From cradle to whenever Baby and kids sales stay strong in grocery

Although we are regularly told we have an ageing population and more single and childless households, childcare from babyhood to pre-school continues to be a mainstay of UK supermarkets and convenience format stores.

The arrival of omnichannel and home delivery has taken much of the heavy lifting out of buying the bulky stuff, but baby feeding is still a challenge for busy mums.

Convenience format stores in particular need to cater to mums on the move and their different needs, whether top-up shop, dinner for tonight or food on-thego.

Danone Nutricia Early Life Nutrition markets the Cow & Gate and Aptamil brands, and is UK baby feeding market leader with a 58% share. Like many other categories, the number of SKUs within Baby Feeding has grown exponentially over the years, but Roz Davies says stocking the best sellers based on shopper needs and demographics will always be the right approach.

The baby foods on offer in the UK evolve to reflect the population. The leading UK Halal baby food company, For Aisha has rebranded its Stage 3 baby food range with a convenient tray format so infants aged 10 months plus can feed themselves. The company launched Stage 2 pouches in ASDA in August 2015 and the range is now listed in ASDA, Morrison’s, Tesco and Boots.

Previous new parents used to swot up on childcare before the birth, with mums and dads attending NCT classes. Now thanks to the Internet there is more information than ever to keep them updated on such things as sugar content in meals and drinks and the causes of tooth distortion and enamel erosion. Retailers are doing their bit to help too, with information in store and online.

Babies and kids need a lot of cleaning. Successive generations of parents have always been prepared to splash out on toiletries for their little darlings and suppliers have always been more than happy to supply them. Making up 33 per cent of the baby and child toiletries market between them, Tesco and Morrisons are the latest stockists for Childs Farm, the UK’s fastest growing baby and child toiletries brand, which launched in 2011 and is the UK’s second largest baby and child toiletries brand after Johnson and Johnson.

At the other end of the age scale, DryNites from Kimberly-Clark is upgrading its packaging and product designs for its bedwetting care range, targeting older children who wet the bed. The girls’ packs now feature Disney Fairies’ Tinkerbell and the boys’ SKUs have Spiderman, boosting product appeal on-shelf and making these products look more like real underwear and more acceptable to the children who have to wear them.