Number of pages: 100 | Report Format: PDF | Published date: July 13, 2022
Historical Years – 2021 | Base Year – 2022 | Forecasted Years – 2023 to 2031
According to the deep-dive market assessment study by Growth Plus Reports, the global infant formula market was valued at US$ 44.52 billion in 2022 and is expected to register a revenue CAGR of 8.95% to reach US$ 97.07 billion by 2031.
Infant Formula Market Fundamentals
Infant formula is a specially formulated food product designed to provide the necessary nutrients for infants not breastfed or requiring supplementation. It is typically used as a substitute for breast milk and aims to mimic its composition as closely as possible to support baby's growth and development. Infant formula is available in powder, liquid concentrate, and ready-to-feed forms. The powder form is the most common and convenient option. It is usually made from cow's milk or, in some cases, soy and undergoes a process to modify its composition to resemble breast milk. The composition of infant formula is carefully regulated and standardized to meet the nutritional needs of infants. It typically contains a balance of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients. The specific ingredients and proportions may vary between different brands and types of formulas.
Infant Formula Market Dynamics
The rising number of working mothers worldwide has increased the demand for global infant formula. With limited time and the need for convenient feeding options, many mothers opt for formula as a substitute for breastfeeding or a supplement. For instance, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of April 2023, 82.2 percent of employed mothers whose youngest child is aged 6 to 17 worked full time compared with 77.9 percent of mothers with children under age 6. Rapid urbanization, changing lifestyles, and nuclear family structures have influenced infant feeding practices. In urban areas, where access to breastfeeding support may be limited, infant formula feeding has become more prevalent. For instance, according to the World Bank’s statistics of April 2023, 56% of the global population lives in cities. Advances in manufacturing technologies have resulted in the development of improved and specialized formulas. Companies focus on enhancing infant formula's nutritional content, safety, and digestibility, attracting consumers who prefer high-quality products.
However, health organizations and governments worldwide promote and advocate breastfeeding as the ideal method of infant feeding. Breast milk provides unique health benefits and is recommended as the best source of nutrition for babies. These initiatives can deter some parents from opting for infant formula, impacting market demand. Some specialized formulas, such as hypoallergenic or specialty formulas designed for specific health conditions, can be more expensive than regular infant formulas. The high cost may prevent some parents from purchasing these formulas or limit their accessibility, particularly in lower-income households. Additionally, the high cost of specialized formulas, concerns about product safety, and lack of trained professionals are some of the restraints impeding the overall market growth.
Infant Formula Market Ecosystem
The global infant formula market is analyzed from five perspectives: type, source, form, distribution channel, and region.
Infant Formula Market by Type
Based on the type, the global infant formula market is segmented into growing-up milk formula, standard infant formula, follow-on infant formula, and specialty formula.
The follow-on infant formula segment dominated the market with the top revenue share in 2022, due to its ability to mimic the nutritional function of breast milk, such as the presence of iron, calcium, and many other micronutrient contents. The follow-on infant formula is a specific category within the infant formula market that targets babies older than 6 months, typically transitioning from exclusive breastfeeding to infant formula feeding. Follow-on formulas are also known as stage 2 formulas or "second-stage" formulas. Follow-on formulas are formulated to meet the specific nutritional needs of babies six months and older. They are designed to support the growing requirements of more senior infants as they begin to explore solid foods and have different nutritional needs than younger infants. Follow-on formulas are fortified with essential nutrients, particularly iron. Iron is crucial for developing babies' cognitive function and is key to their growth. These formulas may also contain higher vitamin and mineral levels than first-stage formulas. These aspects contribute to the development of the follow-on infant formula segment.
Infant Formula Market by Source
Based on the source, the global infant formula market is segmented into whey protein, soy-protein-based formula, protein hydrolysates, and other sources.
The whey protein segment accounted for a prominent market share of 30% globally. Whey protein is derived from cow's milk and is known for its high nutritional value and easy digestibility. Whey protein is one of the main sources of protein used in infant formulas. It is obtained during the process of cheese-making from cow's milk. Whey protein is considered high-quality, containing all the essential amino acids required for infant growth and development. Whey protein is known for its excellent digestibility, making it suitable for infants with sensitive digestive systems. Its composition allows for rapid digestion and absorption, reducing the likelihood of gastrointestinal discomfort and promoting better tolerance. These factors contribute to the growth of the whey protein segment.
Infant Formula Market by Form
Based on the form, the global infant formula market is segmented into liquid, powder, and ready-to-eat.
The powder segment is a key player in the infant formula market, with the largest revenue share of 42% globally, being a popular choice among parents. Powdered infant formulas are convenient to use and have a long shelf life. They can be stored for an extended period without refrigeration, making them suitable for travel or when refrigeration is not readily available. Powdered formulas also allow for easy portioning and preparation as needed. Powdered formulas are more cost-effective than other forms, such as liquid concentrate or ready-to-feed formulas. Buying powdered formulas in bulk can help reduce costs further, making them a popular choice for budget-conscious parents. These overall factors contribute to the growth of the powder segment.
Infant Formula Market by Distribution Channel
Based on the distribution channel, the global infant formula market is segmented into online stores and offline stores. The offline stores are further segmented into supermarkets/ hypermarkets, convenience stores, medical stores, and others.
The offline stores segment is a key player in the infant formula market, with the largest revenue share in 2022. Offline stores are physical retail outlets where consumers can purchase infant formula products. Offline stores include various retail outlets, such as supermarkets, grocery stores, pharmacies, baby stores, and specialty stores catering to infant and childcare products. These stores have a physical presence and offer a dedicated section or aisle for infant formula products. Offline stores provide a personalized shopping experience where parents can physically browse through the available options, read product labels, compare prices, and seek assistance from store staff. They can ask questions, seek recommendations, and gain valuable insights about different formula types and brands. Offline stores build trust and brand reputation by ensuring quality control, maintaining a well-organized display of products, and offering a reliable shopping experience. These overall factors contribute to the growth of the offline stores segment.
Infant Formula Market by Region
Geographically, the global infant formula market has been segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East & Africa.
The Asia Pacific Region is expected to register the fastest CAGR of 9.3% during the forecast period, owing to the presence of a significant population, rapid urbanization, and changing lifestyles. There has been a significant increase in parental awareness regarding the importance of proper infant nutrition in the Asia Pacific region. Parents increasingly seek high-quality, safe, and nutritious infant formula options to ensure their babies' health and well-being. Additionally, imported infant formula brands, especially those from developed countries, are highly sought after in the Asia Pacific region due to their perceived quality, safety, and reliability. Parents often view imported brands as a symbol of higher standards and trust.
Infant Formula Market Competitive Landscape
The prominent players operating in the global infant formula market are:
Infant Formula Market Strategic Developments
Infant formula is a specially formulated food product designed to provide the necessary nutrients for infants not breastfed or requiring supplementation.
The global infant formula market was valued at US$ 44.52 billion in 2022.
The estimated market size of the global infant formula market in 2031 is US$ 97.07 billion.
The revenue CAGR of the infant formula market during the forecast period will be 8.95% from 2023 to 2031.
Some key players operating in the global infant formula market are Perrigo Company Plc, Pfizer Inc., Bellamy’s Organic, Meiji Holdings Co. Ltd, and Arla Foods amba.
*Insights on financial performance are subject to the availability of information in the public domain