Baby Food Trends in the US and Canada

Explore how the current trends of baby food in the US and Canada are shaping the category

May 10, 2024 – Parents want the best for their child, and that extends to the food they eat. Our US and Canada baby food trend research demonstrates how brands are adapting to parent interests and requirements for their baby’s nutrition. We highlight the current product launches shaping the market, as well as the most popular claims and flavors seen on baby food.

Product Launch Trends

North America is the third most active region for both baby and toddler food launches, as well as baby solid food launches. Europe is the most active region for baby food launches, representing almost half of all new baby food products introduced globally. Baby food trend research shows new baby food launches have increased in North America in the past two years, with clean labels, functional ingredient claims, protein dense formulations supported by additions of legumes and meat, and fruits supporting launches in the region.

Baby fruit products, desserts, and yogurts just barely entered the top position in product launches in 2023. However, between 2021 and 2023, baby meals are the most common subcategory of product launches in the baby food category. Additionally, in line with Innova’s Top Trend: Nurturing Nature, ethical environment claims in the category have grown by 11% in North America between the same period. Companies should also keep an eye on baby snacks, as it is the fastest growing subcategory of baby food launches.

Canada is the fastest growing country for new baby food launches, rising by 14.2% in the past three years. The United States the largest country in North America for baby food launches. Plum Organics is the top company for baby food launches in North America in the past year. Launches categorized for aiding infants in different states of development (stage 1, stage 2, stage 3), multigrain options, combinations of diverse vegetables and fruits, and purees made with single ingredients help drive product launches.

Baby Food Trends in the US and Canada

Subcategory Focus: Baby Fruit Products, Desserts, and Yogurts

Baby fruit products, desserts, and yogurts product launches have remained stable in the past five years. The subcategory makes up 34.7% of total baby food launches. Oatmeal purees blended with fruits, use of yogurt from dairy and non-dairy sources, preparations with Greek style yogurts, addition of prebiotics, probiotic cultures, and inclusion of dry fruits and seeds help drive product launches.

Subcategory Focus: Baby Meals

Baby meal new product development has also remained relatively stable over the past five years. Spikes in 2021 and 2022 are of note. Variety in recipes, preparations with meat, vegetable and fruit blends, and use of health supporting oils help drive baby meal launches.

Subcategory Focus: Baby Snacks

Baby snacks product launches have increased substantially in the past year, rising from 17.1% of launches in the category, to 26.6% in 2023. Smoothie melts made using fruits, puffed snack options, snack bars made with wholegrains, and sandwich bars with flavored fillings drive product development.

Subcategory Focus: Baby Cereals and Biscuits

Baby cereals and biscuits new product launches have fluctuated in the past five years. Launches dropped sharply in 2021, from 12.3% of the category to 6.8%, but then rose above its original share in product launches the next year. Launches have remained stable since then. Baby food trend research indicates wafer preparations for babies to support teething, cookies for lactating mothers in different flavors, biscuits in varied shapes, and a range of cereals help drive new product launches.

Baby Food Trends: Popular Claims

The top claims seen through baby trend research are organic, GMO free, no additives or preservatives, no added sugar, and gluten free. Organic recently rose to take the top spot, while in 2022 GMO free was the most popular claim. Indulgent and premium, omega-3, HFCS free, high/source of fiber, and wholegrain are emerging claims. When analyzing between countries, GMO free is the most popular claim in the US, while organic is most popular in Canada.

The Baby Food Flavors of Today

Red apple is the most popular flavor for baby food. Just barely behind it is banana, followed by carrot, sweet potato, and strawberry. Broccoli, milk chocolate, beetroot, peanut butter, and mixed berry are all emerging flavors in the region. Comparing the US and Canada, red apple is the top flavor in both countries.

What’s Next in Baby Food Trends in the US and Canada?

Our baby food trend research shows that Canada is a country to watch out for in the coming years. The country has more than doubled its share of baby food product launches in North America, showcasing a strong growing market for the coming years.

Baby snacks new product development experienced a significant increase in 2023. Additionally, health, vegan, and plant-based positionings all increased in the past year. There will likely be an increase in baby snacks with healthy claims seen on shelves. Brands should also watch for consumer interest in plant-based and vegan baby food products, as it will likely fluctuate alongside changes in parent’s interest in these diets.


This article is based on our report, “Overview of Baby Solid Food in US & Canada.” If you are interested in reading this report, feel free to request a demo.
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