U.S. Baby Food Market - Statistics & Facts

The global baby food market is a very competitive industry and retail sales in this segment are projected to grow from 53.31 billion U.S. dollars in 2015 to about 76 billion U.S. dollars by 2021, making it one of the fastest growing food and beverage categories. As the world’s most populous country, it should come as no surprise that China was the biggest market for baby food as of 2016, with over 12 billion dollars in sales revenue, with the United States coming in second place with about seven billion dollars in sales.

As the U.S. economy has mostly recovered from the 2009 economic recession, Americans are more willing to have babies again. This trend may be reflected in increasing U.S. dollar sales of baby food which amounted to about 21 billion U.S. dollars in 2015. The baby food category consists of baby formula and baby snack products, among other products. In the United States, the top selling baby food and snack brand is Gerber Second Foods, with nearly 200 million unit sales in 2017. Key market players in the baby formula (ready-to-drink) segment were Abbott Nutrition and Mead Johnson Nutrition in the United States in 2016.

Baby and toddler food advertising is a multimillion dollar industry in the United States. In 2015, baby food companies spent just under 80 million dollars on advertising, with the largest share dedicated to television commercials. The brand Pediasure, which specializes in nutritional drinks and protein shakes for children, spent over 20 million dollars on advertising in 2015, making it the leading baby food and drink brand in terms of advertising spending.

On the consumer side, a recent survey revealed that approximately 59 million Americans used baby food, cereals or juices in 2017. When it comes to brand usage in that year, the most popular baby food brand among U.S. households was Gerber Cereal, followed by Gerber Juice. Although sales of milk formula are expected to grow substantially in popularity in developing countries, only about 16 percent of U.S. parents of infants and toddlers used infant formula milk in 2016.

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