Healthy food can be tasty too!

By: Budai Klára Date: 2024. 04. 01. 11:20

In the baby and children’s food segment, manufacturers and distributors had to face a number of uncertainties in 2023, such as runaway inflation due to the war “next door”. According to Rita Bazsó, marketing director of Univer Product Zrt., manufacturers have to comply with increasingly strict rules in feeding babies and inspections are much more thorough than for other foods.

Today, manufacturers have to meet increasingly stringent standards for baby food

Strengthening organic line

Rita Bazsó
marketing director
Univer Product

For the Univer brand 2023 was a balanced year, as it maintained its dominance with a small decline compared to other brands.

“Our most popular products are the fruit and vegetable-meat combinations for the 6-month age group. Our desserts are also popular, with mums giving them to their babies with main meals or between main meals. Our Junior meals for 1-3 year olds are also liked by many, and baby drinks are very popular with our youngest customers”,

says Rita Bazsó.

From this year all Univer products contain some percentage of organic ingredients, and half of the portfolio has achieved full organic certification.



Noémi Makai
marketing manager

“Consumers are prioritising price in their purchasing decisions. As a result, in the baby food category private label products have realised a 5 percentage point increase in market share compared to 2022. Since drugstore chains have a rich private label offering, the channel has continued to grow and now accounts for almost 60% of sales”,

says Noémi Makai, marketing manager of HiPP Termelő és Kereskedelmi Kft.

Modern and sustainable production

HiPP believes it is essential to serve children food based on the latest nutritional knowledge and to introduce the little ones to an exciting world of colours, flavours and aromas. HiPP uses cutting-edge production methods, which makes constant product improvement possible, together with the best processing of natural raw materials.

Volume declines are mainly seen in the baby food and drinks segment, with desserts holding on thanks to the dynamic growth in the alu-pouch segment

Anna Pókecz
marketing manager

Anna Pókecz, marketing manager of Cerbona Élelmiszergyártó Zrt.:

“Everybody is making efforts to produce healthy but tasty flakes, and the product range is dominated by the main flavours – chocolate, cinnamon and honey. Product composition varies, but manufacturers are trying to make their cereals functional according to market needs. As a result, many boxes now carry the vegan, gluten-free, lactose-free, low sugar or vitamin-fortified pictograms”.

Cerbona managed to increase both value and volume sales in 2023 compared to the previous year. There was a 13% rise in volume sales in the cereal category, driven by new listings and updated products. They have added 2 new flavours to the formerly 3-item portfolio. The two new products, cocoa rice flakes and caramel corn flakes have been well received, but the perennial favourite remains cocoa balls and flakes.

Present and future

Gabriella Szaksz
Lolo Snack

Gabriella Szaksz, the owner of Lolo Snack Kft. points out that in the case of food for children, it is essential to indicate all added ingredients on the packaging and to communicate if the product may contain allergen ingredients (peanut derivatives, soy, etc.). Her experience is that “all-in-one” bars, which are easy to carry around and fit in small spaces, are a great help for mothers.

“Impulse buying has been replaced by awareness in this category too. People want a nice, well-branded, yet good-priced products”,

explains Gabriella Szaksz.

In 2023 Lolo Snack Kft. produced and sold almost twice as many snacks as in the previous year. Among children their apple snaps are the most popular, women choose the mango and pineapple flavours more often, while among men sour cherry is the favourite. This year they are launching sugar-free, vegan and gluten-free bonbons, snickers, and bars. Plus the snap portfolio will be expanded with vegetable flavours.

The range of products for children is expanding

Parents are choosing children’s vitamins more consciously

Boglárka Dezse
director of domestic sales and marketing
Béres Gyógyszergyár

“Consumers are loyal to brands, but growing price levels mean they are more aware of promotions and spend more time comparing prices online and offline”,

says Boglárka Dezse, director of domestic sales and marketing at Béres Gyógyszergyár ZRt.

Chewing tablets and vitamin gums are the most popular for children older than 3 years. Ms Dezse’s advice is that when choosing a food supplement, quality and reliability should be the first consideration. Béres Actival Kid Gumivitamin gum tablets are now available in a new economical pack of 90 tablets. Actival Kid Gumivitamin isn’t only sugar-free and tasty, but the ingredients it contains – vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D3, folic acid and zinc – also contribute to the normal functioning of the immune system.


Customers prefer attractive, well-branded, yet cheap products

Growing product selection

Zabán Ferenc - dm

Ferenc Zabán
assortment manager

Dm’s own data indicate that there has been an improvement in the sales value of children’s vitamins, but stagnation in the number of units sold if compared with the previous year.

Ferenc Zabán, assortment manager of dm Kft. sees that online shopping is increasingly popular. “Our customers are making more conscious decisions than before and this is even more evident in the medical category. They are paying more attention to the quality of ingredients, their absorption and the quantity of ingredients in a given product. Vitamin gums and chewable tablets are popular among children”, says dm’s assortment manager. Dm’s private label Mivolis teddy bear-shaped multivitamin is very popular in this category, offering great value for money. //

Consumers demand more extensive product information


Private labels gaining ground in the baby food category too

Consumers spent HUF 21bn on the liquid and dry baby food categories between January and December 2023, up 9% year-on-year, market research firm NIQ reported. However, the category decreased by 9% in volume. Private label liquid baby foods now account for 28% of sales, compared to 23% last year. As for dry baby foods, the share of private label products increased from 10% to 16%. //

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