This is the latest from market research provider Euromonitor International, which released a market report on the segment’s recent performance in the region towards the end of last year.
“Baby and child-specific products in Western Europe stagnated over the 2011-2016 period, which mirrors the flat population growth of the under 12 years old age group in the region,” the firm’s report explains.
“Although baby wipes generated the majority of regional growth in the category, value-added categories such as medicated products and nappy rash treatments posted the most dynamic growth.”
Retails channels: premium offerings required to stand out
While supermarkets/hypermarkets or chemists are picked out by Euromonitor as the most common retail channel for baby and child-specific products in most Western European markets, the industry faces a “highly diverse distribution landscape”.
As a result, the report suggests that premiumisation and launching added-value innovations are “a necessary strategy in any category where achieving volume growth is difficult, given the consistently low birth rates”.
Brands leading the way
Unilever’s Dove is one brand determined to crack the baby and child-specific products segment.
Last year it moved decisively into baby-specific skin care, launching its Baby Dove range in the US and the UK, and with a presence in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and India too.
In launching the range, the brand says it is looking to tap into an opportunity to meet the needs of ‘modern’, product-savvy parents.
"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. "When you look at how brands are talking about parenting, there's a real opportunity to bring a modern, updated view of parenthood.”
Weleda is another brand confident in the category’s potential: last summer, the company launched three new ‘kids shampoo & body washes’.
In an interview with CosmeticsDesign, the brand’s managing director in the UK, Jayn Sterland, explained that the category is enjoying a boost from the naturals and organics trend.
“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,” she claims.