We caught up with Jayn Sterland, managing director of Weleda UK, on the potential of this rising category.
“Kids often object to the word ‘baby’ and demand packaging designed for them, so in response to consumer demand we have created the new range with children aged 3 and over in mind, who don’t want to be babies,” she explains.
According to the brand director, the demand from parents is driven by the idea that young children’s skin is more delicate and sensitive than adults, and so ties in closely with the ongoing enthusiasm for ‘naturals’, perceived by consumers to be more gentle and safer for the skin.
“A child’s skin is not fully developed for some years, and gentle natural ingredients are not only more eco-friendly but also more skin-friendly.”
There’s also a case for the products tying into the rising demand for increased sustainability from consumer goods, Sterland suggests “Encouraging our kids to have showers is more sustainable and easier for them to become independent (less risky than baths), which very much fits with the Weleda ethos.”
On the bandwagon
The Weleda launch comes as part of a wider trend. Earlier this year, Unilever-owned Dove moved into baby-specific skin care, again a brand ready to trade on its ‘gentle for skin’ messaging.
At the time, Dove noted that parents today are looking for more modern and segmented product offerings catering to their children.
"Baby Dove is building on the 60-year heritage of cleansing and care and moisturization of the Dove brand," said Nick Soukas, VP of Dove said of the launch. "When you look at how brands are talking about parenting, there's a real opportunity to bring a modern, updated view of parenthood.” The brand recently came to attention for a controversial ad campaign focused on breastfeeding.
In the UK, baby and child-specific products increased by 4% in current value terms in 2015, according to Euromonitor, which indicates a slightly better year-on-year performance compared with the 2% current value growth in 2014
Although the UK continues to see its birth rate drop year on year, the category parents are spending more than ever on baby and child-specific products, the research firm observes, with child- and baby-specific products reaching total sales of £425 million in 2015.