Last year, the average monthly spend on children and baby products was US$157 per family

Last year, the average monthly spend on children and baby products was US$157 per family

China now ranks as the world’s second biggest consumer market for babies’ and children’s goods after the US – and is set to grow further, says new research.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics of China, there are 222m children aged 15 and under in the country, and 16m babies born every year, with the figure set to rise following the latest relaxation of the one-child policy.

The average monthly spend on children and baby products was US$157 per family last year, according to a new report from UBM China (Hangzhou), 'China’s 2013 Consumer Research Report for Children and Baby Products Industry'.

The report surveyed major cities such as Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou and Shanghai in northern, central, southern and eastern China.

Spending is highest in the first two years of a child’s life, averaging US$174 per family in 2013.

When choosing apparel, comfort, material and safety are the most important purchasing factors, the research found.

Some 40% of parents buy products at specialist children and baby products stores, of which there are now more than 40,000 in China, with more opening each month.

Supermarkets are the second most popular shopping destinations, followed by online.

"With the continuously rapid growth of the children, baby and maternity products industry in China, a lot of brands and suppliers from all over the world are seeking opportunities in the China market,” said Athena Gong, general manager of UBM China (Hangzhou).

“With our decades of experience in this industry, we aim to provide the industry player with various business opportunities and useful information to boost the industry worldwide as a whole.”