Recent years have witnessed a spurt in the market for baby care products in India. The rising number of babies contributes to the higher demand for baby products; however, this is strongly supported by surging income levels resulting from robust growth. In addition to these factors, rising literacy, working mothers, and aggressive marketing have also contributed to a shift in consumer behaviour that allows mothers to use baby care products rather than the traditional indigenous alternatives. Retailers and manufacturers are constantly involved in product innovation and development have allowed widening the market, using new technologies and advanced marketing approaches. As per industry estimates, 15 baby care products sold online every minute in India. Despite various challenges, there is a huge scope in India’s baby care market. Consumers are deeply invested in these categories and they are highly discriminating about the products they buy for their children.
Indian women have always turned to their families, friends and paediatricians for advice on how to care for their babies. However, this is changing as joint families are giving way to more nuclear families. Census data shows that households with five or more members grew by 12% from 2001 to 2011, whereas households with three or four members grew by 53%, indicating a shift towards living in smaller families. Indeed, parents are looking for ways to make their lives easier as they cope with household chores, work and also taking care of their children.
Aside from family and friends, there are now other channels available for parents to look for information and advice. A few start-ups, such as Babychakra, Tiny steps and Parentune, have launched online portals that provide information on topics spanning across conception, pregnancy, birth and early childhood for parents-to-be and existing parents. These platforms also help parents discover services like doctors, playschools, event organisers, daycares and breast milk donors, to name a few.
Because of the recent growth in information flow, the millennial mothers are much better informed about what is available in the market, and what products are the best match for their babies. For many years, the better-informed mothers were at the mercy of their relatives coming from abroad. However, there has been an influx of international brands coming to India in the recent years. Starting from Mothercare to Chicco, Skip Hop, Seba Med and many others have been made available to the Indian mothers. The Indian mother does not have to wait for the distant cousin to come from London and bring her goodies for her child, she can just walk in to her nearest mall, and buy the products she needs from Mothercare or Hamley’s or Babies R Us, or the number of standalone stores that have come up in all major cities.