Baby food retail packaging sales up 5.1% worldwide in 2010 over 2009 to nearly US$37B, with increased challenges to glass-jar formats from plastic packaging and pouches, Euromonitor says

LOS ANGELES , March 14, 2011 () – Baby food retail packaging sales rose 5.1% worldwide in 2010 over 2009 to nearly US$37 billion, with increased challenges to glass-jar formats from plastic packaging and pouches, and more interest in alternative, safe and easy-to-use packaging that also saves time, Euromonitor International Ltd. reported online March 10.

According to the London-based market research company, Gerber Products Co., based in Fremont, Michigan, Blédina SA, based in Villefranche, France, and Pulmuone Co. Ltd., based in Seoul, utilize thin-wall plastic containers over the equivalent glass jar.

Plum Organics, based in New York, and Ella's Kitchen Co. Ltd., based in Henley-on-Thames, England, produce organic baby food in pouches. Humana Milchunion eGm, based in Everswinkel, Germany, uses one color across an entire economy baby food range, and promotes safety and quality through labeling touting the food's German-made provenance, Euromonitor reported.

Development has been particularly strong for the thin-wall plastic container, with retail sales rising by 15% in 2010. The container is suited to parents on the move and costs less to transport. The U.S. ranked as the single-largest country user of thin-wall plastic containers in baby food in 2010.

The thin-wall plastic container can also be microwaved, adding to convenience and helping the category achieve 27% of global prepared baby food packaging sales in 2010, up from 21% in 2005, Euromonitor reported.

French purchases of prepared baby food continue to rise for microwaveable thin-wall plastic containers, boosted by larger product offerings from market leader Blédina.

The Enfamil brand in the U.S. has launched single-serve pouches for baby formula, serving busy parents and reducing the amount of baby goods they need to carry, Euromonitor reported.

Brand owners are primarily using the new look of more widely available pouches for premium, niche and often organic lines of prepared baby food. Ella's Kitchen uses brightly colored pouches across its organic baby food range. The pouch is forecast to offer 7.4% compound annual growth rate in baby food over 2010-2015.

Humana Milchunion, No. 4 in German retail baby food sales, chose to use purple across its new economy range of pouchs, enabling easy visibility on store shelves.

Glass is expected to remain the future packaging material of choice for prepared baby food, but is projected to grow at just under 1% CAGR over 2010-2015. Total CAGR packaging growth for the category is projected at 4%.

The primary source of this article is Euromonitor International Ltd., London, England, on March 10, 2011.

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