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China second biggest market for baby products industry

January 08, 2014 (China)

With a population base of 222 million 0-15-year-old children and 16 million newborns each year, as reported by the National Bureau of Statistics of China, China ranks second as the world’s largest consumer market for babies’ and children’s goods after the United States.

The increasing disposable income and the new generation of parents continue to drive the children, baby and maternity products industry in China. China’s latest relaxation of its one-child policy will only drive more demand and growth in the industry.

UBM China (Hangzhou) released the “China’s 2013 Consumer Research Report for Children and Baby Products Industry” highlighting monthly spending and purchasing habits and growing trends in the industry. The report surveyed major cities including Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, and Shanghai among others, representing northern, central, southern and eastern China.

Monthly Spending and Purchasing Habits

With the rise of disposable income, the average monthly spending on children and baby products is US$157 per family. The expenditure during the baby’s first 0-24 months is the highest at an average of US$174 every month. Research shows that as the child gets older, monthly spending decreases. Monthly expenditures include infant formula, baby diapers, baby food, baby feeding items, baby healthcare items, baby clothes, toys, strollers, car seats and furniture.

Chinese parents are careful when choosing the items and food their child uses and consumes. Some factors they consider when making a purchase include brand, taste, safety, place manufactured, raw materials, price, brand/ manufacturer’s reputation, function, style, comfort, packaging and more. The top three factors they look at when making purchases for these key items are:

- Infant formula: brand, place of manufacture, safety
- Baby diapers: brand, safety, comfort
- Baby food: safety, brand, ingredients
- Baby care items: safety, brand, ingredients
- Apparel: comfort, material, safety

Brand, product safety and ingredients/raw materials rank consistently high in purchase decisions.

Purchase Channels

In choosing where to shop, Chinese parents consider the following: a wide-variety of product and brand selection and the option to verify product quality and convenience. Children & baby products stores are the most popular retail destinations in China compared with other shopping channels like online shopping, department stores or supermarkets. 40% of parents purchase baby products at children & baby products stores.

Children & baby products stores have a variety of brands and good selection of stock, and their staff is better trained with proper product knowledge, making shopping a better experience. These retail stores also provide value-added services to entice shoppers, like kids’ entertainment areas and free product trials. China now has over 40,000 children & baby products stores country wide, with more opening each month. 

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