Even in the difficult economic atmosphere of the last few years, Baby & Kids has remained one of the strongest parts of the supermarkets’ offering, backed by a mix of big brands and pioneering companies with something new to offer. One such visionary company featured in these pages, Opus Innovations Ltd was established in 2009 by Bola and Chigusa Lafe to create innovative solutions for everyday problems, initially in the Parent-Child sector, and introduce them to the market place.

chazLooking at ‘Baby & Kids’ products, one area where the multiple grocers do well already ?but could do even better, is children’s OTC medicine. Many big supermarkets site their OTC medicines such as Care ViraSoothe, the itching relief gel for chickenpox featured here, in self-selection areas near the in store pharmacy. This measure provides parents with access to ?advice and giving them the confidence to give their baby relief from symptoms of common ailments without the chore of involving the GP or nurse. Turning increased consumer confidence into increased consumer off take will be key to expanding the children’s OTC market in 2014 and beyond.

According to the experts the recent baby boom is likely to continue, with the result that by 2016 the child population is expected to be up 9% on 2011, with parents’ average age and hence their available income rising, the baby and kids market will continue to grow in value too, all good news for retailers.

And to add diversity, our increasingly multicultural environment offers opportunities to bring foreign influences in terms of baby products into product innovations aimed at different population groups living in the UK.

As hard working parents with young families will confirm, anything that makes it easier to shop for essentials for babies and kids is a bonus for consumers, whether it’s cheaper nappies in store, baby and children’s medicines, or a full scale on line baby and toddler equipment service. This is an area where the supermarkets and co-ops continue to do well, with extended hours, on-line shopping and home delivery.

According to Neil Mason, Head of Retail Research at Mintel, when it comes to baby products and equipment today’s babies and their parents can have it all. There is a plethora of goods available and manufacturers continue to innovate, and the task of shopping is less painful than a generation ago. Today one in five shoppers buy most products online and the Internet is increasingly used for seeking out the right prices and discounts. So today’s consumers are more demanding than ever, wanting the best for their babies, at the best prices. Here’s to Baby and Kids in 2014 and beyond!

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