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United States baby food market: $6 billion industry in 2012
Baby Food in the US - a new market research report on 2014-03-12 19:55:02
Mead Johnson Nutrition Co leads the United States baby food market in 2012 with a 32% value share, down from 33% in 2011. The company is the leader in milk formula through its Enfamil brand. Mead has been negatively impacted by the Cronobacter scare of December 2011. Although the CDC and FDA cleared Mead of any wrongdoing in late December, the company has suffered as Wal- Mart and other retailers pulled cans of Enfamil Premium Newborn powdered formula in that month as four babies who consumed Enfamil formula were infected by the harmful bacteria. Enfamil received lots of negative publicity during the month, and some consumers switched to rival products as they had difficulty finding Enfamil Newborn in stores, while many new parents decided to go with another milk formula brand.

Consumer confidence in the safety of infant formula took a knock in late 2011 following the death of two babies from Cronobacter bacteria in December. The deaths led retailers including Wal-Mart to pull Enfamil Premium Newborn powdered infant formula from their shelves. Two other babies also became infected but recovered. On 30 December 2011, the US FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and CDC stated that they had found no trace of the Cronobacter bacteria in sealed cans of Enfamil formula and that a recall would not be necessary.

Baby food in the US is projected to decline by 2% in constant value terms over the forecast period. Americans are expected to have more babies during the latter part of the forecast period as the US economy recovers and unemployment declines. At the same time, young couples face numerous financial worries, including high levels of student loan debt as incomes have not grown as fast as college tuition fees. Additionally, as couples postpone childbirth, the chance of having second and third children become diminished. Overall, the short and medium-term prospects for baby food makers are not positive.

Key Headlines

- Value sales of baby food set to decline by 1% in current terms in 2012 to US$6 billion
- Continued decline in the US birth rate negatively affects sales of baby food in 2012
- Toddler milk formula set to grow by 9% in current value terms in 2012
- Unit prices increase slightly
- Mead Johnson Nutrition Co leads baby food with a 32% value share
- Baby food forecast to decline by 2% in constant value terms over 2012-2017

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