Prepared baby food registered the steepest retail volume decline in 2019, driven by the limited number of options, with only two brands available in the country (Nestlé abandoned the category in 2017), and a high price per kilo. Parents prefer to prepare home-made food, as this is a less expensive option and most parents regard this as a way to guarantee the quality of the food they feed their baby.
Baby food products are already facing difficulties due to the declining birth rates in Uruguay. Moreover, breastfeeding is strongly established in the country, regardless of socioeconomic status.
The birth rate has been declining for the last decade in Uruguay. Although in previous years the rates of child mortality fell, they were relatively stable over the review period, leading to further declines in the total number of babies in the country.
Gramon Bagó de Uruguay, an international company, held the leading position in baby food in Uruguay until 2016 with its Sancor brand. The player continued to represent the brand after it was acquired from Mead Johnson Nutrition by Reckitt Benckiser Group in 2017 after difficulties in production in Argentina, from where it was originally imported.
Low profitability, high prices and low levels of demand deterred companies from investing in innovation and the development of baby food in 2019. One of the main ways to improve values sales is to increase the quality of products, with an increase in unit prices, or by launching new products with a price differential.
There are only two domestic companies in baby food in the country, Cooperativa Nacional de Productores de Leche and Varela Radío, which even combined represent a relatively small share. Cooperativa Nacional de Productores de Leche is one of the largest companies in the country, and, although it holds a reasonable share, is not able to surpass the leading companies in baby food.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Packaged Food market research database.