nutrition maternelle
Health and Nutrition Trends

The nutritional market for pregnant and breastfeeding women: what opportunities are there for dairy ingredients?

Nutrition for pregnant and breastfeeding women is a known market, albeit under-explored and expanding. The number of product launches is increasing consistently each year. This trend can be found everywhere around the globe and Asia is the region where demand is highest.

In addition to the already expanding traditional nutrition markets, maternal nutrition appears to be a market ripe with opportunity, in which dairy ingredients definitely have a place. Read on to learn about the trends currently shaping this market and how you can become a part of it.

 

An increase in demand

 

The maternal nutrition market is booming and the number of launches has increased by more than 40 % since 2013[1].

While demand is high across all regions of the globe, Asia is where the momentum is highest, being accountable for 40 % of product launches[2].

A number of factors contribute to this trend. Firstly, the notion of “1 000 days” – from conception to a child’s 2nd birthday – is increasingly recognized. This is a crucial period in the development of the baby, where good nourishment is especially important. Parents want the best for their baby and that means starting early, with optimal nutrition for the pregnant mother.

Moreover, higher incomes in the emerging economies of Asia (China and South East Asia in particular) and the reduction in the number of children per family are factors that motivate households to spend more on the care and nourishment of the children they have as well as their mothers.

Finally, governments are conscious of the wisdom of prevention and give support to programs that encourage better nutrition during that precious period of the 1 000 first days.

Parents want the best for their baby and that means starting early, with optimal nutrition for the pregnant mother.

A market where innovation is expected

 

In parallel with growth in demand, expectations are diversifying and the offer is broadening.
There is greater potential for innovation now than at any other time, and for the provision of new nutritional solutions that are more clearly suited to mothers during and after pregnancy.

Given the limited range of maternal health products currently on the market, these consumers are on the lookout for more innovation. Previously, pregnant and breastfeeding women only had a limited range of dairy products or powdered milk available to them. Now, special infusions, cereal bars and drinks have been developed specifically for this target.

On-the-go formats are increasingly on offer and particular attention is given to natural products. This means plant-based drinks or juices enriched with functional ingredients, for instance. Flavor is also a major focus, resulting in products such as protein and mineral enriched biscuits or protein enriched chocolate drinks.

Finally, in conjunction with this growing trend, mothers are in search of ways to improve their own physical and mental health. Mental health is of course a significant factor in the overall health of mothers during what is a time of major upheaval.  Thought might usefully be given to products that encourage lactation or that help mothers deal with the post-natal phase.

There is greater potential for innovation now than at any other time, and for the provision of new nutritional solutions that are more clearly suited to mothers during and after pregnancy.

maternal nutrition

 

An opportunity to conquer new targets sooner rather than later

 

Currently, growth forecasts for the infant formula market predict a slight slowing down (around 1% annual growth up until 2024[3]). Expanding the client base by targeting parents differently would therefore seem a wise move. What is more, maternal breastfeeding is increasingly being encouraged, and rightly so. Beyond the impact of this on the demand for infant nutrition products, nutrition for mothers is likely to take on a whole new significance, during both pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Infant nutrition manufacturers, who are subject to directives that increasingly restrict the promotion of products and brands, will find that this market targeting mothers is, at least for the time-being, less severely regulated and that communication aimed at improved nutrition is still possible. Reaching out to pregnant and breastfeeding women is also a great opportunity to enhance brand awareness and loyalty.

 Reaching out to pregnant and breastfeeding women is also a great opportunity to enhance brand awareness and loyalty.

The Lactalis Ingredients offer

 

Lactalis Ingredients, as a producer of whey protein, could be a useful partner as you develop products that are both appetizing and nutritionally appropriate for mothers during pregnancy and breastfeeding. We provide Prolacta®, a natural protein obtained directly from milk via a gentle process that safeguards the nutritional qualities. Rich in essential amino acids, Prolacta® is in fact richer in tryptophan than a classic serum protein.

Tryptophan is the precursor of serotonin and melatonin [9], which are neurotransmitters that have a sedative effect on the brain and thus produce a feeling of wellbeing.

Containing up to 40% more tryptophan than a classic serum protein, Prolacta® is an excellent protein source that can be incorporated into nutritional formulas.

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The maternal nutrition market would seem to be a promising one, with many possibilities for innovation, whether in terms of format, flavor, or even specific health benefits. For infant nutrition manufacturers, it offers huge potential in terms of developing brand awareness as well as recruiting future consumers.

 

Sources:

[1] Mintel GNPD – number of new product launches for products intended for pregnant and breastfeeding women – 2013-2019
[2] Mintel GNPD – number of new product launches for products intended for pregnant and breastfeeding women – 2017-2019
[3] Global datas – IF formula – CAGR 2019-2024

 

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Author : Charlotte Magnant

Charlotte Magnant is a Product Manager working in the Marketing Department of Lactalis Ingredients. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Physiology completed with a Master’s degree in health products marketing. Specialized in infant and clinical nutrition, she manages the protein range development and has previously worked in other pharmaceutical companies.