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Editor: Market Assessment
ISBN: 1-86111-357-9

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1. Introduction 1
2. Definitions 2
baby equipment 2
feeding and sterilising equipment 2
disposable nappies 2
baby toiletries 2
3. Executive Summary 3
Demographic Trends 3
Market Developments 3
The Baby Equipment Sector 3
The Feeding and Sterilising Equipment Sector 5
The Disposable Nappies Sector 5
The baby toiletries sector 6
4. Strategic Overview 7
background and demographic factors 7
Table 1. - Number of Births and Birth Rate per 1,000 Women* 1971-987
Figure 1. - Number of Births 1971-98 8
Table 2. - United Kingdom Child Population 1991-97 9
Table 3. - Fertility Rates* by Age and Births per 1,000 Women** 1961-9810
Figure 2. - Fertility Rates* by Age and Births per 1,000 Women** 1961-98 11
Table 4. - Total Period Fertility Rate* 1961-98 12
Table 5. - Married Women with Dependent Children Working Full time and Part time 1987-96 13
Table 6. - Working Status of Women by Age of Youngest Child and Own Socio-Economic Group 1994-96 14
economic AND LEGISLATIVE factors 15
Table 7. - UK Real Personal Disposable Income at Constant (1994) Prices 1994-99e 15
Figure 3. - UK Real Personal Disposable Income at Constant (1994) Prices 1994-99e 16
consumer issues 16
Table 8. - Family Status October 1999 17
Table 9. - Those with Children aged Three or Under and Who Hope to have Children in Future 1999 18
distribution 19
Mothercare 19
Babies R Us 19
Independent Specialist Stores 19
Pharmacists 20
Grocery Multiples 20
Mail Order 20
Internet Shopping 20
Advertising and promotion: targeting the new parent 20
Retailer Initiatives 21
Table 10. - Advertising Expenditure by Mothercare and Children’s World Year to June 1999 21
Sampling and Direct Marketing 22
the future 22
5. Baby Equipment 24
introduction 24
Market Background 24
market size 25
Figure 4. - UK Market for Baby Equipment by Value 1994-99e 25
Table 12. - UK Market Value for Baby Equipment by Type of Product 1994 and 1998 26
Figure 5. - UK Market Value for Baby Equipment by Type of Product 1994 and 1998 27
Prams, pushchairs and baby carriers 27
Types of Products 28
Coach Built Pram 28
Fold Flat Pushchair 28
Double Pushchair 28
Umbrella Folding Buggy 28
All Terrain Pushchair 29
Combination Pram/Pushchair 29
Travel System 29
Baby Carriers 29
Accessories 29
New Product Development 30
car safety seats 30
Table 14. - UK Market for Child Car Safety Seats by Value 1994-99e30
Safety Issues 31
The Need for Correct Fitting 31
The Dangers of Buying Secondhand 31
Airbags and Front Seat Baby Restraints 32
Types of Car Seat 32
Group O and O+ for Babies/Children between 0-13kg (Birth to Approximately 12-15 Months) 32
Group 1 for Babies/Children between 9-18kg (Approximately Nine Months to Four Years) 32
Groups 2 and 3 for Older Children 33
Accessories 33
Home safety equipment 33
Table 15. - UK Market for Child Specific Home Safety Products by Value 1994-99e 33
Types of Home Safety Products 34
Baby Monitors 34
Safety Gates 35
Childproof Locks 35
Guards 35
Other Products 35
nursery furniture 35
Types of Nursery Furniture 36
Cribs and Cots 36
Travel Cots 36
Table 16. - UK Market for Nursery Furniture by Value 1994-99e 36
Mattresses and Bedding 37
Highchairs 37
supplier profiles 37
Maclaren 38
Mamas & Papas 38
Britax 38
Klippan 39
Jeenay 39
Bettercare 39
Bebécar UK 39
Chicco 39
Ampa UK 40
Pegasus 40
Britax Teutonia 40
Silver Cross 40
Mothercare 40
Continenta Group 41
Cosatto 41
BabyBjörn 41
Tomy 41
Johnson & Johnson 41
Vivanco 41
Lindam 42
Safety 1st 42
imports and exports 42
Table 17. - Imports and Exports of Baby Carriages 1997-98 42
Consumer Issues 43
Table 18. - Imports of Baby Carriages by Country 1998 43
Table 19. - Attitudes to Buying Baby Equipment October 1999 44
Table 20. - Attitudes to the Availability of Baby Equipment 1999 46
Attitudes to the Availability of Baby Equipment 47
Table 21. - Attitudes to Advice about Baby Equipment 1999 48
Attitudes to Advice about Baby Equipment 49
Table 22. - Attitudes to Buying Baby Equipment Brand New or Secondhand 199950
Attitudes to Buying Baby Equipment Brand New or Secondhand 51
Table 23.- Attitudes to Passing Down Baby Equipment 1999 52
Attitudes to Passing Down Baby Equipment 53
Table 24. - Attitudes to Buying Secondhand Child’s Car Seats 199954
Attitudes to Buying Secondhand Child’s Car Seats 55
advertising and promotion 55
Table 25. - Advertising Expenditure on Baby Equipment Year to June 199955
Figure 6. - Forecasts of UK Market for Baby Equipment by Value 1999-2003 57
Table 27. - Indexed Forecasts of UK Market for Baby Equipment 1999-200358
6. Feeding and Sterilising Equipment 59
introduction 59
Market Background 59
Table 28. - Babies Initially Breastfed 1994-97 59
Figure 7. - Babies Initially Breastfed 1994-97 60
market size 60
Figure 8. - UK Market for Feeding and Sterilising Equipment by Value 1994-99e 61
Table 29. - UK Market for Feeding and Sterilising Equipment by Value 1994-99e 61
Figure 9. - UK Market Value for Feeding and Sterilising Equipment by Type of Product 1999 62
Feeding Bottles 62
Table 30. - UK Market Value for Feeding and Sterilising Equipment by Type of Product 1999 62
Teats 63
Soothers 63
Sterilisers 64
Other Products 64
Feeding on the Move 64
supplier profiles 65
Table 31. - Value Sales of Baby Feeding Equipment by Brand 199965
Figure 10. - Value Sales of Baby Feeding Equipment by Brand 1999 66
Cannon Avent 66
Jackel International 66
Consumer issues 67
General Attitudes 67
Table 32. - Attitudes to Breastfeeding and Bottle Feeding 1999 67
Table 33. - Is Breastfeeding Best for Babies? 1999 68
Attitudes to Breastfeeding 69
Table 34. - Attitudes to the Amount of Work Involved in Bottle Feeding 199970
Attitudes to the Amount of Work Involved in Bottle Feeding 71
future prospects 71
Figure 11. - Forecast UK Market for Feeding and Sterilising Equipment by Value 1999-2003 72
Table 35. - Forecast UK Market for Feeding and Sterilising Equipment by Value 1999-2003 72
7. Disposable Nappies 73
introduction 73
Market Background 73
market size 74
Table 36. - UK Volume Market for Disposable Nappies 1994-99e 74
Figure 12. - UK Volume Market for Disposable Nappies 1994-99e 75
Table 37. - UK Market for Disposable Nappies by Value 1994-99e 75
Figure 13. - UK Market for Disposable Nappies by Value 1994-99e 76
nappy accessories 76
alternatives to disposable nappies 76
supplier profiles 77
Figure 14. - Value Sales of Disposable Nappies by Brand 1999 78
Procter & Gamble 78
Table 38. - Value Sales of Disposable Nappies by Brand 1999 78
Kimberly-Clark 79
Other Companies 79
consumer issues 79
Table 39. - Usage of and Attitudes to Disposable Nappies 1999 80
Table 40. - Attitudes to Disposable Nappies 1999 81
Attitudes to Disposable Nappies 82
Advertising and promotion 82
Future prospects 83
Table 41. - Advertising Expenditure on Disposable Nappies Year to June 199983
Figure 15. - Forecasts of UK Volume Market for Disposable Nappies 1999-2003 84
Table 42. - Forecasts of UK Volume Market for Disposable Nappies 1999-200384
Table 43. - Forecasts of UK Market for Disposable Nappies by Value 1999-200385
8. Baby Toiletries 86
introduction 86
market Background 86
market size 86
Table 44. - UK Market for Baby Toiletries and Wipes by Value 1994-99e86
Figure 16. - UK Market for Baby Toiletries and Wipes by Value 1994-99e 87
Baby Wipes 88
Baby Bath Products 88
Table 45. - UK Market Value for Baby Toiletries and Wipes by Type of Product 1994 and 1998 88
Supplier profiles 89
Table 46. - Value Sales of Baby Toiletries and Wipes by Brand 199989
Figure 17. - Value Sales of Baby Toiletries and Wipes by Brand 1999 90
Johnson & Johnson 90
Own Label 90
Other brands 91
advertising and promotion 91
future prospects 92
Table 47. - Advertising Expenditure on Baby Care Products Year to June 199992
Figure 18. - Forecasts of UK Market for Baby Toiletries and Wipes 1999-2003 93
Table 48. - Forecasts of UK Market for Baby Toiletries and Wipes 1999-200393
9. Sources 94
10. Glossary of Terms 98

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Demographic Trends

The baby products market is inextricably linked with the overall birth rate, which has been falling steadily since the beginning of the 1990s; there were 636,000 births in 1998, compared with nearly 700,000 in 1991. Although the fall in numbers of babies is clearly not a good trend for the industry, there are associated factors which are more promising.

For example, women are tending to defer childbirth until their late twenties or early thirties, which means they are more likely to be financially secure, and able to afford higher quality baby products, and may also may be more discerning in terms of quality and styling. The trend for smaller families is not necessarily a negative trend, at least for the baby equipment sector, as most parents buy major items of equipment only once and use them for all subsequent children; it does, however, have a more direct impact on the markets for consumables such as toiletries and disposable nappies. On the plus side, smaller families generally have a higher disposable income, with more to spend on each baby.

Market Developments

Market Assessment's research found that, of the one in ten respondents with a child aged three or under, nearly half were in the 25-34 age group, and a quarter aged between 35 and 44. In total, 27 percent of all those aged 25-34, and 15 percent of 35-44 year olds, had a child in this age group.

Some of the major baby products brands - notably Pampers, Huggies, Johnson & Johnson and Mothercare - recorded high levels of above-the-line advertising spend in 1998-99. However, below-the-line promotions are of particular importance in this market. Some of the most important methods used include retailer initiatives, with major supermarkets and other large retailers in the baby products market encouraging parents of small children to sign up to `clubs' which offer discounts and other benefits. Sampling and direct marketing to prospective and new parents, through companies such as Bounty, have been in operation in the UK for many years. The end of the 1990s saw the development of a number of strategic alliances between companies who are targeting the small and tightly defined consumer base for the baby products market in different ways.

The Baby Equipment Sector

The baby equipment sector was worth an estimated £357m in 1999, representing a sales growth of some 33 percent since 1994. The industry has worked hard to counter potentially damaging trends; for example, tackling the declining numbers of babies through product innovation aimed at increasing the spend per baby. The industry has also campaigned against the purchasing of potentially dangerous second hand baby equipment; this, plus the generally improving economy, has resulted in a decrease in the proportion of products which are bought second hand rather than new.

Sales of prams, pushchairs and baby carriers account for around 44 percent of the baby equipment sector. Trends have included a move away from larger, more bulky prams and pushchairs towards products which are lighter and more transportable, and an increase in the popularity of combination products with a variety of uses. As another way of adding value to the market, manufacturers have increasingly concentrated on developing ranges of accessories to co-ordinate with prams and pushchairs.

Car safety seats have been one of the most dynamic subsectors, sales increased by more than 60 percent between 1994 and 1999 to reach £68m. The increasing emphasis on car safety, and on child safety in general, in the 19980s and 1990s has underpinned this development; most recently the accent has been on improvements in car seat designs in terms of comfort and styling, and in terms of convenience.

The increase in awareness of home safety issues among parents has benefited the home safety equipment subsector, as has the fact that manufacturers have become more innovative. The most important products here are baby monitoring products, and there has been much new product development, focusing on eliminating the problem of picking up signals from neighbouring monitors, and on increasing the range of aspects which can be monitored, as well as being able to see and hear their babies from another room. Parents can now, if they wish, monitor their movement and breathing patterns, and the temperature in their rooms. The home safety equipment market was worth £60m in 1998, a 58 percent increase on the 1994 figures.

Sales of nursery furniture reached an estimated £73m in 1999. This is a sector which has suffered from the fall in numbers of births, since most items of equipment are `necessities' which are bought only once: but there has been a decrease in the purchasing of second hand equipment, due mainly to safety concerns. These concerns - particularly about the dangers of SIDS - have also helped sales of bedding, particularly mattresses, and it is now recommended that parents buy a new mattress for each baby. There has also been a certain amount of product innovation, particularly in terms of products for travelling with a baby, such as travel cots and travel highchairs.

Most of the major players in the nursery equipment sector are active in more than one subsector; this has become increasingly important in recent years as combination products such as travel systems, which incorporate both car seats and prams/ pushchairs, become more popular.

While more than half the respondents taking part in Market Assessment's survey agreed that the wide range of baby equipment now available makes life easier for parents, an even higher proportion - nearly seven in ten - find the sheer variety of equipment confusing, making it difficult to decide what to buy. Nearly four in ten say good, unbiased advice is difficult to find, and more than half say they have taken, or would take, advice from family and friends when buying equipment.

There are contradictory opinions on the question of second hand baby equipment. Although the vast majority (73 percent) think it is perfectly acceptable to use second hand equipment as long as it is safe, a third say that for them personally it is important that everything is bought new. And, although nearly seven in ten say there is nothing wrong with passing equipment from one child to another within a family, nearly one in four say they would not accept baby equipment which had been passed to them by friends or family. More than four in ten say they would not buy a second hand car seat.

The total market for baby equipment is forecast to stand at £432m by 2003; car safety and home safety products will be the most dynamic sectors, with growth of around 7 percent a year.

The Feeding and Sterilising Equipment Sector

The market for feeding and sterilising equipment is closely allied to the method of feeding chosen by mothers. Women in the UK are less likely than those in other European countries to breastfeed their babies; although around 75 percent of first time mothers breastfeed their baby initially, only 27 percent continue to do so after four months.

The feeding and sterilising equipment sector has grown steadily over the past few years, again mainly due to product innovation, and now stands at £49m. Sales of feeding bottles account for 39 percent of the market, and sterilising equipment for 15 percent.

There are a relatively small number of brands within the sector, with Avent taking the major share, followed by Boots and Mothercare, and two brands owned by Jackel International; Tommee Tippee and Maws.

The balance of opinion among those taking part in Market Assessment's survey favours breastfeeding as being `better for babies', with two thirds thinking this is the case. However more than four in ten acknowledge that bottle feeding can be just as good. On the question of making life easier for parents, the reverse is the case, with 57 percent saying bottle feeding is best in this respect, while slightly less than this (53 percent) saying that the cleansing and sterilising make bottle feeding hard work.

The slow but steady growth of the sector is likely to continue over the next few years, and sales are expected to stand at £59m by 2003.

The Disposable Nappies Sector

The market for disposable nappies began to take off during the 1980s, and growth continued throughout the 1990s, with disposable nappies almost completely taking over from terry nappies, which now account for only around 2 percent of the total nappy market. Thus, the market for disposables is nearing saturation, and the emphasis is now on adding value by providing increased comfort and mobility for babies, as well as nappies for different purposes.

The potential effects on the environment of the almost universal use of disposable nappies have been the cause of much concern in recent years, and there have been some efforts by niche manufacturers to develop more parent and child friendly non-disposable products. However, at present it seems unlikely that they will be adopted to any great extent; as Market Assessment's consumer research discovered, although 43 percent of parents said they were concerned about the environmental effects of disposables, exactly the same proportion said that they personally would not use non-disposable products.

Product innovation in the form of greater absorbency and leakage prevention has tended to mean fewer nappy changes, which, combined with declining numbers of births, has led to something of a fall in unit sales. However, despite keen price competition, the higher prices commanded by premium products have helped to sustain a modest level of market growth, with sales estimated to stand at around £470m in 1999.

The disposable nappy market is dominated by two global brands: Pampers from Procter & Gamble, and Kleenex Huggies from Kimberly-Clark; the latter entered the UK market in the mid 1990s, having the effect of squeezing out smaller brands, and decreasing the market share of own label products.

The total market for disposable nappies will grow slowly over the next few years, to stand at £509m by 2003.

The Baby Toiletries Sector

The value of the market for baby toiletries has held up well, despite the fall in birth numbers, partly due to the demand for convenience leading to a strong growth of the baby wipes sector, which accounted for 61 percent of baby toiletries sales in 1998; these have displaced cheaper nappy changing options such as cotton wool. Sales within the overall sector were worth an estimated £170m in 1999, compared with £160m in 1998.

Johnson & Johnson, which has a strong presence in both the baby wipes and other baby toiletries sectors, is the clear market leader, underlining the preference of mothers of small babies for branded rather than own label products. Both the major manufacturers of disposable nappies have their own brands of baby wipes, but do not produce other toiletries products.

The market for baby toiletries and wipes is expected to grow by around 8 percent a year for the next four years, reaching an estimated £224m by 2004.

Text © 1999 MAPS

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Last updated by Paul Tucker 21st August 2001