Early Life Nutrition, DSM

Helping DSM understand nutrition in the motherhood journey

We helped DSM become thought leaders in Early Life Nutrition and fuelled their innovation pipeline to meet the needs of mothers across the globe.


The DSM ELN team needed an industry leading overview of womens attitudes and behaviours towards nutrition during their pregnancy journey and babies first few years. We found in a 12 market U&A that understanding and usage of key nutritional requirements during the motherhood journey are poorly understood even in developed market. We workshopped the key insights with the team, which led to the business taking a broader view of the pregnancy journey, refueling industry conversations and identifying new areas for product innovation to support women throughout this stage in their life.

Early Life Nutrition, DSM

The Problem

Motherhood is evolving globally. The experience of motherhood and the attitudes towards parenting have changed acutely over the last decade.

Women face more financial pressures compared to their parents’ generation and this coupled with career ambition often means women delay motherhood until later in life. Having babies later has now become the norm, but with an increased risk of issues during pregnancy there needs to be greater importance on health and nutrition.

DSM needed to understand women’s usage and attitudes of nutritional supplements and formula milk during various stages of the motherhood journey. They needed to develop this information into grounded consumer insights, so that they could lead industry conversations as well as fuel their innovation pipeline.

The Potential

We conducted a quantitative U&A in 12 markets, covering APAC, Europe, LATAM & North America.

We learnt that women globally need more support to maintain normal healthy lives pre-pregnancy and post-pregnancy, not just during pregnancy, which is currently the industry’s main focus. This has changed the businesses perspective of their role in women’s lives and opened up the entire pregnancy journey for future product innovation.

With so much information to digest for each market, we synthesized all the data down into an overview to get a global perspective and held a one-day immersive workshop for global marketing, research and PR teams so that they could effectively communicate the main insights.

Early Life Nutrition, DSM

The Plan

The motherhood journey U&A has allowed DSM to better understand their target consumers, leading to better NPD, communication and PR messaging – cementing DSM’s position as thought leaders in the Early Life Nutrition space.

Our work became a thought leadership piece and enabled DSM to strengthen industry relationships and start new conversations with their customers. Our work has also identified opportunities across the motherhood journey, beyond just the 9 months of pregnancy, for the business to focus efforts on supporting mothers’ nutrition.

The Leading Edge were asked to present the findings at DSM’s Early Life Nutrition Conference in Amsterdam in 2018 because the work has had a significant impact for DSM across a number of teams all over the world. Read more about the work in Nutrition Insight.

We helped DSM understand the evolving needs of mothers across the globe