Milk formula declined sharply in both volume and value terms due to the continuous decline in the number of new born babies, which has been accelerated by COVID-19. Although Japan’s birth rate has been continuously declining over the decades due to an increase in the number of unmarried people and late marriages, the birth rate further dropped as a result of the pandemic as many women decided to forego a pregnancy for the fear of infection.
Despite continuous decreases in the birth rate, dried baby food and prepared baby food will register current value sales increase in 2021. This will be driven by increasing demand for convenience among busy parents.
Asahi Group Foods Ltd, formally Wakodo Co Ltd, will continue to lead baby food in Japan in 2021. Due to the significant presence in almost all baby food product categories including milk formula, consumers show strong loyalty towards the company’s brand, which are renowned for their quality.
Milk formula is expected to see current value sales decrease over the forecast period, largely due to the country’s falling birth rate. The number of marriages in Japan declined during the COVID-19 pandemic, as some couples postponed weddings in order to wait until large gatherings like wedding receptions can be held again, or because of economic difficulties.
Despite an expected decline in birth rate, many areas of baby food will continue to perform well as a result of the increasing number of working women. Japan lags behind other countries in terms of women’s empowerment due to the historical stereotype that women do housework and men go out to work.
A new business model will also be a growth driver for baby food in the forecast period. As an example of this new model, Japan-based start-up MiL is offering “the kindest”.
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This report originates from Passport, our Baby Food research and analysis database.
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