Baby food market in Malaysia valued at US$443 million in 2014
24 June 2015
Although the volume of the baby food market in Malaysia only grew marginally over the last few years, the overall value has increased by over 60%. This is due to rising incomes, a decline in births and the trend towards super-premium and specialised baby food.
The baby food market in Malaysia has been relatively stable over recent years in volume terms, despite minor fluctuations. In 2014, Malaysians bought 33,413 tonnes of baby food, representing a growth of 3.6% from 2008. However, in value terms, baby food increased by over 60%, reaching US$443 million in 2014.
The Malaysian baby food market is dominated by multinational brands – most notably Danone, Nestle and Dutch Lady – which together accounted for 75% of baby food sales by volume in 2014. Around 29,375 tonnes of baby milks were consumed in Malaysia in 2014, accounting for 90% of the market value.
Milks suppliers to expand into 3+ and 6+ markets
According to Canadean, birth rates have declined by 4% between 2011 and 2014 and this trend is set to continue: By 2020, births will have declined by a further 7.6%. Consequently, the number of infants is shrinking, while the number of toddlers aged 1-3 is increasing. Sam Allen, analyst at Canadean, says: "This change will have a significant effect on the market as a whole, with specialised and follow-on milks increasing their market share in the next couple of years. Moreover, milks suppliers are likely to focus on products for older children, and try to expand into the 3+ and 6+ years markets.”
Malaysians unwilling to compromise on baby food
Research compiled by Canadean* finds that commercial baby food is an important part of the food budget for families with small children. Not only was baby food one of the food categories least affected by the economic recession, but parents also tend to be loyal to particular baby food brands. Around half of families with babies said that they would not change their usual purchasing habits, and just 4% said they would buy less baby food because of food inflation or income problems.
According to Canadean, disposable incomes are generally increasing in Malaysia and should encourage parents to buy more baby food in coming years. However, the decline in the number of births will have a definite impact on the market. Allen says: “Most value growth will occur as a result of higher prices and the trend towards more premium products, including super-premium and more specialised milks.”
Disposable incomes are increasing in Malaysia, encouraging parents to buy more baby food.
The information used in this text is based on the Canadean report 'Baby Food in Malaysia.'
*original source: Malaysia Statistics
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