Baby food is either a partial or a total substitute for breast milk for infants of under two years. It is a soft food, which can easily consumed by the babies and infants. The U.S. Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) defines infant formula as “a food which purports to be or is represented for special dietary use solely as a food for infants by reason of its simulation of human milk or its suitability as a complete or partial substitute for human.” Baby food and infant formula are specially designed by the manufactures to meet the nutritional requirements of the baby. Baby food and infant formula are generally fortified with required amount of proteins and iron, so that it properly helps in the body development and growth in the baby. Baby food and infant formula market is classified into various segment which includes baby meals, baby cereals, baby juice and baby cookie.
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There are mainly three forms of infant formula, which are powder, liquid concentrate, and ready-to-feed. Powder is the least expensive form of infant formulas and it is used by mixing with water before feeding to the infant. Liquid concentration is mixed with equal amount mixed with water before it is given to the infant. In case of ready-to-feed infant formula, no mixing up of any liquid is required and can directly used for feeding purpose. Growing urbanization, rising disposable income level of individual and increasing population base are some of the key reason, which drive the baby food and infant formula market in all across the globe. Decline in birth rate in developing countries acts as a major challenge for the growth in baby food and infant formula market.
Among various regions, Asia Pacific market is one of the prominent market for baby food and infant formula and this market is expected to witness fastest growth rates during forecasted period 2014- 2020. In Asia Pacific region, China and India holds the largest share in baby food and infant formula market. North America is one of the largest markets for baby food and infant formula. In North America region, the U.S accounts the largest market share in baby food and infant formula.
According to a report, around 1 million infants in the U.S. intake baby food and infant formula post birth and this rises to 2.7 million by the time, when baby reach to three months. The global baby food and infant formula market is expected to grow in a single digit growth rate during forecasted period 2014- 2020.
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Some of the major companies operating in global baby food and infant formula market are Abbott Laboratories, Danone SA, Bledina SA, H. J. Heinz Company, Hain Celestial Group, Ella’s Kitchen Group Ltd, Hero Group, Beech-Nut Nutrition Corporation, Semper AB, Mead Johnson Nutrition Company, Morinaga Milk Industry Co., Ltd., Nestlé S.A., Gerber Products Company, Nurture Inc., Parent’s Choice, Plum Organics, Synutra International Inc., Wakodo Co. Ltd., Ballamy Organics, Ella’s Kitchen, Friesland, HIPP, Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group Co. Ltd., Manna Foods, Meiji, Stonyfield Farm Inc. and Sprout Foods In.