Infant safety has never been a more relevant topic than it is today. Whether you’re a new, expectant, or seasoned parent, the COVID-19 pandemic has made us all reevaluate the importance of keeping our children safe. Wellness for the family is a top priority for many parents, and this trend extends beyond what we normally think of as infant safety. The anxiety of being a new parent is at an all-time high right now, which greatly impacts the products and services parents choose to purchase. In honor of Baby Safety Month, I wanted to provide insight into the ways safety products have evolved and rebounded at retail over the past few years.
One of the major subcategories at the center of baby safety month is car seats. Many retailers and brands are celebrating Baby Safety Month through promotions on car seats or car seat swap programs. Car seats have had a rollercoaster performance over the past 18 months, which started with declines through 2020 as parents stayed home with their infants and weren’t traveling as much via cars or planes. The halt of travel and leisure impacted demand for car seats almost immediately. However, the business has rebounded throughout 2021 and is up almost +24% year-to-date through August 2021.* Parents who may have delayed or put off car seat purchases or upgrades are once again finding themselves venturing outside of the home and the need for a secure and safe car seat is paramount. All-in-one car seats continue to drive the bulk of new demand, with booster seats picking up in 2021 following a slump last year.
Other safety products that have seen growth recently are those directly related to wellness and safety. From January to August 2020, sales of thermometers in juvenile grew by over $100 million compared to 2019. Demand for thermometers has dropped in 2021 as most parents who purchased in 2020 are not yet looking to upgrade or replace their devices. Sales of baby gates also climbed this year, which could be due to the increase in new home purchases by consumers as they looked for more space while working from home. Finally, we’ve also seen a consumer focus on monitoring, as smart baby monitors have grown 21% this year.**
Health and safety are common concerns among parents of babies and toddlers in general, but it feels even more relevant this year. Innovations in juvenile car seats, safety accessories, and health and grooming from brands and retailers can drive incremental growth and spur new demand as parents look for more solutions to ease their minds. Continue to keep your eye on safety products within juvenile, as consumers continue to look for solutions to keep their children safe during these uncertain times.
*The NPD Group/Retail Tracking Service, U.S., YTD August 2021
**The NPD Group/Retail Tracking Service, U.S., YTD August 2021