With global baby food and formula sales estimated at $30 billion in 2015, according to Nielsen, the halal baby food segment could become a $5.1 billion sector if it follows similar (17 percent) growth and spending as global Food and Beverages. The global baby food market is expected to reach USD 46 billion by 2022, growing at a CAGR of 7.5% during the period.
Baby foods are considered to be the most essential and the first alternative to breast milk for the babies. Purees of natural fruits and vegetables are initially fed to the baby, as a part of the nutritional food. With the growth of the baby, the kind of foods available would significantly vary from infant formula to solid dried baby foods.
With the rapid urbanization around the world, and due to changing lifestyles, the demand for packaged baby foods has grown significantly. These foods are fed to babies between the ages of four to six months and up to two years. Increasing awareness about nutrition, a rise in organized retail marketing, urbanization and significant growth in the count of working women population have been the factors that have led to the growth of the market. Concerns related to food safety, falling birth rates, and the practice of feeding home cooked food to babies are the critical restraints in this market.
Awareness of nutrition in Baby food products is increasing day by day. People are getting more concerned about the health of their babies. Food guidelines have guided many people towards the adequate adoption of healthy and organic food for babies and toddlers as well.
Kazakh women are increasingly joining the workforce in the large towns, leading to less time for breastfeeding and preparing home-made food for their babies. Besides, baby food profited from parents’ desire to purchase the best products for their babies which are safe regarding ingredients and have added-value benefits such as vitamins and minerals, as well as organic and hypoallergenic properties. Even so, baby food remained a product for consumers with high- and mid-purchasing power in Kazakhstan. However, for consumers with moderate and high disposable incomes, expensive baby food is justified by its beneficial qualities.
Nestlé and Detskoye Pitaniye-Istra-Nutricia led the Kazakh baby food industry in 2017 with retail value shares of 41% and a 29%, respectively. The leading position of Nestlé with its Nestlé, Nan, Nestogen and Gerber brands can be attributed to the long-term presence of the company in baby food. Nestlé has a broad product portfolio and well-established distribution network which contribute to the steady availability of its products across the country and its positive sales performance. Also, Nestlé is active in new product launches and promotion. Detskoye Pitaniye-Istra-Nutricia with its Malyutka, Nutrilon, Nutricia and Malysh brands, benefited from its broad portfolio of products.
However, none of these brands currently produce halal baby meat, vegetable or fruit puree for Muslim babies. Annually 200 000 babies are born in Kazakhstan.
Baby food is expected to continue to develop in Kazakhstan due to the ongoing desires of consumers to provide only the best products for their children and an improvement in the economy of the country with the consequently increased standards of living and purchasing power. In addition, it is expected that a growing number of women will participate in the workforce and their busier lifestyles will increase demand for ready to eat products for babies.