Trend Report: Current Trends for Baby and Children’s Products
New Priorities and Consumer Behavior
Companies continue to have a tough time with massive price increases – for both consumers and companies –, inflation and supply shortages. Although restrained consumer behavior seems to be slowly recovering after the start of the Ukraine-Russia war, rising prices are still holding back consumer spending. Additionally, growing concern about climate change is also leading young parents in particular to consume more sustainably and thus more modestly. All this makes it even more challenging to offer the target group real added value and convince them to buy trendy products.
Sustainability is a Big Plus
The appreciation of sustainability has developed into a differentiation criterion that significantly influences purchase decisions. For example, companies are increasingly focusing on longer use, second-hand offers and the responsible use of resources. In the baby and children's equipment industry, this has developed far beyond recyclable packaging: UPPAbaby uses soy-based inks for all printing materials and cartons and is currently also working on a recycled aluminum program for stroller frames. Brands in the toy industry, such as MODU, offer a sustainable solution for less consumption. The Dreamer Set life-sized building toy is based on several components made in Europe from 100% recyclable materials, which makes it easier to disassemble, recycle and repair, and extends the life of the product. Users can build a broad variety of functional and engaging toys. Träumeland also produces in Austria for ecological reasons and benefits from short supply chains.
Sustainable or recycled materials also remain high on the agenda across all divisions: whether it is cotton onesies in organic quality, MAM's pacifiers made from bio-renewable material, or the latest innovation from Norwegian brand reTyre, which replaces rubber tires with specially manufactured bio-based pneumatic tires for strollers.
The new double stroller NUVO from Redsbaby is fully on trend with its multifunctionality. (Image: (c) Redsbaby 2023)
Parents Love Multifunctional and Growing Along Products
Products that grow alongside the child and adapt to the needs of children and parents are becoming increasingly more popular. There are not only sustainable reasons for this trend; after all, products that offer several functions at the same time naturally save time and money. Child car seats that are able to grow with the child and combo strollers that cover several age groups have long been an integral part of the baby and children's equipment industry and are constantly being developed further. This year, Australian manufacturer Redsbaby is introducing their NUVO Pram, the first double stroller to fold with seats attached when parent and world-facing in both single and double mode. Nuna's new infant carrier also follows the multifunctionality trend: it can be used both on the stroller and in the car, making an extra infant carrier for one or the other unnecessary.
Omnichannel Experience and AI: New Ways of Interaction
The combination of online and offline channels and the use of AI-powered solutions are revolutionizing the sales market. A seamless omnichannel experience enables consumers to discover and purchase products on different platforms. Artificial intelligence is being applied to product development and marketing by generating creative suggestions and personalizing interactions with consumers.
Augmented Reality and Smart Features: Virtual Reality for Parents
The integration of augmented reality into web stores is trending and opens the possibility for parents to virtually visualize products such as strollers and child car seats. "This technology enables a realistic representation of decision-relevant details that cannot be conveyed by photos alone," explains Stefan Eipeltauer, founder and CEO of FOKUS KIND Medien & ARkid. "Products in digital stores thus gain presence in physical space, and the real sales area can be expanded with the help of digital product variants." Augmented reality will thus probably play an increasingly important role in sales in the future.
Smart features are also becoming more important in order to increase safety and comfort. High-tech baby monitors have been established for some time, but now smart functions are also making their way into other product segments: With the smarla cradle from swing2sleep, parents can even control their cradles very simply via app and benefit from features such as an activity sensor, sleep analysis and push messages on all measured values directly to their smartphone. An innovative age for the baby and children's equipment industry!