The baby business is booming.
According to Nielsen, baby food and formula will be a $35 billion business by the end of the year, while the global diaper business will be worth $27 billion. Even though birthrates are dropping around the globe, the rise of the middle class in developing countries is fueling baby product sales.
Europe and North America currently dominate the market, accounting for 87% of baby food and 66% of baby formula sales. But those markets recorded flat sales in 2014. In Latin America, Asia-Pacific, and Africa/Middle East, year-over-year sales were mostly up. Latin America, for example, recorded a 48% year-over-year increase in baby formula sales, partially fueled by increasing participation of women in the workforce. Meanwhile, alongside a general trend toward healthy and organic food, organic baby food is booming. Sales of organic baby food grew by 9.1% in 2014 after a 15.7% increase from the previous year, according to Nielsen.
Diaper sales closely track those of baby food and baby formula. While North America and Europe dominate value sales, developing markets are growing faster due to higher prices and increased sales. Within the diaper market, diaper pants are becoming all the rage for their convenience and comfort for babies. The segment grew 20% year-over-year, primarily driven by sales in Europe and Asia-Pacific.