The consumer industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by health and wellness, taste, and convenience, and the growing importance of alternative proteins, food safety and transparency, and personalised nutrition. In the last three years alone, there have been over 450,000 patents filed and granted in the consumer industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Health & Wellness in Consumer: Infant food formulations.

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 110,000 patents to analyse innovation intensity for the consumer industry, there are 40+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Infant food formulations is a key emerging innovation area in health & wellness

Packaged food specially designed and marketed for consumption by babies and infants under 12 months of age is classified as infant formula food. These foods that can either be in powder form (to be mixed with water) or liquid form (with or without additional water), are usually meant for bottle/cup feeding.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each infant food formulations and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 50+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established consumer companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of infant food formulations.

Key players in infant food formulations – a disruptive innovation in the consumer industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.

Patent volumes related to infant food formulations

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Danone 480 Unlock company profile
Nestle 266 Unlock company profile
Chr. Hansen Holding 266 Unlock company profile
Abbott Laboratories 160 Unlock company profile
Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc 122 Unlock company profile
Novo Nordisk Foundation 96 Unlock company profile
Morinaga Milk Industry 95 Unlock company profile
Meiji Holdings 92 Unlock company profile
Kraft Heinz 77 Unlock company profile
Yakult Honsha 59 Unlock company profile
DuPont de Nemours 43 Unlock company profile
Zuivelcooperatie FrieslandCampina UA 34 Unlock company profile
Procter & Gamble 34 Unlock company profile
Archer Daniels Midland 30 Unlock company profile
Symrise 29 Unlock company profile
Megmilk Snow Brand 29 Unlock company profile
Valio 29 Unlock company profile
a2 Milk 26 Unlock company profile
Precigen 26 Unlock company profile
Fonterra Co-operative Group 25 Unlock company profile
Centro de Investigacion en Alimentacion y Desarrollo AC 23 Unlock company profile
Kerry Group plc 21 Unlock company profile
BioGaia 19 Unlock company profile
Eurolactis Group 18 Unlock company profile
Asahi Group Holdings 18 Unlock company profile
Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group 16 Unlock company profile
Geo-Poland Sp ZOO 16 Unlock company profile
Dairy A Day 15 Unlock company profile
Royal DSM 14 Unlock company profile
L’Institut National Recherche Agronomique 13 Unlock company profile
Teagasc 12 Unlock company profile
CJ CheilJedang 12 Unlock company profile
COFCO 11 Unlock company profile
INGREDIA 11 Unlock company profile
Roquette Freres 11 Unlock company profile
Iamsmpany 10 Unlock company profile
Bright Dairy & Food 10 Unlock company profile
Cell Biotech 9 Unlock company profile
Dicofarm 9 Unlock company profile
ActogeniX 8 Unlock company profile
Granarolo 8 Unlock company profile
Givaudan 7 Unlock company profile
Tetra Laval International 7 Unlock company profile
Micropharma 7 Unlock company profile
Wakamoto Pharmaceutical 7 Unlock company profile
Swedish Orphan Biovitrum 7 Unlock company profile
Hangzhou Wahaha Group 6 Unlock company profile
Morinaga Milk Industry 6 Unlock company profile
Yuhan 6 Unlock company profile
Otsuka Holdings 6 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Danone is one of the leading patent filers in infant food formulations. Some other key patent filers in the space are Nestle, Chr. Hansen, and Abbott Laboratories. Danone recently launched a new dairy and plants blend baby formula to suit vegetarian, plant-based, or flexitarian diets. This product is claimed to be the first blended baby formula containing more than half (60%) plant-based proteins. The plant protein is sourced from non-GMO/high-quality soy protein, and other plant ingredients include vegetable oils, DHA, and chicory root fibres.

In terms of application diversity, ActogeniX leads the pack. Precigen and Micropharma stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, a2 Milk held the top position, followed by Roquette Freres and INGREDIA.

Infant food formulations act as a complete substitute for human milk, thus meeting the nutritional requirements of babies under 12 months. While it is a necessary requirement for less-lactating mothers, it serves as a convenience for working mothers, and is therefore gaining fast popularity. To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the consumer industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Consumer.

GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.