The infant care category has been hit by consumers cutting back - with baby food suppliers under pressure to fight for share

In this age of austerity, the notion that parents will curtail their spend in other areas but are unwilling to economise when it comes to baby looks less true today than a year ago. The total baby market, valued at £1,445m, has dropped by 2.3% over the year, with volumes down 1.8% [Kantar Worldpanel 52 w/e 28 October 2012].

This is in contrast to value growth of 4% and volume growth of 1% last year. With birth rates also plateauing, 0.1% up [ONS 2011 birth rates] on 2010, compared with a 10-year change of 22% since 2001, the baby market is a very different prospect than seemed to be the case at the start of last year.