The emergence of the pandemic in 2020 resulted in many consumers working remotely, which translated to a change in consumption habits from the workplace to the home, ultimately resulting in an upturn in demand for packaged food through retail at the expense of foodservice. However, these trends were not as applicable for packaged baby food.
Demand for convenience has led to the growth of prepared baby food in Singapore, stemming from the fact that the majority of families are double-income households with both parents working. Furthermore, COVID-19 encouraged parents to ensure that their children could have sufficient nutritional intake, particularly encouraging purchases of child-specific products that claim a healthier positioning gaining attention.
One aspect of baby food that has been gaining traction and has been partially accelerated by COVID-19 is parental concern regarding their children’s health linked to consumption habits and reflected in the greater willingness to pay for baby food that is deemed to be healthier, such as organic or reduced sugar options. Over the review period, Bellamy’s Organic gained increasing attention in Singapore as it specialises in organic offers across dried and prepared baby food, milk formula and other baby food.
The choice of milk formula in Singapore largely depends on which brands parents are first introduced to, as once a baby is responsive to a particular product, consumers are reluctant to switch to another as their baby’s digestive system is relatively sensitive to change in the diet. Milk formula brands are on a monthly rotational basis in hospitals, which ensures fair competition as well as guaranteeing that parents are not explicitly targeted to follow and purchase just one particular brand.
While non-milk formula products are complementary food for babies from six months onwards with this demographic less sensitive to changes in food choice, local parents are still less likely to trade down to cheaper alternatives. Over the review period, the government was an active advocate of curbing sugar consumption by regulating the labelling system and sugar content in beverages and food for teenagers and adults.
In 2020, during the Circuit Breaker period, home-confined consumers looked for different ways to purchase goods in an attempt to balance the need to access products while minimising physical interaction to prevent community transmission. Therefore, e-commerce has emerged as a convenient distribution channel to cater to these needs.
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This report originates from Passport, our Baby Food research and analysis database.
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