Baby Condiments Show Prominent Growth Potential in China Market
BY Shine HuOct 29, 2020
Baby condiment has become the fastest-growing segment of baby food. About 90% of the baby condiment sales in China came from imported products, most of which were Japanese brands.

Baby condiments include savory rice companions, baby cooking oil, baby soy sauce, baby ketchup, baby sesame sauce, and other products. Many Chinese parents are unsure when babies could take condiments and whether it is even necessary to buy condiments for babies. Limited consumer recognition is one of the reasons for the small market size of baby condiments. However, the baby seasoning market continues to expand in recent years with modern parents' rising demands for premium parenting.

Baby condiments has become the fastest growing sub-category in baby food

According to online data done by Maternal and Child Research Institute in 2018 [1], the baby condiments' online market size was only 10.755 million, but its growth rate was remarkable, a year-on-year increase of 177.7%. In 2019Q2, the baby condiment's online market size reached nearly 20 million RMB, and it was still the fastest-growing segment of baby food, with a growth rate of 83.9%.

Baby aged 6-12 months and children aged 6-9 years are the leading demand groups for the baby condiments [2]. Chinese parents are becoming increasingly aware of the need to use baby or children condiments separately from adult condiments.

Top performing players are from overseas

According to CBNData [2], about 90% of the baby condiment sales came from imported products, most of which were Japanese brands. French brands deliver outstanding performance in the cooking oil category.

2018 Top5 selling baby condiment brands on Tmall2019Q2 Top5 selling baby condiment brands on Tmall
No.SeasoningsCooking oil
1三井宝宝 (Japan)LaTourangelle (France)三井宝宝 (Japan)
2角屋 (Japan)Grove (New Zealand)Ai Ying Tao爱婴淘 (China)
3妙谷 MOGU (Japan)Roland (France)妙谷MOGU (Japan)
4BRAGG (U.S.)Ajinomoto味之素 (Japan)角屋 (Japan)
5田中 (Japan)Tirsga天然世家 (China)Grove (New Zealand)

The baby condiment market has not yet seen a dominant player, with its relatively low market concentration. The No.1 brand 三井宝宝 from Japan only occupies a 10% market share [3]. The current competition landscape underlies opportunities for new entrants.

TOP3 promising baby condiment segments

According to the 2020 CBME Report on New Trends of Future Consumption in the Maternal and Child Industry [4], savory rice companions, baby cooking oil, and baby soy sauce are the TOP3 promising baby condiments segments.


Popular savory rice companions include black sesame powder, sea moss floss, mini shrimps, pork liver powder, sea moss powder, and other products. They match with porridge, rice, rice balls, and noodles and increase the baby's appetite.

Baby's cooking oil has experienced a prominent upward growth trajectory this year. According to data from MKTINDEX, amongst baby food brands with sales of more than 10 million yuan from May to July 2020 on Tmall, Grandpa's Farm (France), BioJunior (Italy), and Aut-Mamam (China) are baby condiment brands with cooking oil as their core offerings.

No.BrandsYOYSales from May to July (million yuan)
1Junlebao Banner1203%24.23
2Earth's Best1161%12.70
3Grandpa's Farm1059%20.30
4Yili Jinlingguan1013%44.00
7Friso Prestige470%74.81
Happy Baby363%30.22

The No.3 brand Grandpa's Farm's portfolios include walnut oil, avocado oil, and linseed oil, among which walnut oil has the highest monthly sales of more than 10,000 pieces. The brand's sales on Taobao and Tmall from May to July reached RMB 20.30 million, a year-on-year increase of 1059%.


The No.6 brand BioJunior comes from Italy, and its top-selling product is also baby walnut oil, with monthly sales exceeding 10,000 pieces.

In addition to Grandpa's farm and BioJunior, the sales of French Roland walnut oil and New Zealand Grove avocado oil are also very impressive.

Lack of national standard for baby condiments

At present, China has not yet promulgated national standard for baby condiments. For example, in the soy sauce sector, there is only a brewed soy sauce standard GB 18186-2000, but no relevant standard for baby soy sauce.

According to the draft version of "Food Labeling Supervision Administrative Measures," food labels cannot indicate that a product is designed for a specific group unless the product has a particular regulation or national standard, and the group is specified within that standard, e.g. infant formula milk powder (GB 10765/67).

Many baby condiments have little or no difference in ingredients from adult foods, but the price is much higher. Out of the pursuit of high profit, many companies choose to tap into this market segment and use the words "for baby" as the hype to appeal to consumers. If this requirement is implemented as per the draft version, condiments marketed towards babies will be non-compliant due to lack of corresponding regulations or standards, such as "soy sauce for babies."

Shine Hu
ChemLinked Research Analyst
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