As one of the world’s largest market research companies, GfK offers valuable insight into the way people live, think and shop. Client insight manager Marco Salerno takes a look at how Covid-19 has affected the baby care market so far.
“All consumer categories have been affected in one or another way by the Covid-19 pandemic this year, and baby care is no exception. The year-to-date value performance has declined by a further 5% compared to last year, taking it to -26% year-on-year (and -18% in volume).
Not surprisingly, the most affected categories have been strollers, (down 27% on last year) and car seats (down by 19% in the same period). Following the steepest category declines during the strictest lockdown period in April, these mobility categories saw their value losses ease as people were allowed to spend more time outside during the summer months.
Car seats that can be adapted as the child grows have driven an improvement in the overall category, which was sitting at -17% in August. Unfortunately this has not been enough to offset the ongoing deep declines among more premium infant car seat products. The appeal of second-hand models, for older children in particular, is likely to have increased with the greater financial pressures faced by many since April.
Across the total baby care market, online sales are up by 28% in the last three months, a big hike from the 2% value increase in the last 12 months. The level of volume sold online has grown at a much faster rate than value, as a result of lower-priced and previously in-store focused categories such as soothers and teethers generally outperforming.
The underlying trend of sales shifting from in-store towards online continues in comparison to the equivalent month in 2019, albeit with the online value share falling from a peak of 83% in April to 61% in August. With local lockdowns underway and likely to be extended in the future, the way consumers shop for baby products is not expected to return to the pre-lockdown ‘normal’ any time soon.”