A Look at the UK Market

Tech and the Baby Transport Market

as published by GfK in May/June 2024 Progressive Preschool

The first quarter of 2024 was positive for Total Baby Care with value up 5% versus Q1 2023, making it the highest value in a first quarter since the pandemic. Value growth is being driven by the average price which is up 7% for the same period. This is more than purely price inflation, it reflects people buying premium products. However, the volume sold in Q1 was down 2% following the continuing decline of demand as the birth rate continued to drop.


Strollers and Car Seats are the two biggest value categories in Total Baby Care and have a big influence on whether the market is in growth or decline. Both were  heavily impacted by the pandemic, with sales significantly dropping during the lockdown periods. Due to the high value nature of these products, they account for a considerable slice of the total market for Baby Care by value. In Q1 2019, these categories represented 72% of the total value of the Baby Care market. In 2021, this dropped to 58% as a result of the lockdowns. In Q1 2024, value was back at 70% but remains behind pre-Covid levels. For Q1 2024, the growth of these two categories combined, compared to 2023 was up 5%, which has boosted the market.


Strollers have the highest value share in the market, but one of the lowest volume shares. As of Q1 2024, Strollers represented 42% of value and 4% of volume for the total bay care market. Since the pandemic, value has been steadily improving to 2019 levels, but as of Q1 2024 it is still lagging. Volume sales have a slightly different trend – it was recovering but dropped in the latest quarter. With the average stroller now costing around £324, consumers might be looking for more affordable or second-hand options. Some major retailers now offer refurbished used strollers to appeal to consumers stretched financially during the cost-of-living crisis. It will be interesting to see if innovations in the market such as the GlüxKind Ella and Rose Smart AI Strollers will launch in the UK and whether the added technology is enough of a motivator to encourage consumers to trade up from other premium strollers. As a comparison, the early costs of the Rosa are about £1,900 making it one of the more expensive strollers on the market.


Car Seats have slightly less value share but a higher volume share. In the latest quarter, they make up 28% of value and 9% of volume. Similar to Strollers, this category has been in recovery since the pandemic. The difference is that volume and value are in growth versus Q1 2023 (volume +2% and value +2%). Second-hand car seats have much less market appeal, due to the importance of knowing the provenance to ensure safety. There have also been innovations in smart technology Car Seats, like the Babyark – not currently available in the UK. Again, it will be interesting to se whether the added technology will engage buyers, especially as this comes with a significant increase in average price. The ASP for a newborn Car Seat is around £182, however the Babyark could be closer to £800 – one of the most expensive around.


GfK expects 2024 to continue the trend of declining demand for products, but consumers willing to trade up to premium products when they can. With increased innovations incorporating integrated smart technology – although no models have been released in the UK – it will be fascinating to see if consumers will trade up to the extent required for this added technology, or whether the price range is just to high. If successful in transport, the application of smart technology in Baby Care has the potential to inject significant value into the total market.

We are grateful to GfK for this research.

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