In 2011, the global breast pumps market was estimated to be worth USD 625.2 million, with an estimated CAGR of 7.5% worldwide from 2012 to 2018. Electric pumps make up the fastest growing segment of the global breast pump market, driven largely by convenience and effectiveness. Change in consumer preferences has been a major factor that has boosted the market. Lactating mothers’ demand for aesthetic, user-friendly and fast devices as against primarily basic and less durable pumps has aided this boost. The expansion of the global breast pumps market is largely stimulated by the increasing rate of worldwide population growth, which increases the consumer base. Furthermore, an increasing number of mothers are realizing the benefits of breastfeeding which has definitely assisted the popularity of breast pumps.
A breast pump is a mechanical apparatus that extracts milk from a lactating individual’s breasts. These can be manual, battery-operated or electric devices. With rising number of working women and increase in their disposable income, the demand for breast pumps has increased greatly in recent years and the global breast pumps market has been thriving.
Mechanically speaking, a breast pump is similar to a milking machine that is used in commercial dairy production units. While the common misconception is that a breast pump suctions the milk out of the breast, the truth is that it merely triggers the milk ejection response. Since the invention of the first breast pump, the device has undergone dramatic changes making the process as comfortable and speedy as possible. Today, there are many variations of a standard breast pump ranging from top-of-the-line units with low noise, low speed and longer life such as the piston pump, to the less common diaphragm pumps that are noisier and operate at higher speed. Breast pumps are designed to provide an improved suction pattern to mothers at home and in the hospital.
Segmentation of products in the breast pump market
The global breast pumps market is segmented based on pumping systems.
Pumping system type: The breast pumps industry can be divided into two segments based on the pumping system type: single and double. The single pumping system extracts milk from one breast at a time, while the double pumping system can be used to extract milk from both breasts simultaneously. The larger breast pump market, based on pumping systems, can be further fragmented into three segments: manual breast pumps, battery-operated pumps and electric pumps.
A manual breast pump is operated by pulling or squeezing a handle in a repetitive manner, thus giving the user direct control over the pressure and frequency of milk ejection. Though small, inexpensive and easy to carry around, manual pumps require a lot of effort and strength on the part of the user and can be used for infrequent usage. A powered breast pump operates on either batteries or by plugging it into an electrical outlet. A small motorized pump stimulates suction to extract milk from the breast and there is a control panel that allows the user to control the degree of suction. There are two types of electricity powered breast pumps, personal use and hospital grade pumps. Pumps for personal use are intended for one user while a hospital grade breast pump is much larger and designed for multiple users.
Competitive landscape of the breast pump market
The global breasts pump market has grown tremendously over recent years owing to growing demand from working mothers. The estimated value of the industry in 2011 was USD 625.2 million and trade analysts forecast a 7.5% global CAGR in the 2012-2108 period. If geographically segmented, the breast pump industry can be divided into North America, Europe, Asia and Rest of the World. Of these, the North American region holds the largest market share, with Europe following closely behind. The main reason for a flourishing business in these regions is the affordability of consumers for advanced medical devices for routine tasks. Asia is predicted to be the fastest growing sector due to favorable economic dynamics, rise in population and constant technological advancements.
Some of the key players in the global breast pumps market are: Ameda AG, Bailey Medical Engineering, Hygeia Medical Group II, Medela AG, Energizer Holdings Inc., Lansinoh Laboratories Inc., Royal Philips Electronics NV, and Whittlestone Inc. Of these, Medela Inc. dominates the market in terms of manufacture and sales of breast pumps in Europe and North America.