No major spikes or declines have been seen in sales of baby food in the Philippines since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the changes that have been seen in Philippine society since early 2020 have influenced purchasing patterns to some extent, the main influence on demand for baby food remains the country’s birth rate.
E-commerce registered robust growth over the course of 2020 as the focus of very many Philippine households shifted towards online channels generally. This trend continued into 2021 and was particularly evident for grocery shopping, with many people increasingly looking to e-commerce as a way of avoiding coming into contact with the COVID-19 virus whilst shopping in stores.
The competitive landscape in milk formula remained relatively stable in 2021 and the main reason is the official ban that remains in place on the promotion of milk formula in the Philippines. The legislation underpinning this ban is Executive Order 51, also known as The Milk Code, which prohibits all types of advertising and promotion for milk formula aimed at babies and infants aged up to two years old.
The performance of baby food is expected to remain stable over the forecast period, with moderate growth set to continue being linked to fluctuations in the country’s birth rate. Irrespective of how consumer lifestyles develop over the forecast period, specifically in terms of whether consumers continue to focus their attention and spending on the home environment or whether they return to pre-COVID-19 habits such as spending more time outside of the home, it is unlikely that baby food will experience any drastic spikes in demand or rapid declines in sales as demand in the category tends to be driven primarily by the birth rate and the spending capacity of parents.
With breastfeeding still being seen as a consistent threat to sales in milk formula, more companies are expected to develop milk formula brands which resemble breastmilk and/or which contain ingredients that are also present in human breastmilk. This strategy has already been pursued by some companies such as Mead Johnson, which reformulated its Enfagrow A+ Four in 2017 to contain MFGM (milk fat globule membrane).
At the of the review period, other baby food remained a category in which future new entrants have the potential to explore their development options as there are currently no major brands present in other baby food. Given that concerns over food safety have been heightened since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on food safety and hygiene practices in manufacturing plants is one strategy that offers brands the opportunity to address consumer concerns and drive sales.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Baby Food industry in Philippines with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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This report originates from Passport, our Baby Food research and analysis database.
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