Consumer trends changing the baby market

21/02/19

Consumer trends changing the baby market

A new wave of adults are embarking on their journey to parenthood and the choices they make both before and after the birth of their newborn, are key to understanding the latest consumer trends that retailers need to take into consideration when targeting the demographic. The mother and baby market is extensive, worth a huge £2.4 billion in 2017, covering aspects such as food and drink, personal care products, nursery furniture and feeding products. The market provides brands with a rich source of opportunities to test new products and experiences in order to entice customers through the door. We’ve listed the key consumer trends to watch out for this year.

Importance of a status symbol

It’s no secret that starting a family can be an expensive journey, which is why so many are waiting longer to do so. In fact, 68% of first-time fathers and 54% of first-time mothers are now aged over thirty. At this point in their lives, they are more likely to have settled within a career and be in a strong financial position to support a family; therefore new parents have more money to splash out on luxury baby items.

We have found that parents are trading up on products such as pushchairs, which are seen outside of the home, and spending less on those ‘hidden’ items such as nursery furniture. Retailers such as Bugaboo and Silver Cross are responsible for turning luxury buggies into a “status symbol”. New parents want to show the world they are providing the best for their child and Silver Cross offers parents this aspiration. With our help, the brand combined a beautifully engineered stroller with a flawless retail space, to offer fashionable parents that essential 'must-have'. At a time that can be challenging for new parents, this symbol gives them sense of reassurance, where they believe that if they buy this for their child, they’re one step closer to becoming great parents.

Image source: The Shopper Agency

Health and wellbeing

Health and wellness is high up on the consumer agenda and the baby market is no exception. Even established brands such as Heinz have gained unwanted attention from high sugar and salt content. Since only 15% of parents of under-4s trust baby food brands for advice on feeding their children, brands should take the opportunity to build trust among parents, through harnessing the power of friend and family recommendations.

80% of parents like to know what ingredients are in the products they buy for their baby, and their suggested interest in natural ingredients and eco-friendly positioning is helpful for brands to find a way to differentiate their proposition. We have observed thousands of shoppers to discover their unique attitudes and opinions and how this information can trigger a purchase. By understanding parental behaviours and attitudes to nutrition, retailers can shape their brand positioning in 2019.

Environmental concerns

3% of all household waste in the UK is made up of nappies and thousands of tonnes of dirty nappies are being dumped in landfill sites. Pinterest reports that interest in eco-friendly baby products has grown by 750% in 2018. As more people are being aware of their environmental impact on the world, new brands have made eco-friendly alternatives the new craze. Bambino Mio and BumGenius are just two examples of cloth nappy brands who save money, reduce waste and give control to parents over what they want touching their baby’s skin. We have discovered that by offering a variety of styles and customisable options which parents can’t get from standard disposable nappies, eco-friendly brands can increase customer loyalty and differentiate from their competitors.  

Image source: Bambino Mio

Supermarkets

Supermarkets and discounters are gaining momentum in the mother and baby market from the likes of Aldi, Lidl, Morrison’s and Tesco. 85% of parents buy their babies’ personal care products in supermarkets when they do their main grocery shopping which is causing stiff competition in the market. For example, organic babyfood brands such as Organix and Hipp Organic have suffered a hefty blow to sales as Aldi and Lidl debut cheaper offerings. While George, Nutmeg and F&F have all invested in growing their clothing range, offering great designs and choice at competitive prices. Supermarkets are not only offering their shoppers great prices and convenience but they are investing their efforts in strengthening their presence. We’ve found that brands have to work even harder to attract and retain customers by offering customers an experience they can’t get in their local supermarket.

Mum-fluencer

Millennials are in an era where they are faced with a blizzard of messages about the ‘right’ way to be a parent and experience constant pressures to be the perfect Instagram mum and dad. Social media has also given parents a place to talk about motherhood and fatherhood as part of a community and to share their experiences. One of the ways retailers can raise their awareness for their brand is through collaborating with influencers. New parents trust the opinions of these influencers because of their engaging, authentic posts that tell the truth about juggling parenthood. Brands must take note: through associating themselves with mum-fluencers’ values, they can become a part of the conversation on issues that matter most to parents.

Image source: Startups

The new consumer trends that we are seeing in the mother and baby market, reflect the changing lifestyle and opinions of millennials who are at the start of an exciting time in their lives. Retailers must factor in environmental concerns, health and wellbeing, and a growing desire to start a family at a later stage in life. At The Shopper Agency, we take into consideration consumer trends and interpret them for a retail space. Click below to see our relevant case studies and find out how we have helped other brands deliver the very best experience for their shoppers.

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