Aug, 2020 - By CMI
Women empowerment has been a key area of focus across the globe, which in turn has created a highly conducive environment for the growth of the global breast pumps market. Breast pumps have turned out to be a silent proponent for women’s freedom and right to work uninhibited, as it allows nursing mothers to pursue a successful career even during the "maternity lull". As per data released by UNICEF, in 2013, around 830 million women were part of the global workforce. Apart from granting natural nutrition to babies—something that is unmatched by top feed—breast pumps also offered women relief from the pain of breast engorgement, help overcome latching-on/flat-inverted nipple issues, and above all given the chance for a young inexperienced mother to relax during a taxing day. The above has endeared breast pumps to nursing mothers and resulted in the exponential growth of the global breast pumps market over the last few decades.
On the basis of product type, breast pumps are broadly classified as manual and electric. Manual pumps are mainly preferred by homemakers belonging to middle-income groups, as these are cost-effective—costing around 1/10th that of electric breast pumps—while offering various features such as travel-friendly design, noise-free usage, ease of use without batteries or socket, albeit being more time consuming than their electric counterparts. These are especially popular among consumers in emerging economies of the Asia Pacific and Latin America. Electric breast pumps are the product of choice for most working mothers belonging to the high-income group, for whom convenience and time come at a premium and especially popular in North America and Europe.
Electric breast pumps offer benefits that far outweigh those offered by their manual counterparts. However, these are exorbitantly priced, which dissuades its uptake among the general population. As a measure to address this issue, various players in the market are focusing on renting breast pumps and thus, are creating a new avenue for revenue growth. For instance, Yummy Mummy—a maternity and baby care products store based in the U.S.—rents Ameda and Medela hospital-grade breast pumps. Medela too offers its Symphony breast pump on rent.
Technological advancements and increasing competition in the market have led to the development of various new techniques and features being integrated into breast pumps for product differentiation. Two-phase breast pumps and double breast pumps are some of the recent types of devices introduced in the market. Two-phase breast pump launched in the market by Medela simulates a baby’s typical sucking action and thus has a premium price tag. Double breast pumps are gaining traction, as they offer better breast drainage leading to consistent lactation in a short duration of time.
According to the report titled ‘GLOBAL BREAST PUMPS MARKET, BY PRODUCT DESIGN (OPEN-SYSTEM, CLOSED-SYSTEM), BY TECHNOLOGY (MANUAL, SINGLE ELECTRIC, DOUBLE ELECTRIC), BY PUMPING SYSTEM (HOMECARE SETTINGS, HOSPITALS, MATERNITY CENTERS), AND BY GEOGRAPHY - TRENDS AND FORECAST TILL 2024’ published by Coherent Market Insights, the market for BREAST PUMPS is expected to surpass US$ 968.8 Million by the end of 2024, expanding at a robust CAGR of 4.8% during 2016–2024.
Most developed countries are early adopters of this product and thus, the market in regions such as North America and Europe has witnessed significant growth since the inception of breast pumps around five decades ago. Market growth is further strengthened by favorably reimbursement policies in these regions. For instance, the cost of breast pumps is covered under the Affordable Care Act in the U.S. Also, various awareness campaigns to promote breastfeeding also acts as a stimulus for the growth of the breast pumps market. For instance, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) conducted The "Make the Breast Pump Not Suck" Hackathon on September 20–21, 2014, for parents, engineers, designers and healthcare givers to get together and suggest further improvements in design and functioning of breast pumps. Emerging economies are projected to be the growth engine for the market over the forecast period (2016–2024). This is mainly attributed to increasing discretionary income and a growing number of women in the workforce, especially in India and China. The market in these regions has been largely untapped, mainly due to a lack of awareness about breast pumps. Major players can focus on capitalizing on highly lucrative growth opportunities in these markets by training and deploying lactation-consultants in maternity wards to educate consumers about the various benefits of breast pumps. While the future outlook of the breast pumps market is positive, decreasing fertility rate, declining birth rate, wide availability of formula-feeds, and lack of awareness are projected to inhibit market growth to a certain extent.
Medela, Inc., Koninklijke Philips N.V. (Philips Avent), Evenflo Company, Inc., and Lansinoh Laboratories, Inc. are some of the top players in the breast pumps market.
Mom’s Pick Award 2016 presented by BabyCenter, where new mums, choose and crown their best companion, the above companies emerged as favorites in different categories with ‘Medela Pump in Style’ declared the overall winner. With a plethora of products available in the market, consumer preference has shifted towards products that offer good value for money, durability, ease of use and flow, speed of extraction, and portability. Manufacturers would do well to adapt to changing consumer preferences and provide region-specific products in order to enhance profitability.