Everything parents might need at city expo

Ding Yining
Products for children, babies and new mothers feature in their thousands at industry event held at the city's National Exhibition and Convention Center. 
Ding Yining
Everything parents might need at city expo
Dong Jun / SHINE

A three-day expo at the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai) has 4,700 brands from home and abroad showcasing a wide range of products. 

China's manufacturers of products for children and babies are expected to enjoy favorable trends although challenges remain, industry watchers told a forum at the 19th Shanghai International Children Baby and Maternity Products Industry Expo. 

As many as 74 percent of companies reported sales growth but competition is escalating, according to the latest figures from expo organizer Informa Markets. 

Over 90,000 trade buyers and 3,300 suppliers are expected to attend the three-day expo at the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai) and 4,700 brands from home and abroad would showcase a wide range of products including baby carriages, car seats, furniture, food, nutrition and snacks. 

A total of 62 percent of respondents expect to launch new products to meet consumer demand, according to an Informa survey of 3,500 brands, distributors and retailers.  

Infant and maternity specialty stores are still the most important offline channel and 83 percent of respondents intend to increase their investment by either opening more stores or upgrading existing ones. 

Maternity and infant products sales among city shoppers in China advanced 14.2 percent in the 12 months to the end of June, far above the overall consumer market growth of 5.4 percent, mainly driven by price increases as new products with updated features attract more shoppers, according to Kantar Worldpanel. 

Brands will seek to extend their product life cycle to serve infants and young mothers, according to Kantar Worldpanel China general manager Jason Yu. 

Parents are paying less attention to smaller online channels but more attention to social platforms where they can exchange ideas and learn from their peers, and brands also need to ponder how to offer products and services in the most cost-efficient way for consumers. 

“Meanwhile, infant hygiene products such as wet wipes and nutritional supplements still have a huge growth potential due to their relatively low penetration rate compared with infant formula and diapers,” Yu said. 

For example, only a quarter of Chinese urban households have purchased children's dietary supplements. 

At the same time, manufacturers are seeing new package designs, with product appearance an inevitable trend to win customers. 

Gu Xiaoyuan, Informa Markets China general manager, said retailers are strengthening shopper experience, building up both online and offline capabilities and at the same time seeking to expand into new territories or to include new product categories to ensure business growth. 

Special Reports