Mirroring trends across many developed markets, demographic changes are presenting an increasingly strong challenge to growth prospects for the baby food industry. In the US, mothers continue to have children at later ages and families more frequently are deciding to remain smaller and have fewer children rather than many as seen in prior generations.
When pouches first debuted within the US baby food category a few years ago they attracted attention due to their novel style within the category and the promise to greatly increase convenience for parents presented with the steep challenge of feeding their young ones. In spite of this attention and the clear usefulness presented by the new packaging, questions remained as to how disruptive a force pouches could actually be within a category replete with well-established pack types, such as glass jars and thin-wall plastic containers, that have been intimately familiar to US parents for generations, something highly important for a heavily personal and sensitive industry.
Across the US food industry, two key trends are widely playing an impactful role in shaping the direction of the industry but are oftentimes conflicting with each other. The drive for convenience and portability, which has driven an onslaught of new product developments emphasising smaller pack sizes and on-the-go formats, is running headfirst into the growing concern amongst Americans about sustainability and limiting their environmental footprint.
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