What Retail Buyers Want: Baby & Infant  5/23/2017

As part of their preparation for ECRM’s 60+ EPPS meetings, retail buyers complete a form on the EPPS prep site, indicating the subcategories they are buying for, and on what areas they are focusing their buying efforts.

Based on this information, collected from almost 70 buyers and category managers attending our meetings, here are a few key areas of interest around the Baby & Infant categories:

Toys: Baby and infant toys, particularly STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) toys that educate kids as they play with them. This is a fast-growing area within the toy category, which we recently covered in detail in a previous post.

Nursery Items: New parents like to create a unique, entertaining and efficient room for babies and infants, with products to decorate, supply, and organize the space that has style and function, and buyers are looking for products that will help them do this, including cribs and crib accessories, mattresses, décor, bedding, and humidifiers and air purifiers. And with today’s connected world, wireless cameras and baby monitors to keep tabs on the kids when they are sleeping.

Clean-Up Care: No parent (or uncle, like me) can escape the fact that babies make messes – lots of them – and retailers want innovations in diapering and bath care, such as shampoos, wipes, and creams, and any other related items for keeping babies clean and fresh,

Pre- and Post-Natal Care: Products aimed at a woman’s health (and the health of the baby) during pregnancy and shortly afterward.

Natural & Organic: Food and snacks made from natural and organic ingredients, as well as “free-from” products like non-GMO or gluten-free.

Baby Wellness: This includes those products for keeping the baby healthy, both preventative care products like vitamins and supplements, products to monitor the baby’s health like thermometers, and OTC medicine in case they catch cold. Bundling products together like baby care kits make wellness easy for new parents.

Fashion: Whether clothes, accessories, or a simple sun hat or hair clip, in today’s social media age, parents want their kids to look stylish on their posts, and retailers want products to help their shoppers keep their kids looking cool.

Private Brands: Merchandise across all categories that can be sold under the retailer’s brand.

Of course, virtually every buyer attending is looking for the staples of baby care, such as bottles, diapers, bibs, pacifiers and the like, but within these categories they are looking for innovation and uniqueness, both in the product, but also in the packaging and how it can be effectively merchandised for impact at the shelf.


Joseph Tarnowski

VP Content

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