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While some of the major economies worldwide are experiencing low birth rates, new research from Mintel shows that household baby products are booming. Indeed, Mintel’s research reveals that the number of household products with ‘Baby’ in their product description increased a stunning 80% between 2008 and 2012 from around 180 launches in 2008 to around 330 in 2012.

Regionally, in 2012, Asia Pacific saw half (50%) of global new product launches of baby-specific lines, with Europe in second place (19%). Latin America followed with 15% of new introductions and North America with 10%.

And in terms of single countries, it is China leading the way, accounting for 24% of total new global launches of household products for babies in 2012, followed by Thailand (10%), USA (7%), Brazil (6%) and South Africa (5%). The UK accounted for just 1.5% of the global market.

Michelle Strutton, Director of Global Insight, Household, Health and Personal Care at Mintel, said:

“Emerging markets are driving product innovation in the category as household companies
have been expanding their presence and market shares in emerging countries. Rising numbers of middle class consumers in countries such as China and India offer much more potential for growth compared to the West where consumers have become ever-more cash strapped, leading to stagnant sales in most household sectors.”

However, while baby products may be on the rise, Mintel’s consumer research shows that use of baby products is not limited to just babies. Interestingly, four in ten (39%) of baby product buyers in the US often use baby lotions or powders on their own body, while more than four in ten (46%) of Chinese and UK (42%) consumers claim to use baby toiletries for themselves as well as for their baby or child.

And when it comes to product safety, there is a high interest from parents in all-natural ingredients and formulas that don’t contain harsh chemicals for their children. Indeed, three in ten (30%) UK parents look for products that are free-from unnecessary chemicals when purchasing for their baby, whereas half (51%) of US consumers often worry about ingredient safety of the baby products they buy. In China, three quarters (75%) of consumers look for brand or product information from websites or from healthcare professionals before buying baby care products and more than half (56%) prefer to buy foreign baby care products because they think these are safer than domestic products.

Moreover, it seems that parents feel that natural is best for their children: more than half (53%) of US parents would buy baby products made from natural ingredients, while one third (33%) of Brits think that products containing organic or natural ingredients are safer for their baby or child.