Baby Goods and Services Market in Japan: Key Research Findings 2020
Domestic Baby Goods and Services Market in 2019 Rose by 4.5% from Previous Year to Achieve 4,307.6 Billion Yen
Yano Research Institute (the President, Takashi Mizukoshi) has conducted a survey on the domestic baby goods and services market, and has found out the market trends, the trends of market players, and future perspectives.
The domestic baby goods and services market in 2019 rose by 4.5% from the previous year to achieve 4,307.6 billion yen. Most part of the market size was comprised of the service for babies such as nurseries. The steady increase of infant care facilities raised the entire market. On the other hand, the market size of baby goods excluding services was on the decline due to significant decrease in the number of births.
In the situation where expansion of domestic demand could not be expected due to decreasing number of births, stable inbound demand and favorable overseas sales via ecommerce led some baby goods to show upturn from the market scale down. However, enforcement of the ecommerce sales law in China slowed down the demand by the Chinese people, which caused the baby goods market in general being in a predicament again. In 2020, COVID-19 infections have diminished the market size of those products used outside or for going outside, while the stay-home demand has led some products to upturn.
Trend of High Value-Added Baby Food Expanding Demand
In recent years, ready-to-feed baby food users have been expanding, especially by parents demanding to alleviate burdens of house works and child raising, which has gradually diminished a traditional belief that food for babies and infants should be handmade, which somewhat reduced psychological resistance toward using of ready-to-feed formula (processed food), against the backdrop of increasing number of working mothers.
On the other hand, majority of mothers have still given homemade baby food because handmade has been conventionally thought as safe and secure, and there has been a strong notion that food for babies and infants should be safe and secured. In addition, many users of ready-to-feed formula demand better taste, healthier ingredients to bring about healthy growth, in addition of the food to be safer and more secured.
In order to respond to such user demand, various baby-food manufacturers have begun adopting vegetables and rice organically grown, or those grown without any chemosynthetic agrochemical nor chemical fertilizers used, while they have stopped using additives as well as chemical seasoning, in order to be able to taste the natural flavor and to appeal the safety. Such value-added baby foods have vigorously launched in the market.
Many of baby goods and services are likely to be on the decline in the long run, due to decreasing number of births and smaller number of children, which have accelerated by the COVID-19 infections in 2020. Those families with small children have substantially refrained from going outside even with their own families, or mothers with their mother friends, in order to prevent from the infection risks, which led the sales of those products used outside, such as baby carriages and car seats for children, to be sluggish. On the other hand, the sales of toys, daily necessities, and other categories used indoor have increased, as people stay longer hours at home.
While the entire market size of baby goods and services are on the decline because of decreasing number of births as well as the inbound tourists partly due to enforcement of the ecommerce sales law in China, the driving force of childcare service providers having earned the support from the government is likely to continue boosting the entire market.
Despite that nursing care facilities and day-care centers for infants increased as they received the governmental aids, there are some cases where not enough number of children gathered at such facilities even in Tokyo metropolitan areas, due to ever decreased children. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, some major childcare facilities have planned to reduce the number of new facilities from around 2020, by which to secure good quality in their services by acquiring talented workers, improving the working conditions, preparing quality educational systems, etc.
Therefore, the market expansion in quantitative terms is likely to diminish for the moment. However, as quality has become more important in childcare than before, there are some businesses developing B2B or B2B2C services for childcare facilities, though not many yet. These may generate many more of new products and services regarding childcare facilities hereafter, which are expected to boost the market furthermore.
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