Nutrition will drive boom in baby foods market

By Nick Hughes

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Nutrition Infant Baby food

Products with enhanced nutritional benefits and burgeoning demand from Asian countries are predicted to drive strong growth in the global baby food market.

The market is expected to be worth $37.6 billion by 2014, growing at an estimated compound annual growth rate of 5 percent from 2009 to 2014, according to a new report from Marketsandmarkets.

The report suggests one of the key trends that will drive future growth in the baby foods market is for products with added nutritional benefits. Companies are focusing their attention on developing easily digestible and competitively priced fortified baby foods as evolving food technologies enable manufacturers to offer quality products with enhanced benefits like optimum nutrients content for babies.

Potential in developing markets

Nutrition aside, there are also huge opportunities to grow largely untapped developing markets. While the US and Europe hold a major share of the global baby food market, emerging economies such as China, India, Brazil, Russia and Romania represent some of the highest growth rates.

Bottled baby water forms the largest market segment and is predicted to reach $9.9 billion by 2014 at a CAGR of 4.9% for the same period. The segment with the highest growth potential is expected to be frozen baby food followed by bottled baby food products and baby cereals. Nestlé SA is the market leading producer, while other key players include H.J. Heinz, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Danone and Hero.

Of the challenges facing baby food producers, low birth rates, static market conditions in developed countries and milk intolerance in babies are of greatest concern to the industry, the report states.

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