It's a boy! Mintel celebrates the Royal arrival with a portrait of Britain's baby food and products market

July 23, 2013

With the wait over and a new Royal arrival in our midst, the world now debates what the Royal baby will eat, wear, consume and play with. To celebrate, Mintel presents a portrait of the food and products market for Britain’s babies and their parents today – giving insight into some of the consumer segments William and Kate will be actively involved with in the coming months…
Babies’ and Children’s Personal Care Products, Nappies and Wipes

  • Keep calm and clean up – almost half (49%) of parents always carry wipes around for emergencies – rising to 54% of mums. But it’s not just the babies getting messy – over one in five (23%) parents use them on themselves.
  • Regionally, consumers in East Anglia and the Midlands are the most likely to purchase baby wipes, with 80% of parents there claiming to do so, compared with 70% of parents living in London.
  • The number of parents of children under the age of one using baby wipes has dropped by 3.9% year on year to 2012 – despite the fact that the number of births between 2011 and 2012 has increased.
  • Taking baby for a dip? One in five (20%) of parents say they use swimming nappies.
  • A third (33%) of dads compared to 27% of mums are influenced to buy babies’ and children’s toiletries that are free from unnecessary chemicals.
  • Brand loyal Royal? One in five (20%) of British parents claim own-label nappies are just as good as leading brands and 18% claim own-label wipes are just as good as leading brands.
  • Creating a splash – Mums are more likely than dads to take on bathing responsibilities with 49% of mums and 11% of dads saying that they take the main or sole responsibility for bathing and teeth brushing.
  • Mums are more price-conscious than dads when it comes to nappies, with 23% happy to buy the cheapest nappies available compared with 16% of dads.

Baby and Nursery Equipment

  • The most popular baby and nursery equipment items are prams (84% of parents have purchased), cots (83%), car seats (83%), bottles (87%) and feeding equipment (81%).
  • A helping hand from the Royal grandparents? Over half (55%) of parents are influenced by recommendations from family or friends when purchasing nursery goods and 42% say their families contribute to the cost.
  • Parents in Yorkshire and the North East are the most likely to have close family contributing to the cost of baby products at 52% – London the least at 34%.
  • Parents are savvy about prices and almost half (47%) claim that they go out of their way to get the best price they can for nursery equipment. Even so, quality is important and 29% claim to buy the highest quality nursery goods, even if they have to pay more.

Baby Food and Drink

  • A Royal recipe for success? Some nine in ten (89%) parents in Britain with a child aged 0-4-years feed them homemade food – with those in the South West and Wales (95%) and the North West and Scotland (81%) most likely to do so.
  • Furthermore, 66% of parents claim to trust homemade baby or toddler food over manufactured baby food.
  • Baby knows best? One in five (20%) British parents let their baby choose what they want to eat. More Mums than dads let their babies choose what they want to eat (22% vs. 18%).
  • The UK baby food, drink and milk market recorded a 53% leap in value sales between 2007 and 2012 to reach £617 million, up from £403 million in 2007.
  • Baby milk is the largest sector of the UK baby food and drink market, standing at £359 million in 2012, accounting for 58% of the total market share. This compares to wet and dry baby food at 31% (£193 million), and Baby Finger Food at 9% (£53 million).

Lifestyles of Mums and Dads

  • Keen to share? Parents of children under the age of 5 in Britain are the most likely to ‘like’ a brand on social networking site Facebook in order to get a discount – more than one in five (22%) claim to do so, compared to an average of 14%.
  • Online advice clicks – over one in ten (13%) mums of children aged 0-18 say they turn to blogs and websites for parenting advice every day or at least weekly – with a further one in five (19%) claiming to do so at least monthly.
  • Some 5% of the nation’s mums say that they turn to sales assistants for advice every day or at least once a week – the same number who say that they turn to medical professionals (5% every day or at least weekly).
  • Over half (54%) of dads in the UK think that parents should equally share responsibilities for raising their children.
  • Some 6% of dads ask their parents for advice on raising children on a monthly basis and up to 15% of them do so on a daily or weekly basis.

Product Innovation

  • Fit for a king – according to Mintel’s Global New Products Database, the number of prestige babies’ and children’s personal care products increased by 36% since 2010 making up 19% of total new launches in 2012.
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