Innovation trends within the baby food sector are highly driven by developments in formulation. Additionally, manufacturers are adding organic ingredients such as vegetable and fruit products for flavour and marketing claims, highlighting the health benefits to parents.
Health and wellness is the foremost important trend in the baby care and food sector, and this trend is broken down in different ways. Natural and organic claims are often popular among parents, for example, due to the claims’ associated health benefits and premium positioning. GlobalData’s 2021 Q3 consumer survey found that 75% of global consumers found that organic claims in food and drink products were somewhat or very appealing. Similarly, 76% of consumers globally, said the same about products that have non-GMO claims.
In Australia, Sprout Organic plant-based infant formula fits this narrative perfectly. The product highlights the use of premium ingredients with its new ‘clean and gentle’ formula which is suitable for infants from 0 to 12 months. Certified as both organic and vegan, the baby product is cited to contain key nutrients for healthy growth and is flagged as free from genetically modified ingredients, aligning to key trends in the sector.
Similarly, Gerber Power Blend in the US highlights that it is free from GMO and BPA and is Kosher-certified. The probiotic baby cereal, which is stated to contain whole grain oats, lentils, veggies/fruits and is fortified with iron, also ties into ease of use trends. Said to be ‘completely cooked and ready to serve’ with just the addition of water, this product is able to fit around the busy schedules of parents without compromising on the health benefits.
The use of bright colours and animated fruits also increases consumer interest in this sector as it creates shelf engagement for both parents and children. GlobalData’s 2021 Q3 consumer survey found that 34% of global consumers found brightly coloured packs extremely or quite important. Bright, warm and lively packaging designs can help to emulate a feeling of trust and comfort among consumers, which is vital in the baby care and food sector. Further, given the high level of competition in the sector, formulation and ingredient information should be clearly visible and outlined for parents to read so that they can easily identify which product is best suited to their child’s needs.
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It is important to offer parents a level of personalisation when choosing products. In the current consumer landscape, there is increased emphasis on individual and holistic health and this of course also relates to our children. Parents and caregivers want to ensure that they are providing the best nutrients and foods designed specifically for their children’s needs and dietary requirements. While organic claims will continue to encompass an overall position of superior quality and health benefits, going forward, manufacturers should look to expand their product range with free-from and added-functionality claims.