The Hustle

The pandemic has slowed the birthrate — and baby product companies are hurting

baby bottles


November 17, 2020

Birthrates in the US and China have been falling for years. But COVID-19 has decelerated baby-making even more.

Citing research from the Brookings Institution, the Wall Street Journal reports there will be 300-500k fewer US births in 2021 than if the pandemic never happened.

Throw in China’s projected 8% birthrate drop this year, and things are looking a little poopy-in-the-diaper for one sector in particular:

Baby product makers are pivoting

The US and China account for more than half of the world’s baby formula consumption. To compensate for the coming baby bust, top baby-focused companies are launching pricier products and expanding to other markets:

Holding out for the baby boom

In the US, the birthrate is tied to the labor market, and has been on a slow decline since the 2007-09 financial crisis.

Some companies are looking for relief abroad: The baby goods producer Kimberly-Clark spent $1.2B to acquire a diaper maker in Indonesia, where people are still getting busy like old times.

But for most folks in the baby biz, a vaccine can’t come fast enough.

Join 1.5m+ professionals getting The Hustle daily news brief

Business and tech news in 5 minutes or less

100% free, no ads or spam, unsubscribe anytime

Exit mobile version