A combination of demographic, social and economic factors is helping grow India’s baby food market, which is set to cross the US$250m mark in 2014, a new report has said.
According to the study by consulting firm TechSci Research, the market for baby food is growing fast due to an expanding middle class and increasingly more women in the workforce.
“Other major market drivers include rising disposable income, rising trend of nuclear families and growing number of urban households,” the report said.
“The availability of good quality and nutritious baby food is gradually increasing due to the entry of a large number of international and domestic players in the India's baby food market.”
The report predicted that the milk-based baby food segment will continue its domination of the market over the next five years, as it is considered to be the most convenient alternative to mother's milk.
North and south to lead
According to the report, the southern and northern regions of India are expected to be the leading revenue generator due to a well-established presence of most of the major baby food companies in these regions.
Major players include Nestlé, Abbott Nutrition, Nutricia, Raptakos, Amul, Pristine Organics, British Life Sciences, Mead Johnson, Babyvita and Manna Foods.
“A growing trend of mergers and acquisitions has been witnessed over the last few years,” said Karan Chechi, research director with TechSci Research.
“The competition in this segment is intensifying as the majority of the major players are focusing on inorganic growth strategies. Nestlé's acquisitions of Gerber Foods and Pfizer Nutritionare are among some of the prime examples leading to increasing market consolidation,” he added.
“Nestle is the undisputed market leader; however, other existing players and new entrants are expected to capture a part of Nestlé's share during the next five years.”