The $7 billion retail market for babycare supplies in the United States will continue its strong annual growth with an increase of 20% predicted between 2009–2015, according to Babycare Supplies in the U.S.: Diapers, Bottles, Wipes and Feeding Accessories, 5th Edition by market research publisher Packaged Facts. The growth translates to gains exceeding $1 billion as the market approaches $9 billion by the end of the forecast period and surpasses the comparatively solid $577 million increase achieved from 2005–2009.
“There are several million households with children under the age of two and the growth we anticipate for babycare supplies can be considered fair-to-good. However, what’s truly exciting is the large dollar base, which ensures that even slight progress translates into substantial dollar levels,” says Don Montuori, publisher of Packaged Facts. “For example, in 2010 a single percentage-point of increase could equal $71 million.”
The report breaks sales figures into six product categories. In descending order of retail dollar size, they are: disposable diapers/training pants, baby wipes/moist towelettes, baby bodycare products, nursing/feeding accessories, play & discovery (infant) toys, and pacifiers/teethers (a.k.a., soothing accessories). The best-performing categories during 2005–2009 were baby wipes/moist towelettes, baby bodycare products, and nursing/feeding accessories. Each achieved retail dollar growth totaling around 20% during the four-year period. The disposable diapers category was sluggish, advancing only 4% over that same four years. Meanwhile the volatile play and discovery toys category, which experienced double-digit ups and downs, had a net increase of just 1%. Pacifiers/teethers, the smallest category, lost 3% of its retail dollars over the span.
Unsurprisingly, many consumers turned to the value-tier of babycare supplies brands—as well as to private labels—during the recent recession. Packaged Facts anticipates that some consumers will stick with these lower-cost alternatives even as the economy improves. Nevertheless, as Packaged Facts predicted in the previous edition, the sales of luxury goods hit hard by the recession appear to be regaining ground as of June 2010. Improved disposable income will especially drive sales in the wipes/moist towelettes, baby bodycare, feeding accessories, and play & discovery toys categories as consumers once again satisfy their desires for premium and even prestige-priced babycare supplies. Purchases of natural, organic, and green products are also expected to continue propelling the market substantially.
Beyond traditional retail stores, the expansion of the online channel has immense implications for the babycare supplies market, as evidence by the performance of companies such as Quidsi, Inc./Diapers.com, which Packaged Facts estimates will have at least $100 million in sales during 2010. Meanwhile, the relative maturity of the babycare supplies market creates such an intense competitive climate for marketers that those that can afford to target foreign territories are setting up or expanding operations outside the U.S. For marketers with enough ingenuity and willingness to adapt their products to smaller, less expensive pack sizes, developing countries such as BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) are fertile ground, according to Packaged Facts.[Source: Babycare Supplies in the U.S.: Diapers, Bottles, Wipes and Feeding Accessories, 5th Edition. Packaging Facts. 29 Jun. 2010. Web. 7 Jul. 2010.]