'It's as Vital as the Air That They Breathe . . .'

The Development of a Segmentation of the Baby Milk Market

Julie Hindmarch and Chrissie Wells
Leapfrog Research & Planning

Fidelma Price
SMA Nutrition

BACKGROUND

SMA Nutrition infant formula was first introduced in the UK in 1956 when the birth rate was almost one-third higher than it is today. Certainly 1956 was an interesting and diverse year for the UK: Sir Cyril Hinshelwood was one of two winners of the Nobel Prize for chemistry, the UK national committee for UNICEF was established and the Suez crisis occurred. Furthermore, many of the trends affecting the infant feeding market today have their origin in the 1950s, such as the increase in the number of women entering the labour force, smaller family sizes and women marrying later in life. The woman's role in society was changing as she tried to balance the demands of a career with those of family life. Indeed, five prominent male psychiatrists were quoted in Life magazine in 1956 blaming 'female ambition' as the root of mental illness in women and emotional upset in husbands!