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UK Baby Food and Drink market report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Baby Food and Drink market, its consumers and the major players who make up that market.

Market

Point of sale market data

In conjunction with IRi, extensive point of sale data shows you what consumers are spending their money on

Market Size

How big is the market today and what is our 5 year forecast? Includes both best & worst case scenarios

Market Segmentation

What are the different segments within the market and how are those individual segments performing?

Consumer

Consumer behaviors

What are consumers looking for, what drives their buying habits and what are their main purchase influencers?

Demographic breakdown

From iGen & Millennials to Baby Boomers & beyond. Who is spending money and what are they spending it on?

Representative sample

We gather our data from real-world consumers, selected to accurately reflect precise global demographics

Players

Company strategy

What are the key players doing, what has been successful for them and what was their marketing spend?

Product innovation

Using data from our Global New Product Database, what products were launched and how well were they perceived?

Opportunities

What happens next, which areas are likely to experience growth and what opportunities exist within the market?

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Alice Baker, a leading analyst in the Food & Drink sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

With the income squeeze likely to further boost the popularity of homemade food, it is imperative for manufacturers to convince consumers that their products are worth paying more for. Highlighting ingredient provenance would help to project an image of quality and transparency, much needed given parents’ low trust in brands. Alice Baker
Research Analyst

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry and how fast are its rates of growth? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

This report discusses the following key topics:

Products covered in this Report

This Report includes products manufactured specifically for babies and infants aged primarily under two years, although manufacturers are targeting older infants with commercial products.

The Report covers:

  • Milks, including liquid ready-to-feed (RTF) products
  • Meals and desserts (wet and dry, including cereals and dairybased)
  • Baby drinks
  • Finger foods, including rusks, ‘extruded snacks’, baby rice
  • cakes, biscuits and fruit snacks

Baby drinks include ready-to-drink (RTD) liquids, which are generally presented in plastic bottles for decanting into a feeding bottle or beaker, as well as concentrates, and powdered granulated drinks, for dilution with water.

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What's included

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Products covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Inflation accelerates in 2017
              • Further decline for volume sales in 2017
                • Inflation and weak volume sales expected for 2018-22
                  • Figure 1: UK retail value sales of baby food, drink and milk, 2012-22
                • Baby milk volume sales fall in 2017 for the second year running
                  • Income squeeze threatens category growth
                    • Societal changes impact baby food and drink
                      • Companies and brands
                        • Ella’s Kitchen remains in growth in declining baby food market
                          • Own label gains ground
                            • Figure 2: Leading brands’ shares in the UK wet and dry baby food market, by value, 2016/17*
                          • Danone brands continue to dominate milk, but lose sales
                            • Growth in L/N/R sugar claims
                              • Vegetarian claims become more prevalent
                                • Advertising spend falls in 2017
                                  • Aptamil continues its focus on achievements
                                    • The consumer
                                      • Most parents use both homemade and manufactured products
                                        • Figure 3: Usage of baby food and drink, by type, December 2017
                                      • In-store grouping by meal occasion is wanted by many parents
                                        • Sugar concerns affect the category
                                          • Figure 4: Behaviours relating to feeding babies/toddlers, December 2017
                                        • Parents have high trust in the medical profession, but little in brands
                                          • Figure 5: Trusted sources of advice on feeding babies and toddlers, December 2017
                                        • 85% of parents switch between a small number of brands
                                          • Details on ingredient provenance appeal to many
                                            • Figure 6: Baby food and drink buying behaviours, December 2017
                                          • Few see own-label food as of lesser quality
                                            • Figure 7: Attitudes towards baby food and drink, December 2017
                                          • What we think
                                          • Issues and Insights

                                            • Focus on ingredient provenance should help to build trust
                                              • The facts
                                                • The implications
                                                  • Products with ethical aspects have strong appeal
                                                    • The facts
                                                      • The implications
                                                        • Own-label is well-positioned to fly
                                                          • The facts
                                                            • The implications
                                                            • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                                              • Inflation accelerates in 2017
                                                                • Further decline for volume sales in 2017
                                                                  • Inflation and weak volume sales expected for 2018-22
                                                                    • Baby milk volume sales fall in 2017 for the second year running
                                                                      • Income squeeze threatens category growth
                                                                        • Societal changes impact baby food and drink
                                                                        • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                          • Inflation rises sharply in 2017
                                                                            • Further decline in volume sales in 2017
                                                                              • Rising prices and decreased promotional activity help to curb sales
                                                                                • Societal changes act as further hindrance
                                                                                  • Lower inflation expected for 2018-22
                                                                                    • Income squeeze leaves category exposed
                                                                                      • Ageing population to diminish volume sales 2018-22
                                                                                        • Figure 8: UK retail sales of baby food, drink and milk, by value and volume, 2012-22
                                                                                        • Figure 9: UK retail value sales of baby food, drink and milk, 2012-22
                                                                                      • Forecast methodology
                                                                                      • Market Segmentation

                                                                                        • Further volume sales decline for baby milk in 2017
                                                                                          • Figure 10: Retail value and volume sales of baby food, drink and milk, by segment, 2015-17
                                                                                        • Weakness of wet baby food overshadows growth in dry
                                                                                          • Consumer health concerns and lack of innovation hit baby drinks
                                                                                          • Market Drivers

                                                                                            • Decline in live births hits baby food and drink volume sales
                                                                                              • Government immigration policies pivotal to volume sales growth
                                                                                                • Figure 11: Live births in England and Wales, 2012-16
                                                                                              • Various demographic factors influence volume sales
                                                                                                • Falling fertility rates could have divergent effects
                                                                                                  • Ageing population and rise in older mothers to hinder volume sales growth
                                                                                                    • Multiple economic and financial factors affect the category
                                                                                                      • Steep inflation hike in 2017
                                                                                                        • Income squeeze leaves category at risk of cutbacks and switching
                                                                                                            • Figure 12: Annual percentage change in CPI and AWE (regular pay), by month, 2014-17
                                                                                                          • Breast feeding rate rises slightly in 2016/17
                                                                                                            • Unicef calls on Government to promote and support breastfeeding
                                                                                                              • Sugar concerns affect the category
                                                                                                                • Natural sugars are not held to ‘absolve’ high sugar content
                                                                                                                  • PHE campaign puts the focus on calories in snacks
                                                                                                                    • Lactalis product recall could put parents off formula milk
                                                                                                                    • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                      • Ella’s Kitchen remains in growth in declining baby food market
                                                                                                                        • Own label gains ground
                                                                                                                          • Danone brands continue to dominate milk, but lose sales
                                                                                                                            • Growth in L/N/R sugar claims
                                                                                                                              • Vegetarian claims become more prevalent
                                                                                                                                • Advertising spend falls in 2017
                                                                                                                                  • Aptamil continues its focus on achievements
                                                                                                                                  • Market Share

                                                                                                                                    • Ella’s Kitchen holds its own in declining baby food market
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 13: Leading brands’ sales and shares in the UK wet and dry baby food market, by value and volume, 2014/15-2016/17
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 14: Leading brand owners’ sales and shares in the UK wet and dry baby food market, by value and volume, 2014/15-2016/17
                                                                                                                                    • Lack of innovation hinders Hipp
                                                                                                                                      • Own label gains ground thanks in part to increased NPD
                                                                                                                                        • Organix retains its lead in snacks but volume sales remain flat
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 15: Leading brands’ sales and shares in the UK baby snacks market, by value and volume, 2014/15-2016/17
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 16: Leading brand owners’ sales and shares in the UK baby snacks market, by value and volume, 2014/15-2016/17
                                                                                                                                        • Strong performances from Kiddylicious and Ella’s Kitchen
                                                                                                                                          • Danone brands continue to dominate baby milk but lose volume sales
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 17: Leading brands’ sales and shares in the UK baby milk market, by value and volume, 2014/15-2016/17
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 18: Leading brand owners’ sales and shares in the UK baby milk market, by value and volume, 2014/15-2016/17
                                                                                                                                          • New entrants heat up competition within the category
                                                                                                                                            • Growth in free-from market boosts Alpro’s baby range
                                                                                                                                              • Further decline for baby drinks
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 19: Leading brands’ sales and shares in the UK baby milk market, by value and volume, 2014/15-2016/17
                                                                                                                                            • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                                                              • No additives/preservatives remains the primary health claim
                                                                                                                                                • Cow & Gate promotes its yogurts for on-the-go use
                                                                                                                                                  • Annabel Karmel innovates with chilled snack range
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 20: New product launches in the UK baby food, drink and milk market, by top twenty claims (sorted by 2017), 2013-17
                                                                                                                                                  • Rise in L/N/R sugar claims in 2017
                                                                                                                                                    • Little Dish launches cooking sauces
                                                                                                                                                      • ….and fruity cereal bars
                                                                                                                                                        • Further growth in vegetable-based snacks
                                                                                                                                                          • Smaller brands continue to turn to on-trend ingredients
                                                                                                                                                            • Piccolo adds split-pot baby meals
                                                                                                                                                              • Further growth in fortified claims
                                                                                                                                                                • Baby milk and food brands relaunch and redesign in 2017
                                                                                                                                                                  • Brands use packaging redesigns to push health expertise message
                                                                                                                                                                    • For Aisha moves to highlight its health aspects more strongly
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 21: New product launches in the UK baby food, drink and milk market, by top ten brands (sorted by 2017), 2013-17
                                                                                                                                                                    • Heinz pushes its natural credentials in revamp of wet baby food range
                                                                                                                                                                      • Discounters remain the principal drivers of own-label NPD in 2017
                                                                                                                                                                        • Lidl rebrands its baby products range
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 22: New product launches in the UK baby food, drink and milk market, by branded and private label, 2013-17
                                                                                                                                                                        • Adult brands enter the baby food market, and heat up competition
                                                                                                                                                                          • Savsé claims European first with cold-pressed baby food
                                                                                                                                                                            • Organic brand launches pasta sauce for toddlers
                                                                                                                                                                              • Ella’s Kitchen pledges to make its pouches recyclable by 2024
                                                                                                                                                                              • Advertising and Marketing Activity

                                                                                                                                                                                • Advertising spend falls in 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 23: Total above-the line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on baby food, drink and milk (sorted by 2017), 2013-17
                                                                                                                                                                                • Aptamil continues its focus on achievements
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Multiple brands use social media to engage consumers
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Major and smaller players run classes and events
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Aptamil encourages women to stay active during pregnancy
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Various brands offer mother-and-baby socials
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Piccolo links with the Trussell Trust on charitable initiative
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
                                                                                                                                                                                            • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                                                                                              • Most parents use both homemade and manufactured products
                                                                                                                                                                                                • In-store grouping by meal occasion is wanted by many parents
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Sugar concerns affect the category
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Parents have high trust in the medical profession, but little in brands
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • 85% of parents switch between a small number of brands
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Details on ingredient provenance appeal to many
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Few see own-label food as of lesser quality
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Usage of Baby Food and Drink

                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Eight in ten parents use homemade food
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Majority of parents use both homemade and manufactured baby food
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 24: Usage of baby food and drink, by type, December 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Time saving is a key motivation for using manufactured baby food
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Younger parents are key users of manufactured baby food
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Brands could push the ‘family time’ angle more strongly
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Opportunities for baby food brands to extend into products for older children
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Younger parents are the core users of baby/toddler snacks
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Income squeeze threatens segment growth
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Snacks retain users for longer than meals
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 25: Usage frequency for baby/toddler food and drink, by type, December 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Younger and better-off parents are the main users of formula milk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Parents’ trust in NHS advice limits usage of baby/toddler drinks
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Behaviours relating to Feeding Babies and Toddlers

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • More detailed in-store grouping is wanted by eight in ten parents
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Brands use various methods to promote usage occasions
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 26: Behaviours relating to feeding babies/toddlers, December 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Sugar concerns affect the category
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Naturally-occurring sugars are not seen to excuse high sugar content
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Focus on sugar boosts the appeal of vegetable-based products
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Strong interest in products made with ‘wonky’ fruit and vegetables
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • …but many parents will expect these to be cheaper than standard products
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Trusted Sources of Advice

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • The NHS is the most widely trusted source of advice
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 27: Trusted sources of advice on feeding babies and toddlers, December 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • EU rules prohibit recommendations from individual doctors or health professionals
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Brands use various methods to showcase their professional links
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Advice from family/friends is as valued as advice from professional nutritionists
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Peer influence makes it essential for brands to safeguard their social media profile
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • ‘Recommend’ a friend’ type schemes would help to harness the power of family/friend recommendations
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Only 15% of parents trust baby food brands for advice
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Baby Food and Drink Buying Behaviours

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • 85% of parents switch between a small number of brands
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Promotions serve to undermine brand loyalty
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • …and also encourage stockpiling of a favourite brand
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 28: Baby food and drink buying behaviours, December 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Companies must find means to appeal other than price
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Focus on provenance would help to build trust and quality associations
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Charity pledges appeal to many
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Widespread label scrutiny gives opportunities to clean-label products
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Details on fruit/vegetable content are an enticement for many
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Attitudes towards Baby Food and Drink

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Income squeeze threatens category growth
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 29: Attitudes towards baby food and drink, December 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • See-through pouches can help to build trust
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Only a minority have negative views about own-label food
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Endorsements from parenting groups would help to boost sales of own-label
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 30: Forecast of UK sales of baby food and drink, by value, best- and worst-case, 2017-22
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 31: Forecast of UK sales of baby food and drink, by volume, best- and worst-case, 2017-22
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 32: UK retail volume sales of baby food and drink, 2012-22
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Forecast methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Market Drivers

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 33: Live births to non-UK born mothers, by percentage of total births, 2012-16
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 34: Total fertility rate in England and Wales, 2012-16
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 35: Live births in England and Wales, by age of mother, 2012-16
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 36: Mean age of mother at childbirth in England and Wales, 2012-16