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Global Baby Care: Mighty but Small

By: Alexander Kirillov
Posted: August 5, 2008, from the August 2008 issue of GCI Magazine.

page 3 of 4

Baby sun care, valued at $446 million worldwide, according to Euromonitor International, remains one of the fastest-growing subcategories due to efforts to raise awareness of the danger of the sun. Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Western Europe demonstrated the highest growth regionally. For this category, leading manufacturers and retailers teaming up with government and health organizations in an effort to increase awareness has provided significant boost to growth. Education efforts, for example, in Chile include collaboration between the National Cancer Corporation and Farmacias Ahumada, leading to consumer awareness and action toward monitoring UV exposure.

Major Players Under Threat

The global market for baby care products is dominated by Johnson & Johnson, which holds more than 35% of all baby care sales worldwide with its flagship brand Johnson’s Baby. Its closest rival, Beiersdorf’s Nivea Baby, has only 4% of the global market. However, the competition is heating up for the market leaders. Direct sellers show strong growth, especially in emerging markets. Brazil’s Natura Cosméticos, which was ranked 12 in value sales in 2001 globally, jumped into fourth place, growing nearly 30% a year. Growth was fuelled by expansion in its domestic Brazilian market and increasing natural product interest across Latin America.

A number of local companies in emerging markets have created strong competition for international players: Kalina (No. 4) in Russia, Tianjin Yumeijing Group (No .3) in China, Dabur (No. 2) in India, Osotspa (No. 3) in Thailand, Tsu Cosméticos (No. 3) in Argentina and Batterjee Cosmetics (No. 2) in Saudi Arabia. Although international brands dominate market share, domestic baby care brands, such as Yumeijing from Tianjin Yumeijing Group Co Ltd, continued to hold significant share in 2007. Yumeijing’s good performance at a national level, to illustrate smaller players’ approach to gaining share, is helped by its strong focus on local regional needs—baby lotions and creams in northern China (where the dry climate requires better moisturizing products) and understanding toiletries general popularity in south China.

Prospects

Baby care will remain one of the fastest-growing sectors of the global cosmetics and toiletries market throughout the next five years, according to Euromonitor International’s forecast. The market will expand by nearly $1 billion to reach $6 billion by 2012. Globally, baby toiletries and baby skin care are expected to be the fastest-growing sectors, expanding 4% each year in constant prices. However, in developed countries such as North America and Western Europe it is sun care that will be the leader by growth due to high awareness of the solar radiation danger.

Geographically, almost half of the absolute growth will come from Asia-Pacific, where China is forecast to be the major contributor. In this area, the sales of baby care are expected to grow more than 7% a year. Eastern Europe is another region where baby care is expanding at a rapid rate, just below 6% per annum. On the other hand, baby care markets in North America and Western Europe will be growing slowly, around 1% a year in constant prices, due to low birth rates.