United States Infant Formula Market SIZE AND SHARE ANALYSIS - GROWTH TRENDS AND FORECASTS (undefined)

United States Infant Formula Market is Segmented By Formulation (Ready to Feed, Powder, Liquid Concentrate), By Distribution Channel (Online, Hypermarkets, Supermarkets, Specialty Stores, Others). The report offers the value (in USD Billion) for the above mentioned segments.

United States Infant Formula Market Trends

Market Driver – Rising Per Capita Income

Rising per capita income has been one of the key drivers of growth in the United States infant formula market. As average incomes grow, American families have more discretionary funds to spend on quality nutrition and care for their infants. Many parents see infant formula as offering balanced, complete nutrition to support baby's growth and development.

With higher incomes, families feel they can better afford premium and specialty formula brands. These formulas often make extra claims around digestion, brain health or immunity support. Some new parents view them as worthwhile investments in their child's early years. For example, a 2020 report by The Brookings Institution found real median household income grew 7.1% between 2017-2019 in the US, as the strong economy and job gains helped lift earning power.

As incomes rise across income brackets, overall demand grows as more households can participate in the infant formula category. This allows companies to achieve more scale and reinvest in innovation. Looking ahead, if economic expansion continues post-pandemic and unemployment remains low, disposable incomes are poised to grow further.

Market Driver – Working Women Population Growth

The increasing number of working women in the United States is a key driver behind the growth of the infant formula market. As more women are entering or remaining in the workforce after having children, the demand for easy to use and portable substitutes for breast milk is rising sharply.

According to data from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2021 around 57% of married mothers with children under the age of 3 were employed. This is a significant increase from 25 years ago in 1996 when the employment level was only 47%. Working women need convenient options to feed their babies when they are away from home for long hours at their jobs. This is where infant formula becomes indispensable as it allows new mothers to ensure their babies are adequately fed irrespective of their work schedules and locations.

The trend of more women joining or prolonging their careers is likely to continue in the coming years. International data also supports this trend.

Key Factors

Market Challenge – Stringent Regulations

The United States infant formula market faces significant challenges due to stringent regulations imposed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA regulates infant formula as a food and closely monitors infant formula products for safety, nutrition and compliance with the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Manufacturers must register facilities and products with the FDA and ensure formulas meet strict composition and quality standards. Significant resources must be devoted to research and development, clinical trials, and compliance programs which increase costs substantially. This deters many new entrepreneurs from entering the market and limits the ability of existing companies to swiftly innovate and launch new customized product lines tailored to different consumer preferences and needs.

The extensive pre-market approval process also slows time to market for new formulations. On average, it takes 1-2 years for the FDA to review a new infant formula submission before granting approval. By the time products reach shelves, market trends and consumer demands may have shifted. Lengthy reviews constrain the nimbleness required to adapt to changing consumer profiles and remain competitive.

Market Opportunity – Premium/Organic Product Segment

The premium/organic product segment in the United States infant formula market provides a unique opportunity for growth in the coming years. As parents seek out formulations made from the highest quality, most natural ingredients for their little ones, the demand for premium and organic options has been steadily increasing.

According to the USDA, sales of organic food products grew by over 14% year-over-year in 2021. Parents feel organic infant formulas provide considerable advantages over traditional formulas when it comes to avoidance of potentially harmful additives, chemicals or GMOs. Some of the popular organic infant formulas contain probiotics and prebiotics for gut and immune health as well as DHA and ARA for brain and eye development.

This concern for "clean labels" among consumers looking to prioritize babes' nutrition aligns well with premium and organic formulas. The commitment to sourcing the highest quality, pesticide-free and Non-GMO Project Verified ingredients also resonates with parents. Premium organic options are perceived as natural, pure and "fresh" compared to conventional formulas. This perception of enhanced purity, premium-ness and benefits for baby's development is expected to attract many new parents and drive future growth.