Leading global information company The NPD Group has revealed that UK consumers spend more than £365 on toys in a baby’s first two years alone.
The UK is the fourth largest toy market in the world, with consumers spending the most (per person) across the whole of Europe. British consumers spent £3.3 billion on toys in 2018, buying 371 million items.
In the UK, an average of £159 is spent on toys in the baby’s first year, including playmats, gyms, teethers and soft toys. As the child grows, toys and play become more important developmentally and so the average spend rises in the second year, reaching £208, so by baby’s second birthday the total average amount spent on toys is £367.
Many young families feel the financial impact of the new arrival and are price-sensitive when choosing toys. Those buying more than half of newborn toys were primarily influenced by a promotion or discount, with an average price per toy of just £11.15.
In the first year, parents account for 39% of the overall spend on toys for baby, with grandparents spending 30%. Parents buy more than one-third (36%) of their baby toys online, while grandparents prefer to shop in store.
“Toys and play are synonymous with key milestones in early learning, from lying down and discovering the world to sitting stages, crawling, walking and talking so there’s a significant focus on development and learning in the top 10 best-selling baby and toddler toys,” said Frederique Tutt, global industry analyst, toys, NPD.