German parents dig deep into their wallets for their offspring. But do the little ones have to be driven in luxury sleds or wrapped in expensive organic cotton?
NOnly the best for the offspring: This attitude of many parents ensures large expenditures in favor of the youngest and for a growing billion dollar market. Experts also observe an increasing tendency towards the noble and expensive. That also makes the tills ring. Parents buy high-priced items and brand names “because that can mean security, orientation and a compass for them,” says market researcher Birgit Langebartels from the Rheingold Institute in Cologne.
First the figures: Parents spent a good 2.5 billion euros in 2017 on equipping babies and toddlers alone – on car seats, strollers and toys in the first three years of life. That was two percent more than in the previous year. And it means spending of 1,100 euros per boy and girl up to three years of age, calculates the Spielwaren BVS trade association. Both parents earned more and more often. “Then there is more money for children’s and baby equipment”, explains BVS Vice-President Steffen Kahnt in front of the world’s largest trade fair for children’s equipment “Kind + Jugend”.
“It is bought dearly”
If you include all expenses for boys and girls up to the age of 14, the market even amounts to 7.3 billion euros, explains Michael Neumann from the Federal Association of Children’s Equipment Manufacturers (BDKH) on Thursday. “It is bought at a high price.” For safety reasons, says the board of the BDKH.
But there is more to it than that. So why do so many parents dig so deep into their purse for their offspring? “More than ever, children have become the parents’ form of expression and project,” believes Langebartels. In a society of “inconceivable possibilities”, many parents also felt under pressure and insecure.
Not everyone can afford it, many children live in low-income families. But the weakness for expensive and branded goods is not only limited to the upper class with particularly high purchasing power, explains the expert: “Today, middle-class children have a heavenly material basic equipment.” Parents wanted maximum support and optimal opportunities for their children. “You are ready to spend a lot of money. Parents show their care, also to the outside world. “
According to Langebartels, the percentage of the particularly expensive products in the overall market has not been recorded statistically. But it pays off for industry and trade. The trend is strong and has been observed for several years. In the extremely diverse industry – from pacifiers to princess beds – such surveys could not be made, says Kahnt from BVS.
Even the stroller is a status quo
One thing is certain: the flagship is the children’s carriage. “Strollers are also parental forms of expression. The search often takes an incredibly long time, ”says Langebartels. “The stroller is the image to the outside.”
Luxury and branded offers are also attractive because “you don’t want to be identified as an“ underperformer ”in your own peer group,” adds Kai-Uwe Hellmann, market researcher from Berlin. A 6,000 euro pram or a luxury baby cradle lined entirely with velvet for 1,135 euros go well with this – both are now being presented at “Kind + Jugend”. The fair is growing every year, around 1250 suppliers from 53 countries will come this time from September 20th.
And what do the parents say? “For many, the pram is clearly a status symbol,” says Philipp Schulz, the young father of twins. “You have to have an extremely expensive pram if you want to push through Berlin or any other big city.” The motto for clothes is: “Organic cotton, if it’s right on the skin.” Toys should be of high quality. And how can all the expensive things be financed? Tip: “Submit wish lists to uncle, aunt and grandparents for children’s birthday parties.”