Food is the primary source providing the human body with vital nutrients required for healthy functioning. Similarly, infants require food for their healthy growth and development, which is mostly obtained from breast milk. Infant nutrition is a substitute food for breast milk. The initial 6 months after birth plays a very crucial role in development of a child, wherein ensuring optimal nutrition during this period is of paramount importance. Breast milk is highly nutritious containing carbohydrates, proteins, fats, minerals, and vitamins imperative for development of the child. However, in certain cases the mother may not be able to produce breast milk or may not be able breastfeed the baby due to other reasons. In such cases infant nutrition products act as a suitable substitute.
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The infant nutrition product market is broadly classified as baby food and infant formula. These segments are similar in application, though have different growth drivers. Prepared food, dried food and other foods come under the baby food segment, whereas the follow-On milk, specialty baby milk, infant milk and growing milk comes under the infant formula segment. Product innovation is a major factor fueling growth of the baby food segment, while constant endeavor of market players towards enhancing product quality augments growth of the infant formula segment. A recent trend observed in the global infant nutrition market is that of increasing consumer inclination towards organic products. Consumers, especially in developed countries in North America and Europe are willing to pay premium amounts for such products, owing to the general perception of these being more healthy and safe as compared to conventional products.
Growing consumer base and economy of emerging countries would play a major role in the growth of infant nutrition market in the near future:
In the next few years, it is expected that the global infant nutrition market will show healthy growth. In the last few years the sale of infant nutrition products in developed countries has shown single digit growth rate. As the slowly increasing population, low birth rate and due to market saturation. In case of emerging countries, the market has grown by double digit rate due to increasing population and economy of the countries at high rates and increasing awareness about infant nutrition.
China holds the largest market share in APAC region as it has the highest birthrate and the companies are focusing on the sale of premium products in China, considering its growing economy and growing income of the middle class population.
Infant Nutrition Market Dynamics
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the total number of births in the U.S. in 2014 was 3,988,076. The birth rate was 12.5 per 1000 people in the region. Moreover, the general fertility increased to 62.9% per 1000 women in the age group of 15 to 44. This rise in fertility is an indicator of the increased birth rate. Owing to the above mentioned reasons, the global infant nutrition market is estimated to grow at a considerable rate over the forecast period.
According to the worldstat.org, the birth rate in Asia was 17.56 in 2011. The birth rate of boys was more than the birth rate of girls in this region. The population of Asia has risen from 4.16 billion in 2010 to 4.43 billion in 2016, which is an increase of around 266 million. This rise in the number of births along with the rise in disposable income and per capita spending on baby care have made the infant nutrition market in this region, a promising one. A new trend observed in the market is that of increasing consumer inclination towards organic infant nutrition products.
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Some major players in this market include Nestle, Mead Johnson Nutrition, Bledina, DANONE, Meiji Holdings Co. Ltd, Abbott Nutrition, The Kraft Heinz Company, FrieslandCampina, and Beingmate Baby & Child Food Co. Ltd.
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