Sales of children's personal care products grew by a staggering 65 per cent between 1999 and 2005 to reach $300.3 million, while Research and Markets predicts that a 6.7 per cent increase in the birth rate up to 2010 is likely to fuel still further strong growth.
However, the market research company's latest report does also point out that there may be a slight correction in the market between 2005 and 2008, due to the impact of the birthrate nadir experienced in the US during 2002. This is expected to be only a temporary blip, as the wider pictures points to sustained child population growth.
Besides the increase in the overall birthrate during the review period, several other factors are likely to fuel growth, the report highlights.
The first is that the larger proportion of women over 30 who are now giving birth. Higher disposable incomes, means that women in this age gap are likely to spend more on specific products dedicated to children's personal care, which should lead to an increase in the dollar spend per consumer.
Manufacturers are continuing to appeal both to children, with licensing agreements to use favorite cartoon characters on personal care packaging, as well as appealing to the parents that are actually paying for the product by emphasizing the use of natural ingredients.
The report highlights how parents are also prepared to spend more on personal care products for their children. This is explained by the belief that the products are only going to be used for a short time - typically until the children are in their tweens.
Likewise innovative use of specialty ingredients, such as bath foam and finger paints, has also done much to capture the imagination of the young consumer.
This kind of product innovation is expected to fuel a series of future product launches that will do a good job of capturing children's imagination while boosting their pester power.
Linked in with the growing number of more affluent 30+ mothers, will be further increase in the market for luxury children's personal care products. Brands such as Jurlique, Burberry and Bulgari will also be further raising their product portfolios for children in the future, although it will remain a small niche market.
Looking at how to target children's personal care products, the report highlights the need to redefine the needs of the 4 - 7 age group. This needs to carefully consider how to recapture sales lost to both carryover toddler products and to 'hand-me-down' tween products, in an effort to define market opportunities that currently exist.
Further importance to this age group in the future can are given by demographic predictions for the next few years, which predict that this will be big population growth in this age group.