A repeated cross-sectional analysis of the Icelandic baby food market surveyed in 2016, 2019 and 2021

Birna Thorisdottir*, Tinna Odinsdottir, Inga Thorsdottir

*Corresponding author for this work

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World Health Organisation (WHO) has stated that countries need to know their local commercial baby food (CBF) market. Data from other countries suggest rapid changes in CBF options, highlighting the need for repeated analysis. In that context, this repeated cross-sectional study analysed the options and nutrient quality of different CBF types available in Iceland in years 2016, 2019 and 2021. Data was gathered on formulas, porridge flours, foods in jars and pouches, finger-foods, other CBF. They were classified into 26 subgroups based on ingredients and taste (sweet/savoury). Minimum consumer age as suggested by the manufacturers and nutritional content were registered. In each data-collection, 250–275 products were available. Over a third of products (37%–44%) were in pouches. Availability of products intended for 4–11-month-old infants decreased, driven largely by a 65% decrease in availability of food in jars (sweet/savoury) between 2016 and 2021. Availability of products intended from 12+ months or without age-labels increased, driven largely by quadrupling of finger-foods (predominantly sweet) between 2016 and 2021. The overall percentage of products classified as sweet increased from 65% (2016) to 73% (2019) and 77% (2021). Some finger-foods had high sugar content (up to 72 g/100 g), partly from fruit concentrate or sugar/syrup. Like other countries, the Icelandic CBF market has moved towards less availability of food intended in the first year and more availability of sweet finger-foods for an expanded consumer age. As sugar is added to some CBF, stronger regulations on promotion of foods for young consumers and updated recommendations for parents/caregivers may be needed.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13476
Pages (from-to)e13476
JournalMaternal and Child Nutrition
Issue numberSuppl 2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the Icelandic Research Fund (196157‐051) and a project grant from the Research Fund of the University of Iceland.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Maternal & Child Nutrition published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Other keywords

  • complementary feeding
  • food environment
  • food policy
  • infant and child nutrition
  • marketing
  • public health
  • sugars
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Nutritive Value
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Iceland
  • Infant Food/analysis
  • Sugars


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