CBME China 2024

17-19 July 2024 | National Exhibition and Convention Center (NECC), Shanghai, China

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Where are the opportunities for durable maternal and baby feeding products?

Recently, Magic Mirror Insights released the “Research Report on Maternal and Baby Feeding Durable Goods”.

This study selected the following categories on the Taobao and Tmall platforms: baby and toddler products, maternal and baby kitchen small appliances, maternal and baby personal care small appliances, breast pumps/accessories. 

The study selected the category of “maternity and baby” on the JD platform. The core points are extracted as follows:

01. Overall Platform Status

JD Platform Maternity and Baby Sub-category Overview

The report shows that in 2023, the main secondary categories of maternity and baby products on the JD platform, with milk powder still being the largest category, reaching a total sales volume of 26.58 billion yuan, a year-on-year decrease of 4.1%.

Feeding products have grown by 5.3% year-on-year, among which the top three brands Pigeon, SX, and babycare all achieved growth of more than 10%, and the sales performance of baby bottles and nipples was also better than that of Taobao platforms. In addition, baby’s shoes also saw modest growth of 2.4%.

Tmall Taobao Platform Maternity and Baby Sub-category Overview

The report shows that in 2023, from the perspective of the trend of the baby and toddler products category on the Taobao and Tmall platforms, categories such as baby skincare, baby strollers/walkers, baby baths, cleaning liquids/laundry detergents/fabric softeners, car safety seats/safety harnesses, etc., have grown; water cups/tableware/grinding/complementary food utensils, baby bottles/baby bottle-related, nipples/nipple-related feeding utensils, all have declined. Looking at the maternal and baby appliances category, the kitchen small appliances have grown rapidly, with a year-on-year increase of 15.1% in 2023, while breast pumps and maternal and baby personal care small appliances have declined.

02. Feeding Durable Goods Category Status

Category One: Baby Bottles

The report shows that in 2023, the sale of baby bottles on the Taobao platform showed a declining trend, with a total market size of 1.48 billion yuan, a significant decrease compared to 2022. Discussions about baby bottle-related topics are on an upward trend in mainstream social media, and surged in November, with a year-on-year increase of 172.4%. On the brand side, the report shows that in 2023 on the Taobao platform, Pigeon, Hegen, and SX are the top three brands, with babycare ranking fifth, accounting for 1.4% of the market share. The market share of the top 10 brands, CR10, is 77.3%. In terms of usage scenarios and features, the report shows that going out for trips is a key scenario for the products, and anti-colic features are a hot topic of discussion.

Category Two: Nipples

The report shows that the sale of nipples on the Taobao platform in 2023 showed a decelerating trend, with an overall market size of 590 million yuan. Compared with 2022, there was a slight decline in sales volume. Discussion volume on mainstream social media is trending upwards, with a 60.0% year-on-year increase, with more discussions around topics such as healthy baby feeding and cute baby moments. On the brand side, the report shows that in 2023 on the Taobao platform, Pigeon, SX, and Hegen are the top three brands, with babycare ranking fifth, accounting for 1.6% of the market share, and the market share of the top 10 brands is 66.5%. Moreover, since Woibaby’s nipple products were launched on the Taobao platform in June 2022, they have been the fastest growing among all brands. Newcomer brand Cady King attracted consumers who value safety and soft materials with their soft and colorless pacifiers. 

In terms of usage scenarios and functions, users are focused on the help of nipples during weaning periods and the softness of product materials.

Category Three: Baby’s Water Cups

The report shows that during January to December 2023, the top three categories in terms of sales volume on the Taobao platform were baby’s water cups, baby’s tableware, and bibs/towels, with sales of 1.04 billion yuan, 830 million yuan, and 390 million yuan, respectively. Among them, baby’s water cups had the largest market share, accounting for 39.1%, but sales were slightly down compared to last year.

From social media platforms, the discussion heat of baby’s water cups has grown compared to the same period last year, within increase of 34.7%, with most maternal and baby influencers posting about the practicality and aesthetic appeal of water cups. However, interaction volume has decreased by 18.7% year-on-year. The report shows that in 2023 on the Taobao platform, the top three brands of baby’s water cups in terms of sales volume were babycare, Thermos, and SX. Among them, babycare topped the list with a sales volume of 170 million yuan, a year-on-year increase rate exceeding 45%, and a market share of 16.2%.

In terms of usage scenarios and effects, with an increased mention rate in outdoor scenarios, resistance to falling and lightweight portability has become a hot spot for consumer attention. Specifically, looking at the mainstream social media platforms, for baby’s water cups, the most mentioned scenarios by consumers are “going out,” “at home,” and “kindergarten,” accounting for 30.7%, 6.4%, and 4.0% respectively. Among them, the “going out” scenario has the highest proportion, with most consumers mentioning “going out for shopping” and “traveling on vacation,” both focusing on ease of cleaning and sealing.

Looking at consumer focus when it comes to baby’s water cup functions, “drop resistance,” “easy to carry,” and “scald protection” are highly regarded. More than 50% of the discussion volume is about “drop resistance.” Next is “easy to carry,” accounting for 10.4% of the discussion volume. With the pandemic restrictions lifted, the frequency of outings has increased, making lightweight and easily portable baby’s water cups one of the factors for parents to consider when buying.

Some brands have introduced intelligent temperature display features, which show the current water temperature on the water cup through an electronic screen, achieving a scald-proof effect. In 2023, the sales of smart digital water cups reached 5.617 million yuan, a year-on-year increase of 303.3%.

Category Four: Baby’s Tableware

In 2023, the overall market size of baby’s tableware on the Taobao platform reached 830 million yuan, with sales volume reaching 20.159 million pieces. Compared with last year, both sales revenue and volume have decreased. From social media platforms, there are 1.152 million discussions related to baby’s tableware, a year-on-year increase of 37.4%, indicating a rising discussion heat. The report shows that in 2023 on the Taobao platform, SX, babycare, and Lock & Lock are the top three brands of baby’s tableware. SX achieved sales of 65.52 million yuan in 2023, a year-on-year growth rate of 13.7%. Babycare reached sales of 51.193 million yuan, with a market share of 6.2%.

The report shows that in terms of consumption scenarios and functions, going out and being at home are the key focus points, with the discussion volume of portable and durable features accounting for a higher proportion.

03. Feeding Appliance Category Status

The report shows that in 2023, the sales volume of maternal and baby feeding appliances on Tmall and Taobao was 3.79 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 6.6%. Among them, breast pumps and accessories had the highest sales, reaching 1.11 billion yuan, but began to show a declining trend in 2023, a decrease of 9.9% compared to the same period last year; baby complementary food machines had an annual sales volume of 280 million yuan, a year-on-year increase of 101.3%.

Category One: Baby Complementary Food Machines

The report shows that in 2023, the Tmall Taobao baby complementary food machine market continued to grow, with sales reaching 280 million yuan, a year-on-year increase of 101.3%, and overall sales performance was significantly affected by big promotions.

From the social media performance perspective, there was a slight decline in volume compared to last year, and interaction volume dropped significantly; after two years of market cultivation, consumers have become more familiar with complementary food machines, and the novelty has gradually worn off leading to a gradual decline in volume and interaction.

However, the gradual growth in sales suggests market demand remains strong, although lack of innovation and poor crushing effects are core pain points that remain to be solved.

In terms of brand landscape, on the Taobao platform in 2023, Xiao Bei Bear took the lead with a 15.5% share. The product focuses on practicality and cost-effectiveness, suitable for daily cooking preparations and the making of supplementary foods; whereas the TOP2 brand, Lanbao, emphasizes multifunctional steaming and cooking in one, with a relatively higher price, and its use scenarios are more specialized.

In terms of usage scenarios and functions, home cooking is the primary usage scenario for consumers, with convenience being their main need.

Category Two: Breast Pumps

In 2023, the breast pump market on Tmall and Taobao experienced a decline, with total sales of 1.09 billion yuan, a year-on-year decrease of 9.9%. Big promotional events had a significant pull on the overall sales performance.

Regarding the brand landscape, the report shows that Medela holds a 21.7% market share. The TOP2 brand, Berick, achieved growth in both online sales and rental business, with sales of 130 million yuan, a year-on-year increase of 23.0%, and rental fees of 80 million yuan, a year-on-year increase of 158.0%.

Analyzing usage scenarios and functions, the report indicates that the main use cases for breast pumps are engorgement, blocked ducts, and insufficient milk supply, with ease of use and quietness being the main consumer demands.

Market Summary

1. Baby Bottles/Nipples
In outdoor activities, baby bottles that are convenient to carry, easy to clean, and can maintain a constant temperature meet consumer needs and are the direction for product upgrades. Consumer complaints about the products on the market include baby bottle designs that make it hard to read measurements, inappropriate nipple sizes, and product odors. Therefore, in product evolution, it may be considered to address these issues to alleviate consumer pain points better.

2. Baby’s Water Bottles/Utensils
With the easing of the pandemic and the continuous rise in outdoor activities, more parents choose to take their baby out to explore nature. The demand for portable baby’s water bottles and utensils has increased, with expectations for them to be lightweight and easy to dismantle and clean to accommodate long-distance travel.

For babies who are weaning, parents hope for a water bottle that can accompany their baby through this period, looking to increase the usage rate through the replacement of different nipples. Consumer complaints about baby’s water bottles and utensils often focus on strange smells or odors, suggesting that starting with material quality might address this pain point and improve consumer satisfaction.

3. Baby Food Makers
In terms of usage scenarios, it’s not limited to making baby supplements; it’s also commonly used for blending ingredients like garlic and chili. Convenience is a primary concern for consumers.

In terms of products, both high-end and low-end have room to improve when it comes to blending effectiveness, which is still a core pain point. In the scenario of making baby food, consumers have a significant demand for the warming function. Currently, there is growth potential for both high-end and low-end products on the market, and brands can plan their positioning strategically to differentiate themselves.

4. Breast Pumps
The breast pump market on Tmall and Taobao has declined. Breast pumps mainly serve the breastfeeding scenario, addressing issues like engorgement, blocked ducts, and insufficient milk supply. Ease of use and energy saving are the primary needs, and additionally, quietness is particularly important for night-time pumping. For working mothers who need to pump at work or while traveling, the compactness and portability of the product are especially crucial.