Britain is experiencing a baby boom the likes of which hasn’t been seen since the 1970s.
According to today’s papers, the number of babies born in England alone this year will top 700,000, up from 688,120 in 2011. And, while the number of births is putting a strain on the world of midwifery, retailers and suppliers are set to benefit from the patter of all those extra tiny feet.
Earlier this year we reported that babyfood suppliers were calling for their wares to be spread more liberally around supermarkets. “Our research into the toddler market showed mums were only using the baby aisle for 5% of occasions and were finding other solutions for the remaining 95%,” Organix marketing director Stephanie Hildon told us.
With more babies around, brands will have a bigger market to tilt at. “The more people visiting the baby aisle, the more brands we’ll see extending there,” predicts Mintel analyst Benjamin Punchard. “In packaging, parents want things like better ease-of-use. These developments are expensive so the bigger the market the more likely it is that brands will spend out on them.”
And, despite times being tight, parents are also willing to splash out when it comes to the little ones.
“The higher end of the market is more likely to spend,” says Punchard. “And people will spend more on their children than they will on themselves anyway”. Items that aid child development, such as shaped trays to make feeding easier, or goods that help little ones learn to use utensils, might well be popular, he added.
The potential for more big-spending parents certainly makes Kimberly-Clark’s decision to stop producing Huggies nappies in Europe seem a little ironic.