The pediatric consumer health landscape is changing as the “traditional” household and gender roles move away from stereotypical expectations, decisions about childcare are more commonly shared by both parents. Millennial parents value teamwork and democratic decision-making. Time with family and happiness as a family unit are valued and balanced whenever possible with professional responsibilities.
Busy and stressful lifestyles continue to have a significant impact on consumer behavior and choice. Parents look to maintain and improve their family’s health without sacrificing their other responsibilities, continuing to support a balance between family and job commitments. Vitamins and dietary supplements push innovation in this space, with supplements for sleep, cognitive development, and immune response expected to be at the forefront for 2019.
Parents have long been aware of the benefits of natural ingredients such as aloe and colloidal oatmeal in pediatric personal care products like soaps and lotions. In recent years, that preference has begun to shift into consumer health products as well, driven by parent demand for natural, responsibly-sourced ingredients across the spectrum of their children’s personal care needs from diaper creams and body lotions to cough remedies and digestive discomfort.
Global heavyweights in pediatric consumer health such as Johnson & Johnson are working hard to revamp and redesign their pediatric portfolios to cater to a more selective consumer base. These global players are also making organizational and structural changes to respond more quickly to changes in the market. Natural ingredients are such a key motivator for consumers that companies may look to acquisitions to remain competitive, as Johnson & Johnson did when they acquired natural brand Zarbee’s in 2018.
Several emerging pediatric brands have really taken this idea to heart and constructed their entire business model on building trust among their consumer base. Home care and skincare brand Puracy, in particular, stands out for its commitment to transparency. Puracy tests its formulations with consumers and has repeatedly reformulated its ingredient composition when parents reported side effects such as watery eyes or skin irritation. The company is also committed to responsibly sourcing its ingredients and providing customers with the exact chemical makeup of each ingredient, thoroughly disclosing why an ingredient is included and where it came from.
Finally, while it is crucial to keep the changing preferences of millennials in mind, if companies are really going to be proactive about succeeding in the field of pediatric consumer health, they must also consider the purchasing traits of generation Z or consumers born between 1995 and 2009.
Generation Z consumers may be young, but they will represent the largest consumer base by 2030, according to Euromonitor International. Their purchasing preferences have already been shown to be different from millennials in a few key ways: they are digitally native, individualistic, pragmatic, open-minded and socially responsible, and we can assume that they will carry these traits forward as they become parents themselves.