Probiotics in baby food is gaining traction as part of the broader health & wellness megatrend in the food & beverage category. Typically, probiotic products have been seen as a feature of infant supplements, but now they are making inroads in baby food too. 
 

People are talking about probiotics

Consumer interest in probiotics is overtaking other baby food features, making it the most important baby food offering. Probiotics offer companies an opportunity for differentiation since consumer discussion is still slightly ahead of product saturation.

 

Top features mentioned by consumers in infant supplements (US Data Oct. 2016–Feb. 2019)

 

Signals Playbook™ Insights

 

Baby food ecosystem comparing products in market vs. consumer discussions highlighting probiotics (US Data Oct. 2016–Feb. 2019)

 

Signals Playbook™ Insights

 
 

Cereals and snacks rule the day

A closer look at the baby food space shows that the snacks and cereals segments have the highest percentage of probiotics products, followed by yogurts and fruit purees/mashups.

 

Baby food products by sub-segment containing probiotics (US Data Oct. 2016–Feb. 2019)

 

Signals Playbook™ Insights

 
 

Within this segment, Happy Family’s Happy Baby and NurturMe lead the pack in terms of product reach. Their offerings align with the most popular probiotic products, ranging from yogurts and snacks to cereal.

 
 
 
 

Happy Family is the leading brand for probiotic baby foods. It does more to push probiotics than any other brand, and consumer discussion shows that probiotics are seen as a strong component of their brand identity.

 

Leading brands offering baby food including probiotics (US Data Oct. 2016–Feb. 2019)

 

Signals Playbook™ Insights

 
 

Happy Family brand feature perception amongst consumers (US Data Oct. 2016–Feb. 2019)

 

Signals Playbook™ Insights

 
 

The demand for probiotic baby foods accompanies a general rise in consumer need for products that help reduce infant gas and colic. This is a known benefit of probiotics, which has been growing at a rate of 19.3% over the last two years in consumer discussion, and has probably been helping to fuel their growing popularity.

 

Consumer discussions around gas and colic in baby food (US Data Oct. 2016–Feb. 2019)

 

Signals Playbook™ Insights

 
 

Prebiotics are next

 
Infant Image 6.JPG

Prebiotics have been gaining traction among consumers in the last two years, though it trails behind probiotics in consumer discussion. Prebiotics are foods that are high in fiber, like oats, bananas, and asparagus. They complement probiotics and help stimulate their growth, working together to improve gut and digestive activity.

In the general foods and beverages market, consumers show that they appreciate the benefits of overlapping prebiotics with probiotics, but this feature hasn’t yet taken off for baby foods. Barely any baby food products claim to include prebiotics.

Given its strength in probiotic baby food products, it’s not surprising that Happy Family is one of the few major baby food brands to discuss prebiotics on their website, although they target infant formula rather than baby food.

In contrast to probiotic products, the most prevalent prebiotic baby food solution is found in juices and beverages, rather than cereals and snacks. The Vanilla Shake by Abbott is one prebiotic baby drink.

 
 

Healthy growth for baby food brands

 

Both probiotic and prebiotic baby food products present ongoing opportunities for baby food brands to differentiate themselves. The prebiotic baby foods market offers a ripe opportunity for a brand to be the first-to-market in this space.

Probiotic baby foods still have room to grow, especially outside of the primary segments of snacks and cereals. We expect probiotic and prebiotic baby food products to grow and thrive.

 
 
Signals Analytics – Taxonomy

Signals Analytics – Taxonomy

 
 
Courtney Olsen Photo.jpg

Written by Courtney Olsen

CPG/F&B Business Consultant at Signals Analytics

Courtney has an extensive background in market analysis and advertising. At Signals Analytics, she works across various industries, including Infant Nutrition, Skin Care and Cosmetics.

 
 

Before You Go

We’d like to get your feedback. Just one question:

How insightful did you find this article?

 

Signals Analytics and its next-gen, on-demand data platform takes trillions of unstructured and unconnected external data points and turns it into actionable insights for product Innovation, Marketing and Strategy. The platform’s analytic engines connect disparate data with deep context to help brands better align with evolving trends. Signals Analytics’ clients include Procter & Gamble, e.l.f., Nestle, Johnson & Johnson, Bayer, Roche, Mars, and others. Backed by Sequoia Capital, Qumra Capital, Pitango Growth and TPY Capital, Signals Analytics is redefining market research for the world's leading brands.