Baby-food sales have been increasing, apparently as a result of parents transitioning their infants early from hard-to-find formula.
In March and April, following the closure of an Abbott Laboratories formula processing plant, sales of baby food were up 58% over the previous year, according to figures from Numerator, a data insights firm. Numerator also surveyed 576 consumers who identified as recent buyers of formula. Among those, 14% said they will supplement the lack of formula with other foods, and 10% said they will begin transitioning their children away from formula.
The transition from formula to solid food generally takes place around 12 months. Pediatricians warn that rushing it can be harmful, since formula contains all the nutrients a baby needs, while individual solid foods generally do not.
In other formula-related news, Danone announced that it will be joining Nestlé and other companies in sending baby formula into the U.S. from overseas. Danone will ship 5 million bottles’ worth of Nutricia, an amino-acid-based brand of formula for babies with allergies to milk, from its factory in Liverpool, UK. The shipment will be part of Operation Fly Formula, an initiative by the Biden administration to bring in formula from overseas.