Once upon a time, baby care consisted of diaper cream and tear-free bubble bath. Today, the segment has grown into a multi-tiered industry, offering complete product lines that focus on skin, hair, and oral care needs. In fact, premium baby care itself is valued at $5.6 billion with a 3.3% CAGR.1
Brands are offering shampoos with natural ingredients, innovative packaging for on-the-go use, and skincare lines formulated to protect a newborn’s microbiome. And while even though the global birth rate is stagnant (or decreasing in some parts) parents are buying more masstige and luxury products, moving the industry forward.
All of this is a recipe for the type of innovation that brings new brands to market, opens doors to new product types, and reformulates for the literal consumers of tomorrow.
One of the biggest influences in the baby care market today (and pretty much every time this particular market changes) is the parents themselves. With baby care being in the unique position of swapping out consumers every generation or so, consumer tastes change accordingly. Today, those driving brand focus in baby care are millennials.
Millennial consumers want products made with natural and organic ingredients, brands that support sustainable supply chains, and companies that subscribe to the same social and ethical mindsets they do.
Millennial parents are also hyper-aware of what they use on their children, often applying their own preferences for brands onto their preferences for their children’s brands. This has encouraged even the highest luxury skincare brand to venture into the baby care segment.
Consumers are willing to pay for products they see as contributing to the greater good. The eco-tech company GreenPrint found that 64% of Americans are willing to pay more for sustainable products,3 and another study found that 83% of millennials would be more loyal to a company that supported social causes.4 Brands are recognizing this and stepping up.
Expanding the Baby Care Segment
This trend for today’s parents to invest more in quality over quantity has helped to fuel smaller upstart brands that focus on alternative ingredients and product types. According to Euromonitor, more than 75% of the $300 million U.S. premium baby care market was controlled by brands with a market share of less than 2.5%.6
This in turn is driving innovation into new product types, ingredient use, and distribution options. We’re seeing balms designed to help babies sleep, a range of formulations with only plant-based materials, and subscription services catering to busy moms and dads.
We’re also seeing a proliferation of influencers starting to talk about baby care the same way they do in other personal care categories. Many of these ambassadors previously focused on their insights in skincare or makeup, and after becoming parents themselves, naturally extended into the segment.
@raising_missjosie documents the life of her daughter Josie, often promoting skincare brands that support their active lifestyle. @divinemlee connects the dots between baby care and personal health, often promoting a simple takeaway: take care of yourself, take care of your baby, and be mindful of the products you use.
Brands Making an Impression
These personal care names are blazing the path forward in men’s grooming.
In today’s retail market, consumers have placed a premium on products that offer convenience and on-the-go applications. Neutrogena’s Wet Skin Kids is a waterproof 70+ SPF that can be applied directly to wet skin whenever and wherever you need to reapply.
Formulated with their patented helioplex SPF, the product is designed to protect against a broad spectrum of UVA/UVB rays. It’s also offered in a deodorant-like stick format.
Pipette has been connecting with consumers looking for clean ingredients and sustainable corporate values. Their baby care line includes vegan-friendly formulations, biodegradable packaging, and plant-based alternatives to one of the 2,000 toxic or irritating ingredients the company pledges not to use.
Many formulations include their proprietarily derived ingredient, squalane. Squalane is a sugarcane-derived alternative to squalene, an important but sometimes unstable molecule.
In the first few weeks of a newborn’s life, their skin is working hard to develop the lipids and peptides needed to replace the vernix that initially protects a baby’s skin. Since newborn skin is so sensitive, products need to avoid disrupting the natural process.
Dove’s hypoallergenic baby care line includes gentle formulations designed to keep a baby’s pH where it needs to be (pH playing an important role in the skin’s microbiome health).
Dr. Barbara Sturm has been hailed as a pioneer in ‘performance-based skincare’ and has used her medical background to develop a luxury skincare line for newborn skin. Originally an anti-inflammatory orthopedist, she wanted to create a brand that represents her ethos of credibility and innovation.
Their baby care line is formulated without the use of toxic or harmful ingredients and utilizes raw materials like jojoba to hydrate and chamomile extract to soothe and calm.
With all of the potential innovation and product expansion, the baby and infant care personal care segments are ones to watch. We should expect continued growth in product sales, with an expanded selection of product types and new brand launches.