Baby market matures as manufacturers take grown-up approach
Dragon baby boom
Any Year of the Dragon is always seen as a fortuitous period, with many young couples believing that a "Dragon baby" will be blessed with good luck and great fortune. It seems that 2012 was no exception with the last 12 Dragon months giving rise to a widely-anticipated baby boom. This, of course, also amounts to a boom for the manufacturers of strollers, babies' and children's products.
The latest statistics suggest that this new wave of Dragon babies will propel China into its fourth demographic birth boom since 2006 with some 20 million babies born last year, resulting in a 30 per cent year-on-year surge in the baby-related goods sector. Currently, the number of Mainland babies and children under the age of six is more than 100 million, with the boom expected to continue until 2015. The total retail sales of babies' and children's products now amount to hundreds of billions of yuan a year, with China now one of the world's largest markets for such items.
As living standards on the Mainland have continued to rise, this has led many parents to have higher safety and quality expectations for children's and babies' products. With many of the post 80's and 90's generations now having reached marriageable age and looking to start a family, they have become established as the dominant purchasing group for babies' and children's products in China. In line with their higher quality requirements, run-of-the-mill products are no longer deemed as acceptable. This shift in consumer preferences has inevitably led to manufacturers increasingly competing in terms of creativity and design.
These new requirements saw an extensive range of intrinsically safe and stylish prams, babies' and children's products on show at the Guangzhou event. Highlights included Nanjing Jin Hai Li Trading Ltd's presentation of a collapsible toilet for small children. It was designed to be both compact and fashionable, encouraging parents carry it with them while walking their child. This has the benefits of saving parents the bother of finding on-street to washrooms for children, while also proving both more convenient and more hygienic.