Infant formula is an ideal substitute for human breast milk and manufactured to feed to the babies for providing essential nutrients to the body. On the basis of formula type, they are classified into infant milk formula, growing up milk formula, follow on milk formula, and specialty baby milk formula. They are available in the form of liquid concentrate, powder, and ready to feed formulas.
The global infant formula market was estimated to be valued more than US$ 32,237.4 Mn in terms of revenue in 2019 and is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 10.1% during the forecast period (2020 to 2027).
Major manufacturers are focusing on innovative packaging of the infant formula such as pouches is projected to spur the market growth of the infant formula. Pouches are gaining popularity among consumers due to their ease of use and handling flexibility. Moreover, they are also available in attractive packaging that is further increasing consumer base. Thus, innovation in packaging is expected to positively impact the market growth of infant formula.
Rising demand for probiotic infant formula due to its various advantage offered to the infant is expected to offer major opportunities to the market. For instance, in April 2020, Gerber announced the launch of two first-of-their-kind A2 milk innovations: Gerber Good Start® A2 Infant Formula and Good Start® A2 Toddler Drink. Each product contains a combination of easy-to-digest A2 β-casein protein – a high-quality protein found in A2 milk – probiotics and prebiotic HMO (Human Milk Oligosaccharide) designed to give little one advanced digestive support.
According to the Coherent Market Insights analysis, many key players in the market such as Abbott Laboratories, Nestlé, and Mead Johnson use various corn, soy, and sugar derivatives, which are grown from genetically altered seeds in America. These genetically modified organisms (GMOs) lead to various medical conditions such as hormone disruption, gut damage, and other health problems. Hence, the use of genetically modified ingredients is expected to hinder the market growth of infant formula.
On the basis of product type, starting milk formula segment dominated the global infant formula market in 2019 with around 48.0% of market share in terms of revenue, followed by follow-on milk formula and toddler’s milk formula respectively.
On the basis of distribution channel, pharmacy stores segment dominated the global infant formula market in 2019 with around 76.1% of market share in terms of revenue, followed by supermarkets and others respectively.
On the basis of region, APEJ dominated the global infant formula market in 2019 with around 48.7% of market share in terms of revenue, followed by North America and Western Europe respectively.
Eco-friendly packaging offering by major players due to growing environmental concern is one of the current trends in the market. Eco-friendly packaging helps in solving the issues associated with the eco-friendly freshness, environmental safety, and cost-efficiency. Also, it reduces the damage of packed products and makes the product light in weight, this, in turn, enables easy transportation and distribution in other countries and places.
Toddler milk formula is gaining traction in the market due to growing modernization along with the changing lifestyle of the consumers. Toddler formula contains various nutritional values such as nutrients, iron, calcium, minerals, protein, etc., which are important for infants above the age of 12 months. Growing economic development and increasing purchasing power of parents is further boosting demand for toddler formula. This is augmenting the market growth.
Labeling and Composition in Europe
In Europe, Commission Directive 2006/141/EC set forth labeling and composition for infant formula. The composition requirements comprise of fat, protein, minerals, vitamins, carbohydrate, and a certain level of ingredients. Minimum or maximum levels were established as mandatory.
European Union 609/2013, commonly known as “Food for Specific Groups”, which will be implemented from 20 July 2016 will set general composition and labeling rules. This regulation will initiate the restriction of pictures and text that idealize formula, to follow-up formula category. This regulation will move the existing requirements of Directive 2006/141/EC to regulatory status and replace that Directive.
Global Infant Formula Market - Impact of Coronavirus (Covid-19) Pandemic
Coronavirus (Covid-19) has majorly impacted the infant formula industry and has in turn changed the dynamics of their raw material suppliers supplying these products. However, rising demand for infant formula owing to busy lifestyle and growing women working population is expected to stabilize the growth of the market and reach US$ 70,642.2 Mn by the end of 2020.
Few Recent Developments
In June 2018, Danone Early Life Nutrition has revamped both of its baby food brands, Cow & Gate and Aptamil. Cow & Gate is launching fifteen new food recipes across the pouch, cereal, jar, and tray product ranges, as well as a complete packaging re-brand across its entire formula milk and food portfolio.
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