Parents-in-Waiting: Global Perinatal Market Trends

December 2013

Despite low birth rates and economic pressures, pregnancy and childbirth are celebrated more than ever. From the moment of conception, routines and shopping habits change radically and a growing “bump” industry has emerged, spanning everything from prenatal health and wellbeing to maternity fashion, baby showers, nursery equipment and newborn consumables. This global study gives a unique insight into the perinatal market and the strategies used by marketers to hook new parents-to-be from the out

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Demand Factors

While their attention is only captured for a relatively short space of time, pregnant and nursing mothers present a lucrative segment for marketers. Furthermore, gaining their loyalty early on could create a bond with a brand that they remember next time around.

Expectant women often make major changes to their lifestyle and shopping habits at this stage in their lives, and are willing to spend what it takes to ensure their own comfort and wellbeing, and the health of their baby during pregnancy and beyond.

Today, pregnancy is viewed as a celebration rather than an endurance. Accordingly, a whole “bump” industry has emerged, including pregnancy wellness and fitness, specialised skin care products, fashion clothing, photography sessions, baby registries and even “babymoons”.

The long-term trend towards fewer births is the result of several factors, including urbanisation and smaller households, a higher number of women entering higher education and careers, population control (in the case of China) and the wider availability of contraception.

Recently, the global recession and high unemployment may have deterred many couples in developed markets from starting a family until they are better able to afford to bring up a baby.

Russia is one of the few countries to have experienced a baby boom in recent years, thanks largely to a law introduced in 2007 which offered subsidies to families with two or more children.

Birth rates remain very high – at over 20 births per 1,000 people – in emerging markets such as the Philippines, India, South Africa and Venezuela. However, lower purchasing power means that there is still only limited demand for pregnancy and baby-related products.

The US had by far the highest number of births among developed markets, at some four million a year. This is also the most developed market for pregnancy and baby goods, with average spending remaining high among parents-to-be, new parents and gifting friends and family.

Reflecting their ageing populations and low birth rates, developed markets such as Germany, Italy, South Korea and Japan had the oldest average first-time mothers (30 years or older); while the youngest first-time mothers were to be found throughout Latin America and India.

Globally, fertility rates have dropped significantly over the long term. Women had 3.0 children on average in 2012, down from 3.2 in 2007. Families were largest in the emerging markets of Philippines, India, Venezuela and South Africa, reflecting high birth rates.

The number of couples facing infertility has increased over the last couple of decades, possibly due to environmental factors and the increasing age of childbearing. This has led to a growing market for IVF and AI treatments, as well as surrogacy.

Paid leave is guaranteed for working mothers in at least 178 countries, with the Nordic countries offering the most generous arrangements. The notable exception is the US, which offers no type of paid leave for mothers.

Leading parenting websites include US-based (with over 32 million unique visitors worldwide); China’s Babytree and the UK’s Mumsnet. Websites are also available for those trying to conceive, such as Fairhaven Health’s OvaGraph and

What this report includes

  • Top-level strategic analysis of how major consumer trends will influence global markets
  • Consumer insight
  • Impact across all relevant consumer markets
  • Unique graphics and case studies
  • Key market snapshots
  • Accompanying presentation to synthesise main findings

Why buy this report

  • Identify factors driving change now and in the future
  • Understand motivation
  • Forward-looking outlook
  • Briefings and presentation should provoke lively discussion at senior level
  • Take a step back from micro trends
  • Get up to date estimates and comment

Delivery format

This report also includes a PowerPoint executive summary document.

PDF/Word copies downloadable from you MyPages account


Demand Factors
Chart 1 Birth Trends Versus Income by Key Country 2012
Consumer Market Trends
Chart 2 Global Sales of Pregnancy and Birth-related Products 2012
Outlook and opportunities
Summary 1 Growth Opportunities in the Market for Perinatal Products 2014



Population trends
Birth rates stagnate Russia’s baby boom continues Chart 3 Birth Rate in Key Countries 2012 India has the most babies Table 1 Number of Live Births by Key Country 2007/2012
Fertility trends
Women wait longer to have children China’s face pregnancies Latin America has the youngest mothers Table 2 Average Age of Women at First Childbirth by Key Country 2002/2007/2012 Families get smaller Table 3 Fertility Rates by Key Country 2007-2012 Infertility on the rise
The cost factor
Incomes remain stagnant in the West Table 4 Average Annual Per Household Disposable Income in Key Markets 2007/2012
The role of maternity benefits
Paid leave eases financial burden Nordic countries have most generous arrangements Southern Europe has a more traditional attitude towards the role of women The US has harshest policy Leave extended in China Discrimination is common Chart 4 Length of Maternity Leave by Key Country 2012
Child care provision
Lack of affordable care Swedish parents benefit from generous child care funding Child care facilities heavily oversubscribed in Japan Chinese women worse off than in the past Chart 5 Percentage of Annual Income Spent on Child Care by Key Country 2010
Sources of information
Expectant women go online China’s Babytree becomes largest parenting website Websites for those trying to conceive The burgeoning market for pregnancy apps Apps provide social networks for mums-to-be Fitness apps for pregnancy Summary 2 Fertility and Pregnancy Apps 2013
Health during pregnancy
The nesting instinct Chemical avoidance The dangers of BPA Allergen avoidance Chart 6 Observed Regional Trends in Health and Eating: Avoidance of Allergens While Pregnant 2013 Pregnancy ailments The need for nutritional supplements Summary 3 Beneficial nutrients for pregnant and nursing women 2013 Giving up smoking
Fitness and wellbeing
Pre- and post-pregnancy fitness The offer of pamper packages The emergence of the babymoon China’s postnatal care centres
Celebrity influence
Celebrity mums Royal baby fever Strollers to the stars
Gifting rituals
Baby showers create a lucrative market in the US Baby registries proliferate Baby showers take off in the UK


Birth control
Increased awareness of contraception Morning after pill becomes more widely available Fears that “abortion pill” is contributing to China’s gender imbalance Pregnancy termination is commonplace in Russia Table 5 Leading Markets for Emergency Contraception 2007-2012
Test kits and monitors
Ovulation tests now the first step when trying for baby Pregnancy tests become more accurate Prenatal screening tests become more common in US Foetal monitors are a must-have
Vitamins and dietary supplements
Prenatal multivitamins segment becomes increasingly crowded Supplements to help obese women lose weight Omega-3s and vitamin D soar in popularity Table 6 Global Sales of Selected Vitamins and Dietary Supplements 2007/2012 Table 7 Multivitamins Positioned for Pregnancy in Leading Markets 2007/2012 Fertility supplements
Healthy eating
A preference for natural and organic foods Functional foods expand to include pregnancy products Cookies for nursing women The world’s first probiotic perinatal snack bar Table 8 Global Sales of Health Foods and Beverages 2008/2013
OTC products
Coping with pregnancy ailments Pain and indigestion Table 9 Global Sales of Selected OTC Products 2007/2012
Alcohol-free drinks
Mums-to-be still want a social life The Japanese boom in alcohol-free beer Table 10 Leading Markets for Non-alcoholic Beer 2007-2012
Personal care products
Caring for skin Post-natal skin care Hygiene products
Maternity products
Pregnant women want to look stylish The trend for adapting regular clothing Nursing bras experience growth Expectant women seek more comfort Maternity retailers expand into new markets
Newborn baby items
Babies are prioritised Baby monitors go high-tech Baby carriages benefit from royal birth Mother and baby retailers face online competition Retailers retaliate Baby clothing growth fuelled by BRICs Developed markets turn to second-hand clothing during recession Clothing retailers differentiate their offer Premium brands are a lucrative niche Table 11 Leading Markets for Baby and Toddler Wear 2007/2012
First stage formula milk
Market sees strong growth Special milk formula The breastfeeding movement Formula milk safety Table 12 Leading Markets for Standard Formula Milk 2008/2013
Consumables for newborns
Chinese consumers drive new-born nappies growth Nappies benefit from technological developments Cloth nappies gain traction but remain niche Lower incidence of rash affects nappy creams sector Table 13 Global Sales of Selected Baby Care Products 2007/2012


“Dragon babies” cause rise in birth rate for 2012 Women are waiting longer to have children Table 14 China: Key Data 2007-2012 Parents willing to spend more on only children Anti-radiation maternity wear Baby wear goes upmarket New mothers expected to eat nutritious food Premiumisation boosts milk formula and nappies Table 15 China: Sales in Selected Markets 2007/2012
Birth rate still rising Table 16 France: Key Data 2007-2012 Sales decline in most sectors Fashion chains expand maternity ranges Higher incidence of breastfeeding affects milk sales But new born nappies show solid growth Table 17 France: Sales in Selected Markets 2007/2012
Birth rate remains low Table 18 Germany: Key Data 2007-2012 Only functional foods experience growth Private labels dominate baby toiletries Table 19 Germany: Sales in Selected Markets 2007/2012
Highest number of births in the world Table 20 India: Key Data 2007-2012 Maternity chains expand Functional foods appeal to urbanites Nappy penetration still low Interest grows in natural and organic baby products Table 21 India: Sales in Selected Markets 2007/2012
Lowest birth rate Rising incidence of infertility Table 22 Japan: Key Data 2007-2012 Spending on pregnancy remains high Functional foods big in Japan Milk formula affected by nuclear contamination Competition in nappies keeps prices down Table 23 Japan: Sales in Selected Markets 2007/2012
Births accelerate since turn of century Table 24 Russia: Key Data 2007-2012 Pregnancy is hushed up Pregnancy products benefit from baby boom Desire for convenience fuels boom in disposable nappies Table 25 Russia: Sales in Selected Markets 2007/2012
Growing number of mothers over the age of 40 Recession impacts birth rate Table 26 UK: Key Data 2007-2012 Pregnancy market boosted by royal birth Milk formula withstands recession Table 27 UK: Sales in Selected Markets 2007/2012
Young adults postpone having babies Health reform in the US eases financial burden for parents-to-be Table 28 US: Key Data 2007-2012 Highly developed market Shoppers remain thrifty Competition heats up in prenatal vitamins Summary 4 Selected Pregnancy Supplements on the US Market 2013 Infant formula sales damaged by contamination scandal Demand grows for natural and organic baby products Table 29 US: Sales in Selected Markets 2007/2012


Trends to Watch
Birth rates will continue to slow Chart 7 Forecast Number of Live Births, Leading Countries 2017 Table 30 Forecast Birth Rates in Key Countries 2012-2017 Lower-cost IVF will allow more couples to have babies Average spend per baby will grow NPD will focus on style, convenience and improved technology The gift market will remain recession-proof Health and beauty
Chart 8 Forecast Global Sales of Pregnancy and Birth-related Products 2012/2017
Marketing opportunities
Gaining and retaining customers Getting the message right Online marketing Company-owned websites Consumer profiling Product sampling Don’t forget Dad


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