-related claims in 2022
      • Figure 33: Share of baby food, drink and milk launches with selected environment-related ethical claims, by category, 2022
    • Brands switch to recyclable plastic for baby/toddler food pouches
      • Figure 34: Examples of baby food launches in recyclable plastic pouches, 2022
      • Figure 35: Little Freddie adds carbon footprint labelling to its multipack packaging, 2022
    • Organix releases baby meals in recyclable pots
      • Figure 36: Organix Tropical Sunshine Bowl with Yoghurt, Mango & Oats, UK, 2022
    • A few brands highlight sustainable practices
      • Figure 37: Aptamil opts to highlight its environmental policies on-pack, 2022
      • Figure 38: HiPP cereals packaging redesign – Before and after comparison, 2020 and 2022
    • Baby food sector continues to draw inspiration from adult food trends
    • Meals with international flavours promoted as helping to establish adventurous eating habits in children
      • Figure 39: Examples of baby/toddler meals with international flavours, 2022
    • Social media-driven breakfast trends filter into baby food
      • Figure 40: Examples of baby/toddler food launches inspired by breakfast trends, 2022
    • SMA looks to appeal to flexitarians with plant-based formula milk
      • Figure 41: SMA launches plant-based formula milk, 2022
  10. Advertising and Marketing Activity

    • Advertising spend on baby food, drink and milk falls sharply in 2022
      • Figure 42: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on baby food, drink and milk, 2019-22 (sorted by 2022)
    • Heinz recruits influencers to appeal to home cooks
    • Organix portrays its products as helping to get children into good eating habits…
    • …and looks to build associations with adventurous lifestyles
    • Kiddylicious showcases advice from experts and parents
    • Ella’s Kitchen continues its focus on sensory play
    • Other selected campaigns
    • Kendamil spotlights its British origins
    • Babease offers weaning advice through its podcast
    • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
  11. Usage of Baby Food and Drink

    • Homemade food leads over manufactured, used by 84% of parents
    • Overall usage of all types of baby food and drink unchanged from 2021
      • Figure 43: Usage of baby food and drink, by type, 2021 and 2022
    • Baby/toddler snacks are better able to retain users than meals
      • Figure 44: Usage of different types of baby food, by age of child, 2022
    • Homemade food also leads on usage frequency
      • Figure 45: Frequency of feeding of different types of baby food and drink, 2022
    • Income squeeze over 2023-24 will erode sales of baby meals and snacks
      • Figure 46: Usage frequency for selected types of baby food, by how parents describe their household income, 2022
    • Formula milk will also lose out from the income squeeze
  12. Priorities when Buying Baby/Toddler Food

    • Baby food being approved by nutritionists is valued by nine in 10 parents
      • Figure 47: Priorities when buying baby/toddler food, 2022
    • Make references to links with nutritionists more prominent on-pack
    • Resealability and sustainability of packaging are neck and neck for baby food buyers
    • Boost recyclability of baby food pouches
    • Highlight pouches’ environmental advantages
      • Figure 48: Capri Sun highlights low carbon footprint, 2021
  13. Reasons for Giving Homemade Food

    • Various reasons underlie parents’ choice of homemade food
      • Figure 49: Reasons for giving homemade food, 2022
    • Six in 10 aim to get children used to the taste of homemade meals
    • Position baby food products as accompaniments or components to homemade dishes
    • A desire for variety motivates half of parents
    • Suggest multiple ways in which parents can use ready-made products
    • International flavours can be promoted as helping to introduce children to a wide variety of cuisines
    • Focus on different colours of fruits and vegetables
    • Need to strengthen parents’ views of ready-made baby foods’ nutrition
  14. Behaviours Relating to Baby Food and Drink

    • Offering recipes stands to help brands to drive purchase of ready-made products
      • Figure 50: Behaviours relating to baby food and drink, 2022
    • Promote homemade meals as a fun shared activity for parents and toddlers
    • Recommend both homemade and prepared meals as a means to ensure variety
    • Put recipes in parents’ paths while shopping to encourage take-up
    • Encourage parents to share images of homemade meals via social media
    • Dairy/plant-based formula milk blends appeal to many
      • Figure 51: International examples of formula milk and white milk launches blending dairy and plant-based milks, 2021-22
    • Sustainable packaging sways six in 10 formula milk buyers
    • Call out usage of recycled materials in packaging
      • Figure 52: Laboratoire Modilac Plant-Based Growing Up Milk calling out part-recycled packaging, 2022
    • Reduced plastic use should appeal for RTF formats
      • Figure 53: Granarolo highlights reduced plastic use for its white milk packaging, 2022
      • Figure 54: Young’s Chip Shop Omega 3 Fish Fillets in Crisp Bubbly Batter, 2021
  15. Attitudes towards Baby Food and Drink

    • Need to persuade parents that giving ready-made foods is not incompatible with being a good parent
      • Figure 55: Attitudes towards baby food and drink, 2022
    • Half of parents see baby/toddler snacks as healthier than those aimed at older children
    • Offer snacks with functional and high-fibre claims to appeal to parents of school-age children
    • HFSS regulations offer opportunities for healthier children’s snacks
  16. Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

    • Abbreviations
    • Consumer research methodology
  17. Appendix: Forecast Methodology

    • Market forecast and prediction intervals
      • Figure 56: Market forecast for retail value and volume sales of baby food, drink and milk, 2017-27
      • Figure 57: Market forecast and prediction intervals for retail volume sales of baby food, drink and milk, 2022-27
      • Figure 58: Market forecast and prediction intervals for retail value sales of baby food, drink and milk, 2022-27
    • Market drivers and assumptions
    • Forecast methodology
  18. Appendix: Market Share

      • Figure 59: Leading brand owners’ shares in the UK retail baby milk market, by value and volume, 2020/21-2022/23
      • Figure 60: Leading brand owners’ sales and share in the UK retail wet and dry baby food market, by value and volume, 2020/21-2022/23
      • Figure 61: Leading brand owners’ sales and share in the UK retail baby finger foods/snacks market, by value and volume, 2020/21-2022/23
      • Figure 62: Leading brand owners’ sales and shares in the UK retail baby drinks market, by value and volume, 2020/21-2022/23

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