The Baby Food Market in the UK, 2019
UK babies were consuming considerably less baby food in 2018 than in 2012. Volume sales were down by 17%, although the number of babies born was only 8% lower. Consumption is down in all categories, with the exception of finger foods. In 2018, per capita consumption stood at 29.2kg per infant aged 0- 3 years, 12% lower than in 2012. However, the value of the sector has risen both in absolute and in real terms, largely due to the higher unit prices of milks, as well as the trend towards higher priced finger foods. Baby food for the older age range has also been a growth segment.
Infant formula dominates, accounting for 57% of value sales and 44% of volume. Breastfeeding rates remain relatively low, and manufacturers have succeeded in selling more milk for older babies, as well as more premium products, fueling growth. Wet meals form the second largest category (28% of value). Despite the development of the pouches category and a very broad range of varieties, volume sales are in decline. Finger foods have been the most buoyant category, with a high level of innovation.
The UK baby food market is forecasted to a rise of 15.6% to £834.6 million in 2024, equivalent to a rise of 3% in real terms. Volumes will decline slightly, although finger foods will gain ground. Uncertainty is higher than usual due to the unpredictable nature of the changes that will arise from Brexit.
There is limited production of baby food in the UK. Most infant formulae sold on the market are imported from Ireland, where both Danone (Cow & Gate, Aptamil) and Nestlé (SMA) have major plants. Imports of baby food rose sharply between 2009 and 2014, but have subsequently dropped back significantly to 93,428 tons, equivalent to a value of €334 million. Although for many years contested primarily by three multinational players (Danone, Heinz, and Nestlé), in 2016 a relative newcomer, Ella’s Kitchen, rose to second place, well behind Danone, but slightly ahead of Nestlé, a position it has maintained.
The major food multiples and pharmacies/drugstores are the main commercial channels for baby food distribution. Non- commercial channels including hospitals and clinics are excluded from the retail sector; subsidized milk distribution through clinics was terminated in 2006. There has been a steady movement away from pharmacies & drugstores towards the major grocery multiples, which offer advantages in terms of choice, convenience, and value.
The report The Baby Food Market in the UK, 2019, is an analytical report which provides extensive and highly detailed current and future market trends in the UK market.
The report offers -
Learn how to effectively navigate the market research process to help guide your organization on the journey to success.Download eBook