Infant formula is a medical necessity for those who are unable to breastfeed their infants. There are a host of medically sound reasons why a mother, in conjunction with her physician would choose to utilize infant formula in lieu of breast milk. The regulated manufacturing of infant feeding products has come a long way in recent years, and has saved many lives. When viewed in this capacity, formula is a wonderful thing.
What is not so wonderful is the societal pressure on women to choose bottle feeding as an option of convenience. For years, women in industrialized nations were told that it was a more high tech, simpler solution than breastfeeding their infants. Bombarded with images of bottle feeding from childhood, our society has come to view it as the norm. Over the course of the last few decades,the “breast is best” mantra has been prevalently bestowed on new mothers, and fewer women are choosing elective formula feeding. Formula has been largely demonized by healthcare providers and better educated mothers, and is often viewed upon as downmarket.
The environmental toll of formula manufacturing is heavy: dairy production destroys land and pollutes air and water. The waste created by packaging, bottles and nipples is staggering. Artificial feeding means the use of more diapers, sanitary napkins and tampons. In developing nations, it increases the odds of an infant contracting food-bourne illness, and increases infant mortality rates. The multimillion dollar television ads that formula companies place during your prime-time viewing are always images of a cherubic caucasian baby, and a smiling mother – not of dying infants and destroyed agricultural property.
The increasing trend to return to breast feeding is not in the best interests of the large corporations who command vast profits from the production and sale of infant formula. Flagging sales and decreasing market segments require innovation and rebranding magic.
How do you create appeal for a product that is more and more becoming a virtual societal pariah?
You respin what has previously been spun successfully.
Meet Nestlé’s latest weapon in their war against breastfeeding:
That, dear friend, is NOT a Nespresso maker or Keurig.
Those are not pods of designer coffee.
It is a very costly formula making machine: BabyNes
Not only is it designed to appeal to the crowd who would already be buying similar products for themselves, but it bills itself as a revolutionary “comprehensive nutrition system.”
Comprehensive Nutrition System? Who are they trying to fool?
Apparently the wealthy and those caught up in gadgetry.
One of these units, which debuted for the first time in Switzerland today, will run you approximately $287 USD. Single serving pods of formula will roughly double existing formula costs, as they will come in at $56 – $64 for a pack of 26.
Can you picture the inevitable launch in North America, complete with contests in parenting magazines and on the internet, give aways by American OBGYNS and peds who finance their golf club memberships via the push of formula on otherwise healthy nursing pairs? Television commercials that appeal to mothers who cannot afford these things, but will spend their money on them anyway, because of the media’s emphasis on convenience, safety and hygiene?
Shame on you Nestlé. The real comprehensive nutrition system? A pair of lactating breasts.