Accroding to Bekryl Market Analysts, Infant Formula sales revenue will be valued over US$ 23 billion in 2018. The industry is highly mature with presence of large number of players. However, leading companies account for majority of the global share.
Mothers’ milk is considered as the best source of nutrition for all infants. Breast milk is a biological fluid that helps in immune development and brain development. Though breast feeding is considered as the best way to help infant gain nutrition, the process is not viable in few cases. In this scenario, infant formula is considered as the best alternative source to breast feeding. Infant formula attempts to mimic the nutritional composition of breast milk as closely as possible, and is based on cow’s milk or soymilk. In the last few years, infant formula consumption has drastically increased owing to technological advancement and higher emphasis on product development.
Infant nutrition is also expected to lower the malnutrition. According to the World Health Organization, Undernutrition is estimated to be associated with 2.7 million child deaths annually or 45% of all child deaths. Feeding is very necessary to ensure higher quality of life in Infant and young child. The first 2 years of a child’s life are particularly important, as optimal nutrition during this period lowers morbidity and mortality, reduces the risk of chronic disease, and fosters better development overall. Optimal breastfeeding is so critical that it could save the lives of over 820 000 children under the age of 5 years each year. While, it might not be possible to ensure breast feeding in certain circumstances, herein, infant formula is regarded as the most viable option
The decision to do breastfeed is primarily a personal choice and is influenced by various factors including changing lifestyle. Over 35% of infants are exclusively feed through infant nutrition. In U.S, only 75% of infants initiate breastfeeding from birth, however, the ratio decreases to below 70% by the time infant turns to three months old. Infant formula consumption increases since then.
Abbott, Mead Johnson, Nestlé, and Danone are global leader with Nestlé and Danone accounting for over 35% of global share. Product and pricing are key strategies being adopted by leading companies to ensure long term profitability. Companies has strategized their business on pricing differentiation to capture the most of +the market. However, in last few year, China based players are gaining high traction and as a result leading players are facing stiff competition from regional players. Well reached distribution channel is proving a major criteria to dominate the global infant formula market. Yili, Biostime, and Beingmate are some of the regional players