Matt Chittock explores how helping parents to make positive and planet-friendly choices can mean growing profits for your store

Most parents naturally want the best for their kids. And for many mums and dads that translates as choosing the purest products they can find from the natural and organic aisles. Even if families skimp on themselves, they’ll splash out on their kids – which is one of the main reasons organic food and drink for babies is responsible for almost one in ten buys in the overall category [Soil Association Certification’s Organic Market Report].

On the retailers’ side, baby care can be the start of a fertile and long-lasting relationship, as new parents make perhaps their first forays into the world of natural health, beauty and personal care.

“I think for many people baby products are an entry into buying other natural products,” says Ben Haugh from Sunlight Apothecary, Todmorden. 

“Especially with new parents. While reflecting on their new-found responsibilities and own health, they often seek to use the most natural products available for their precious new-born.”

Setting the tone for this relationship starts with stocking credible and trusted products. In this category, quality has to be high, or parents will quickly move on.

Haugh says that, as a parent himself, BioCare was one of the closest ranges to his heart as a way to help develop his children’s digestion and immune system. He says that the brand has a number of different baby probiotic products suitable from birth that he trusted. 

I think for many people baby products are an entry into buying other natural products

The store also stocks inexpensive gift sets showcasing the vegan and organic Little Siberica range – perfect for family friends who want to give positive presents.

Haugh adds that Weleda is one of the most popular brands in the baby care category at his store and acts as a signpost for the wider sector.

“The Weleda Calendula range sells well,” he comments. “It’s a long standing, trusted name. Calendula is also such a good base product with its anti-inflammatory properties – perfect for sensitive new skin.”

Demand for purity
Jayn Sterland, managing director of Weleda UK, says parents’ demand for purity is what makes its products a natural choice for families. And that for any baby care products, having a natural claim is now seen as a ‘must-have’ across the category.

“I would go as far as saying if a brand isn’t making some sort of substantive natural claim for its baby products, then they don’t have a viable business,” she says.

“Even Sudocrem has recently launched a Sudocrem Naturals version of their synthetic nappy cream. Of course, this can lead to greenwashing – with many baby brands claiming 97% natural products – which isn’t truly natural is it? 

“The key reason baby skincare is a gateway to purchasing natural and organic skincare is simple: parents want the purest ingredients for their baby, and they are prepared to pay a premium for it.

“We have found parents will stick with buying natural and will often use the products themselves, starting their journey into buying natural and organic.”

Sterland says that Calendula – a herb highly prized for its soothing effects and recognized as a natural antiseptic and antibacterial – has won a place at the heart of its Weleda range for its unique healing qualities. “Weleda Calendula Nappy Cream and our Calendula Baby Shampoo & Body Wash are top sellers both here in the UK and globally (and have consistently in our Top Ten selling products in the UK).” 

A sector set for growth
So what else is growing out there in baby care? As director of The Beauty Shortlist Mama & Baby Awards, Fiona Klonarides is a smart person to ask. She believes that baby and toddler sunscreen could be a big win in 2023 and beyond.

“Sunscreen, I think, will be an especially important product for new [parents] from now on,” she predicts. “Just as an example, last March was the sunniest on record in the UK, while 2022 as a complete year was the warmest one ever. It’s organic for the win – especially for sensitive little skin.”

She highlights both Organii SPF50 Broad Spectrum Mineral Sun Milk and Green People’s Organic Children by Green People Scent-Free Sunscreen SPF30 as products to watch in a sector set for growth.

One thing that might potentially slow the natural baby care boom is the upcoming recession. After all, with high-end organic products retailing at a premium price point, cash-strapped parents could choose to trade down.

The market for soothing, calming oils is predicted to develop, [along with] products that bridge the wellness gap between cosmetics and medicines

However, despite the cost-of-living crisis affecting parents’ available spend, products that work hard while ticking multiple boxes have the potential to retain sales.

Sterland believes that product picks which are gentle, which solve everyday problems (like rashes) and which set the pace by multi-tasking, could be popular buys for parents in the coming year.

“The market for soothing, calming oils is predicted to develop, [along with] products that bridge the wellness gap between cosmetics and medicines,” she says. “For example gentle herbal remedies that help children to relax (and sleep!) such as the calming Weleda Baby Calendula Calming Bath and our Chamomile Teething Granules.”

In 2023 we could also see more influencers jump on the green baby bandwagon. After all, personalities doing the numbers on YouTube and Insta often have a ready-made engaged audience at the baby-making stage of life who willing to buy into their products. The latest to do so is influencer Sasha Ellese Gilbert, who boasts 317,000 Instagram followers and whose natural baby range, Nala’s Baby, is named after her daughter. 

Think Dirty, the largest ingredients list rating app in the world, has certified the Nala’s Baby range with a zero score – meaning it has the app’s highest level of approval. It’s the only brand in UK retail to receive this standard.

Influencer-led ranges like this have plenty of sales potential, but one potential pitfall: if personalities fall out of favour, or don’t deliver products to the highest ethical credentials, then their collections could suffer.

A return to the old days 
Whatever the microtrends, sustainability will be increasingly important for the category. Sadly, the products that make life most simple for parents often prove to be the most toxic for the environment. 

“Amid the alarming weather patterns we’ve experienced recently, single-use wipes, nappies and pads are the stuff landfill nightmares are made of,” comments Klonarides. “Brands will have to rethink these worst offenders and make them more sustainable. Although we’re already seeing more compostable. ‘biodegradable’ products these aren’t a viable long-term solution to a problem of these proportions for various reasons – even though ‘biodegradable’ sounds like an easy fix.”

Helen Lynn, ‘environmenstrual’ campaign manager at the Women’s Environmental Network, recommends that when thinking about stocking a baby’s nursery with sustainable swaps, nappies are a good place to start.

“[Parents] can look around to see if there’s a local reusable nappy service near them, or a laundry service to wash nappies for them,” she suggests – and perhaps health stores could help facilitate by providing customers with local information. 

We’re really concerned about the harmful chemicals and products used in or near our babies

Klonarides agrees that it’s well worth parents ‘re-embracing the reusable, rewashable more planet-kind nappy of the old days’. “It’s also a great opportunity for brands to really stand out on the design front (perhaps with cute, humorous messaging etcetera) coupled with a strong planet-positive message that will appeal to buyers of conscious products. 

“With 2023 looking like a particularly wallet- and planet-conscious year, the outlook for the natural and organic baby sector looks strong and steady but parents will no doubt be looking for ways to save money, and this is where ‘the reusables’ will shine.”

She singles out Bambino Mio’s reusable nappies and Kit N Kin’s range (founded by ex-Spice Girl Emma Bunton) as choice picks. Kit & Kin won Best Eco Nappy at The Beauty Shortlist’s Mama & Baby Awards 2017.

Campaigning for change
The Johnson & Johnson talcum powder scandal highlighted just how much work needs to be done on creating a safe and healthy environment for new-borns. The Women’s Environmental Network’s Green Baby Campaign (sponsored by Weleda) aims to make sure babies stay safe from toxic chemicals in the UK.

“The inspiration behind the campaign came from a group called Women Engaged in a Common Future, based in Germany – from mothers and parents who were looking to create the safest and best nest possible for new-borns,” Helen Lynn, ‘environmenstrual’ campaign manager at the Women’s Environmental Network.

“They were also lobbying legislators to ensure strong chemicals legislation. We’re really concerned about the harmful chemicals and products used in or near our babies which can contribute to poor health. We want to bridge the gap between the scientific evidence and public information.”  

Lynn recommends parents start their non-toxic journey with the things they can change in their own home. A practical way to do this is by taking a ‘toxic tour’ to see which personal care (or cleaning) products) they can avoid using.

“It’s about creating a list of things you can easily change – say, personal care products and cleaning products first,” she advises. “We have a guide on what to avoid and a number of alternatives. So, for personal care products if you can choose organic, brilliant. If you can’t, maybe that’s something you can work towards. You can either reduce your use [of toxic products] or even consider making your own products from ingredients like shea butter.”


MooGoo Baby Soothing Moisturiser Nut Oil Free

MooGoo Skincare
Tel: 0800 4346606
E-mail:  [email protected]

Many sensitive skin sufferers and parents of children with sensitive, eczema prone skin hail this lightweight moisturiser as a hero. The silky formula contains all natural ingredients that easily sinks into skin, such as natural oils Evening Primrose Oil, Olive Squalane and healing ingredients such as Allantoin, Aloe Vera and Honey. It also contains 10% MSM organic sulphur – a natural skin-soothing compound.  Dermatologically tested, Dairy Free, Free from Parabens and Phenoxyethanol. For everyone and everywhere. Use on face & body, all ages and skin types.


ORGANii Baby Range
Pravera Ltd
Tel: 01557 870203
ORGANii – Happy and healthy Skin – The ultimate organic skincare range to care for your little ones. From cleansing to moisturising, nourishing, and protecting the skin of your baby or child, ORGANii Baby range is perfect to keep skin healthy and happy! Each product is enriched with skin calming, caring, and soothing organic and natural plant extracts to help reduce irritations and protective ingredients to support the skins natural functions, keeping it balanced, healthy and happy. ORGANii baby range includes five products; Baby Cream, Nappy Cream, Scented Water, Foam Bath & Shampoo and Dry Baby Oil, all are certified organic and natural by ICEA, are vegan and registered cruelty free with PeTa. Parenthood shouldn’t be stressful; it should be one of the happiest times of your life and we want you to thrive at it.
Valley Mist Organic Baby Massage Oils – Soothe & Pure
Valley Mist Skincare & Wellness
Tel: 07983 991955
Valley Mist established in 2016 provides an organic skincare range for mother and baby that is 100% natural with fragrance free options. Our mother and baby range is made with the finest raw and organic butters, oils and waxes from ethical suppliers. Relaxing premium massage oils formulated specifically for babies. Valley Mist massage oils are available with or without a spray pump for the convenience that is often needed while caring for your baby. Always housed in glass, and part of our national glass return system. Treading as lightly as possible on the Earth and enabling our customers to do likewise.
Weleda launches new Stretch Mark Body Butter
Weleda UK LTD
Tel: 01159 448200

The natural, clinically proven way to minimise stretch marks
The Weleda Stretch Mark Body Butter has been dermatologically tested and proven suitable for sensitive skin, showing good skin compatibility even for those prone to eczema or psoriasis. The creamy consistency helps soothe any feeling of skin tightness or dryness, and comforts skin as it stretches to accommodate a growing bump. Massaging in the wonderfully rich body butter helps keep the skin’s connective tissues elastic – our best defence against stretch marks – and is a great way for mums to pamper themselves.