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The market for childcare products is growing again

Interview to Miriam Navarro, Marketing Manager Iberia Mapa Spontex


Mapa Spontex has three brands of baby products and toys operating in the Spanish market currently, Tigex, NUK and Boikido. The last one, which specializes in wooden, high quality toys, is one of the company's strategic bets for 2015. Miriam Navarro, Marketing Manager in Mapa Spontex, believes that this year will be better than the previous ones. In the case of childcare products, she ensures that "the category is growing again, with brands winning relevance again ahead of the own brand labels".

-Map Spontex has acquired Boikido's distribution in Spain, how is this line of toys working in the Spanish market?
We're starting right now, so it's too early to talk about how it is working. The brand was acquired by our parent company, Jarden Group, in December 2012 but it was not until last year when they finished the distribution contract that the brand had in Spain with a third party. We took the reins from there. We have spent the last months of 2014 selecting the most appropriate range for the Spanish market and preparing the launch. Although Boikido is not a new brand in Spain, it is the first time that it counts with support.
    It is a beautiful brand, with colorful, educational, high quality wooden toys. Today this type of product is scarce, but parents are increasingly seeking the kind of toys they used to have, the ones that last for years and can be transferred between siblings and even generations there. We are aware that it is a premium brand, but for now it is having an excellent acceptance by all -parents, children and various industry partners to whom we have presented it-. It is a brand that wins your heart, its quality is seen with the naked eye, which is why we think we can get a foothold in the competitive market of toys.

-At present, which childcare and toys brands do you have in Mapa Spontex?
In Spain we have three brands -Tigex and NUK in light childcare and Boikido in wooden toys-. Tigex is available in supermarkets while NUK is sold in pharmacies, drugstores and specialty stores.

-Do you plan to increase the childcare and toys area with new brands?
-After acquiring Boikido and Baby Sun in 2012, at the moment there are no plans for more. Baby Sun products are also in Spain but under the Tigex brand.
-Does this area account for a large percentage of your business in Spain?
-Currently childcare and toys division represents roughly 20% of our business Retail in Spain. Our Homecare division, with Spontex brand leading, is the most important.

-Which are your main objectives for the Spanish market?
-For Boikido we will focus on getting distribution and brand awareness. For Tigex and NUK, the goal is to revitalize the brands. This year comes with many new features and product innovations for both brands that we expect will please both the distribution sector and the final consumer. This 2015 must be a year of growth.

-What is your forecast of the Spanish childcare market in 2015?
-The light childcare market has been fairly stagnant in recent years, due to the crisis, the proliferation of own brand labels and the continued decline in births. However, since the end of 2014 we see a change: the category is growing again, brands gain relevance again ahead of own brand labels. The design and innovation are regaining ground after a time when the price was almost the only priority (I speak of Retail, innovation has not ceased to be relevant in pharmacies and specialty stores). In toys, the video games continue to lead as well as licensed toys, but we also see a return to origins, a return to tradition in materials (wood) and game type (classic, educational), and we want to make the most of it with Boikido.

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