Baby food recorded slightly slower current value growth in 2019 compared with the previous year. This was partly due to the gradual decline in the country’s birth rate, which in turn was in part driven by the growing number of women in the workforce.
In February 2019 the Philippines signed in the 105-day Expanded Maternity Leave Act (Republic Act No 11210) which will enable working mothers to breastfeed for longer. The competition from breastmilk is therefore likely to intensify over the forecast period, with standard milk formula likely to be the most affected.
With parents becoming increasingly conscious of what they feed their children there are a growing number of natural and organic brands and products entering the market. For example, Spanish brand Byba entered the Philippines in 2018 with its range of all-natural ready-to-eat snacks and prepared baby food which has no added sugar and no preservatives.
Mead Johnson Philippines Inc continued to hold a strong lead baby food in 2019. It will likely be able to sustain its favourable standing in baby food since it owns a wide portfolio of milk formula brands, which allows it to cater to infants of different age brackets.
Fortification remains a key strategy for many companies. For example, Abbott Laboratories (Phils) Inc reformulated its Similac Gain School line of milk formula, with it now including a blend of nucleotides and 2’-FL HMO, which is a kind of human milk oligosaccharide that helps boost immunity.
New baby food manufacturers continued to invest in manufacturing facilities in the Philippines towards the end of the review period. For example, Swedish company, AarhusKarlshamn (AAK), built a customisation plant in Batangas in August 2018 which will customise and mix oils and fats into value-added ingredients for use in milk formula, confectionery, chocolates and personal care.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Packaged Food market research database.