Quality, health benefits and ingredients top mom’s wish list for infant formula

December 5, 2018

A survey conducted by YouGov of 5,658 mothers in seven countries shows that they have a high awareness of infant formula ingredients from whey. Commissioned by Arla Food Ingredients, the survey found that high quality (87%), health benefits (83%), product brand reputation (75%), and clinically documented ingredients (75%) topped the list of product characteristics most important to mothers worldwide. Price (52%) was the least important factor.

When asked which health benefits would influence their decision to buy a particular product, nearly nine in 10 (87%) chose “supports healthy growth.” The next most important health benefits were “helps child’s immune system” (86%), gut comfort (85%), and cognitive development (82%). The research also showed that mothers shop around for formula—only 27% of respondents had never switched brands. Mothers in the United Kingdom were the most brand-loyal and those in China and Indonesia the least.

When asked whether they knew about specific formula ingredients, lactose topped the list (recognized by 66% of mothers) followed by probiotics (63%). Ingredients from whey were also widely known about. Nearly half of respondents (46%) were aware of whey proteins, 32% knew about whey protein hydrolysates, and 31% were aware of phospholipids. In addition, 29% were aware of alpha-lactalbumin, 20% knew of milk fat globule membrane (MFGM), and 16% were aware of osteopontin (OPN).

Whey ingredients also scored highly on preference. Nearly four in 10 of the mothers (38%) said they would prefer a product that contained whey proteins, with this figure rising to 55% in China. Alpha-lactalbumin and whey protein hydrolysates were also popular, both scoring 31%. OPN, phospholipids, and MFGM scored 28%, 28%, and 25%, respectively.

Press release