UK businesses explore £330bn Chinese market for maternity, children and baby products

  • Santander UK in conjunction with China-Britain Business Council took 11 maternity, children and baby product suppliers on a trade mission to Shanghai
  • Firms that attended included soft toy manufacturer Jellycat, food producer Piccolo Baby Foods, and clothing company Frugi

China was chosen as the destination for the trade mission due to it being a major hub for the maternity, children and baby market, worth more than £339 billion in 2018. The child population has grown significantly over the last couple of years, and the industry is expected to see consumption growth of more than £3 billion year on year.1 In addition, Chinese consumers are willing to pay higher premiums for high quality and high safety baby products.

The mission was centred around the Children Baby Maternity Expo 2018 at the National Exhibition and Convention Centre, Shanghai, which took place from 25th – 27th July. Santander UK also organised a VIP dinner reception at The British Consulate-General John Edwards’ private residence where the UK-based businesses networked with their China-based peers. The reception was arranged to encourage Eurasian growth and trading opportunities.

Cheryl Adams, Regional Director, Santander UK, said: “UK remains at the forefront of the best quality products in the industry and this trade mission to Shanghai for the maternity conference demonstrates our commitment to helping British businesses grow internationally. Santander is delighted to support these businesses as they target the Chinese maternity markets for potential growth opportunities.”

The maternity, children and baby product sector is a major focus for Santander in the UK. The recent trade mission is part of Santander’s focus on helping the maternity sector to invest for growth and, importantly, capitalise on international trade and export opportunities in all markets.

The bank's trade missions are unique in the wider SME banking market – Santander regularly and proactively gets UK firms out to markets to meet buyers and network with key stakeholders. Previous trade missions have covered Singapore, Poland, Chile, Argentina, Spain and the United Arab Emirates.

UK firms interested in intending future trade missions should visit our website or contact

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Notes to Editors


More information about a selection of the businesses who participated on the Trade Mission:

Frugi started life as a ‘Eureka’ moment when founders Lucy and Kurt struggled to find clothing to fit over their son’s cloth-nappy. In 2008 the business changed its name to Frugi, meaning fruits of the earth in latin and its collection grew to include gorgeous clothing for older children and a fab range of breastfeeding wear for mums.

Jellycat Limited
Creating original and innovative soft toys in London since 1999, Jellycat continues to combine luxurious fabrics with designs that are sometimes quirky, sometimes cute but always with a little something different that makes them stand out from the crowd. The name Jellycat was dreamt up by a child who loved jellies and cats and giggled at the thought of the two together. The silliness of the name was a great reflection of the design and so it stuck.

Piccolo Baby Food
The work of The Food Education Foundation was the inspiration behind Piccolo, whose mission is to further the aim of the charity by helping busy parents give their children a nutritious start in life. Piccolo’s range of delicious organic purées provide a practical way to introduce babies to new and exciting flavours.

About Us
Santander UK is a financial services provider in the UK that offers a wide range of personal and commercial financial products and services. It has brought real competition to the UK, through its innovative products for retail customers and relationship banking model for UK SMEs. At 30 June 2018, the bank has c24,200 employees. It serves around 15 million active customers, via a nationwide branch network, telephone, mobile and online banking; and 64 regional Corporate Business Centres. Santander UK is subject to the full supervision of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) in the UK. Santander UK plc customers are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in the UK.

Banco Santander (SAN SM, STD US, BNC LN) is a leading retail and commercial bank, founded in 1857 and headquartered in Spain. It has a meaningful market share in 10 core markets in Europe and the Americas, and is the largest bank in the euro zone by market capitalization. At the end of June 2018, Banco Santander had EUR 981 billion in customer funds (deposits and mutual funds), 140 million customers, 13,500 branches and 200,000 employees. Banco Santander made attributable profit of EUR 3,752 million in the first half of 2018, an increase of 4% compared to the same period last year.

To help boost trade across the globe, Santander has an International Desk in each of the markets it operates in, dedicated to helping customers who want to grow their business overseas. With a particular strength in Latin America, the bank operates in Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Peru, and Puerto Rico. Our Latin American network includes more than 6,000 branches.

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