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The cost of infant feeding

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Breastfeeding is the best way to feed a baby and is important for both mother and baby’s health and well-being. Where a mother chooses not to or is unable to breastfeed, BSNA’s members provide a range of formula milks available to meet the nutritional requirements of babies.

Our members understand the financial pressures that many families are under to manage their household budgets and they produce a range of differently priced products available to consumers. It is important to recognise that industry funded research and innovation has led to significant improvements in formulas over the years. The more expensive products reflect the costs of the latest infant nutrition research, as well as the additional manufacturing costs required to produce innovative formulas.

As the report makes clear, it was based on anecdotal reports rather than a systematic gathering of evidence. Conversely, the robust independent data collated by Kantar Worldpanel on around 3,000 families with infants shows that the average shopper’s spend on infant formula for this age group is £7.00 per week.

Any commitment to help families with the cost of infant feeding must also take into account the need for specialist formulas to be available on prescription. This is why BSNA and its members support organisations like Allergy UK and the British Dietetic Association and their calls for Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) not to put infants at risk by no longer funding specialised formulas.

For more information on the innovation and regulation of formula milks, click here.