'Dinners' range, introduced by MKR Foods Pvt Ltd, includes two varieties -
Mediterranean Veg & Rice, and Cauliflower & Broccoli Cheese.
range of juices has been introduced in India by MKR Foods Pvt Ltd. Marketed
under the brand name Gerber, the juice is available in three variants - White
Grape, Apple and Pear. The product claims to contain 100 percent Vitamin C. The
product does not contain added sweeteners, artificial flavours, colours or
3rd Foods Nature Select baby food range is newly introduced in India by Supreme
Enterprises. The range includes two variants - Apples and Bananas with Mixed
Cereal, and Apples & Cinnamon with Oatmeal. The product claims it helps the
baby to discover the natural tastes of fruit and whole grains.
Bites Baby Cereal has been introduced in India by Pristine Organics. The
product is stated to be enriched with 26 essential vitamins, minerals and
micronutrients vital for the healthy growth of children. It is reported that
this product contains enzymes that help in forming a soft semisolid that is
convenient to feed, easy to swallow and digest.
Heinz Co Ltd has recently launched a new range of canned baby food in India
under the brand name Heinz. The range includes two flavours - Delicious Apples
and Pears. This product is suitable for babies in the age group of 4-6 months
and comes with no added sugar, flavours or colours.
New Product Development (NPD) trends in the global baby food market:
Organic: Across the globe, companies are introducing organic baby products with
the aim to win the confidence of consumers. This trend is expected to grow
further in the future with consumers readily accepting organic products across
all categories. Example: Heinz Organic pure baby rice.
Probiotic: Probiotic products, which help in building a better immune system
and general health management, are increasingly getting popular in Western
countries, especially in baby food categories such as snacks and yoghurt, among
Salt: The world is getting less saline as manufacturers are cutting down the
salt content in their products across all food categories, including baby food.
No gluten is another emerging trend in food categories. Example: Happy baby
organic baby food in the U.S. claims to be organic as well as gluten-free.
Prebiotics: Prebiotic products, which contain ingredients to stimulate the good
bacteria growth for better health management, have also been introduced by baby
food manufacturers. Example: Heinz Farley's rusk available in India has
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guidelines regarding the infant food market make it difficult for companies to
operate in the Indian baby food market. Moreover, the ban on advertising baby
food products in India makes it difficult for companies to penetrate into the
domestic market, especially in rural areas, where awareness levels are low.
regulatory concerns, though, the Indian processed baby food market is
witnessing a sea change primarily driven by the growth of modern trade and economic
prosperity of urban parents.
result, a variety of products and variants have started to appear on
supermarket shelves in the last few years. Also, in the last few years,
companies have added new product lines catering to the new found demand from
aspiring Indian consumers who want the best-in-class products for their babies.
This rise in demand is predominately driven by improving awareness, rising
income levels, increase in working women population, growing modern trade,
demand for convenience and shifts in consumer behaviour, making India one of
the fastest growing baby food markets in the world.
are the days when Indian parents had limited product availability for their
babies. Today, supermarket shelves are being filled with a slew of product
launches across baby food categories.
the last two years, the infant formula and cereal category has seen the highest
number of launches across all baby food categories. Targeted product
development means manufacturers are making an effort to launch products that
match the traditional Indian tastes. Several new products have also been
launched in the bottled baby food, juices and baby snacks categories.
global brands such as Heinz and Gerber are now available in supermarkets and
hypermarkets. Heinz has introduced 'Breakfast' and 'Dinners' (each representing
meals for different times) in key retail stores across India. Similarly, Gerber
(owned by Nestle) has made its presence felt in the bottled cereals and bottled
juices categories. Some of the recent product launches in the Indian baby food
analysis of the recent product launches suggests some important trends in the
packaged baby food market in India. Given the priority that parents accord to
food quality and natural ingredients, it is no surprise that a majority of
manufacturers are launching products with claims such as 'vegetarian', 'no
artificial colour', 'no flavours', and 'no preservatives'. In terms of
ingredients, honey and sugar top the chart of most prevalent ingredients. This
indicates the Indian baby food market is in a developing stage with consumers
still absorbing the idea of packaged food for babies and manufacturers
launching tried and tested variants in India, unlike Western countries where
the baby food has evolved from offering basic nutrients to organic and
in the Indian baby food market is expected to heat up with industry players and
retailers stepping up their product launch activities by bringing in global portfolio
for Indian parents. Datamonitor identifies a few trends that can potentially
change the current dynamics in the Indian baby food market:
Widening product portfolio: The product mix in the baby food category could see
a radical change as global companies bring new offerings to the Indian market.
Companies have already launched products in underexploited categories such as
bottled baby food, snacks and juices, which were almost non-existent in the
Indian market. Datamonitor expects such categories would see a further boost
with the increase in new product development activities by existing and new
players, thereby increasing the choice available to Indian consumers.
Substituting/complementing traditional baby food: The Ministry of Women and
Child Development suggested that choices for feeding infants and young children
could be a good starting point for targeted product development offering a
substitute or complementing an existing meal item. Companies have already
started bringing in products which substitute or complement traditional
home-made baby food products. Clearly, companies can launch products which can
replicate the taste and flavour of other traditional home-made foods such as
upma and poha, among others, to increase penetration in the Indian market.
Increased demand from Dually Employed with Kids (DEWKS): India is witnessing a
manifold increase in the number of nuclear families and families with working
parents. As a working mother juggles between managing her professional life and
fulfilling obligations as a mother, there is an increase in demand for
convenient baby food products from such parents. This demand would provide
future growth in the baby food products category with consumers lapping up the
idea of keeping prepared and healthy baby food at home.
Changing consumer perception: There is still some apprehension among Indian
consumers about the quality of packaged food products, as they believe fresh
food is healthier for the baby. The result of the survey conducted by
Datamonitor further validates this trend. According to the survey, 80 percent
of Indian respondents agree that health considerations significantly influence
their choice of purchasing food products and drinks. However, this perception
is set to change with the growing awareness among Indian consumers and
increasing product availability on store shelves.
care centres: With the everincreasing number of nuclear families and working
parents, the need for specialised creches or daycare centres is on the rise.
These centres do not only act as a pit-shop for the infant care, but could
provide a key platform for manufacturers to increase awareness and reach out to
the target audience directly.
Indian baby food market is in growth mode and gradually transitioning into one
of the fastest growing baby food markets in the world. However, most of the
product demand remains concentrated in urban areas with the upper-middle class
family segment. Even in terms of product innovations, the Indian baby food
market is in the early phase in comparison to other countries. Hence,
manufacturers need to focus on creating demand for their products through
investments in product localisation to suit Indian consumer tastes, competitive
pricing and expanding consumer reach by generating better consumer awareness.
On a positive note, changing consumer behaviour, increasing income levels, need
for convenience, development of modern trade and expanding product portfolio
would drive future growth in the market. By 2015, Datamonitor predicts the
Indian baby food market to increase at a rapid rate of more than 15 percent and
double its size to cross the market value of Rs.3,500 crore.
Niraj Lalka is a senior
consumer analyst at Datamonitor
Baby food can be big business,
but where's the market pull?
Indian baby food market, though at a nascent stage, is among the fastest
growing baby food markets in the world. In the last few years, it has grown at
10-12 percent per annum. However, lack of product awareness among consumers,
ban on advertisement of baby food products and strict government regulations
are limiting the scope of its growth.
of parenthood comes with the much bigger responsibility of raising a healthy
baby - inculcating right values and providing proper nutrition, among other things.
Proper nutrition to infants and children becomes significant because poor
feeding practices in infancy and early childhood, as the guidelines issued by
the Ministry of Women & Child Development also highlight, result in
impaired cognitive and social development of the child.
Indian homes, where traditionally it is grandparents and the extended family
who take on the role of providing advice on correct baby food to new parents,
the use of infant formula (a food manufactured to support the great adequate
growth of infants under six months of age when fed as a sole source of
nutrition) in baby diet during the neonatal period is neither recommended nor
considered acceptable by parents, unless, of course, medically advised.
Thereafter, infant formula is used as a top-up or a replacement for
breastfeeding. The Indian baby diet, therefore, is dominated by traditional
home-made items, such as porridge of semolina, wheat flour, ground rice,
khichdi, dalia and other similar grain or fruit- and vegetable-based products.
These foods serve the purpose of providing essential vitamins and minerals
needed during the growing years, as well as acclimatising the baby to the
family eating habits. Given the importance accorded to breastfeeding as well as
home-made food over purchased food, Indian parents are still not used to the
idea of packaged baby food. Therefore, packaged baby food consumption in India
remains largely restricted to urban areas.
Market with Immense Scope
has the largest baby population in the world with over 75 million babies up to
the age of three. With the per capita expenditure on babies being one of the
lowest, the Indian baby foods market offers immense scope.
the Indian baby food market is pegged at over Rs.1,500 crore, growing at an
average rate of 10-12 percent in the last five years. Infant formula and baby
cereals form a major chunk of the total baby food market, followed by snacks
and bottled baby food. Currently, Nestle has the monopoly in the Indian baby
food market. It commands more than 75 percent market share in the infant
formula category with strong brands such as Lactogen and Nan.
also dominates the Indian baby cereal market with an equivalent market share
and popular brands such as Cerelac and Nestum. Farex from Abbott Laboratories
(earlier owned by Wockhardt) is a distant second in the baby cereals category.
in the U.S. and the U.K. annually spend approximately $500 and $400,
respectively, on baby foods, including infant formula. At around $4 per capita
expenditure on babies, India lags way behind western countries and even among
the emerging economies such as Brazil and China. In fact, per capita
expenditure on babies in India is almost one-twentieth of the Chinese per
capita spending on babies. In terms of growth rates, though, China and India
are one of the fastest growing markets with annual growth rates of around 17
percent and 11 percent, respectively.
guidelines regarding infant foods make it difficult for companies to operate in
the Indian baby food market.