Baby Food USA examines the trends in the baby food market for 2006-2012, with forecasts to 2018. It examines how live birth rates, breastfeeding trends, the economic crisis, new product and packaging developments, changing attitudes and safety concerns have affected the market for baby milks, cereals, meals, drinks and finger foods.
In 2012, sales of baby food amounted to 447,100 tonnes, 14.3% less than in 2006. Consumption has fallen for the last five years, partly as a result of a lower number of births between 2008 and 2011, partly as a result of pressure on family budgets caused by the recession, and, in the case of baby milks, partly due to higher levels of breastfeeding. In addition, milk sales were hit by the 2009 changes in the federally-subsidised WIC programme. On the other hand, growth in new segments, particularly pouches and snacks, has prevented even more serious declines. Retail sales value rose by 1.3% in 2012 compared with the previous year, the first upturn since 2008, and prospects for the coming years are a little brighter.