Global Packaged Food Industry – Is Baby Food Recession-proof?
Global baby food retail values should remain fairly robust in 2010, despite continued economic uncertainty throughout much of the world, increasing more than 4% from 2009.
That said, Euromonitor’s forthcoming update to its global baby food research indicates a mixed picture at national level, with many developed markets struggling while the category becomes increasing reliant on key emerging markets like Brazil, Russia, China and Argentina. Will these markets be able to sustain continued growth?
Developing Markets Drive Global Performance
Baby food is increasingly reliant on emerging markets, with Brazil, Russia, China, and Argentina slated to grow more than 10% in 2010. However, not all developing markets are proving as robust. India remains constrained by prohibitive marketing regulations, while much of Eastern Europe is still recovering from recent economic turmoil.
Western Europe Suffer Triple-Whammy
Meanwhile, much of Western Europe is seeing flat to declining retail value sales, with the exception of the UK. The regional market is suffering from a triple whammy of falling birth rates, increased breastfeeding driven by governmental initiatives and continued economic uncertainty in the face of increasingly austere national budgets.
Will the US Bounce Back?
US baby food sales are also suffering, as a generally gloomy economic environment and high unemployment levels have led to a dramatic decline in the country’s birth rate. However, prospects may improve should slowly improve within the next 2-3 years as the economy–and with it birth rates–hopefully stabilise.