Organic and gut health the mega trends in baby nutrition, says German firm expanding in APAC
Currently, the company is selling its products in 15 countries, mostly in Europe and also South Korea and Mainland China.
Consisting of products for both mothers and babies, the firm has developed a range of organic cow’s milk and goat’s milk formulas for newborns, complementary foods for toddlers, as well as pre and postnatal nutrition for women.
Founded by marketing and advertising specialist Liz Sauer Williamson and Alice Mrongovius in 2016, the firm’s purpose is to develop products that provide nutrition in the first 1,000 days of life, and at the same time, organic, without pesticides, and gut friendly.
“What we are pursuing is taking this organic, first 1,000 days nutrition out in the market, because what we are seeing globally is that [the nutrition for] mothers and babies are not really being taken into account.
“So, for us, as we grow, it is about looking at viable markets, areas where we know there is a high demand for high quality organic products,” Sauer Williamson told NutraIngredients-Asia.
It started with its first infant formula product in 2017 and also a non-instant porridge which requires quick cooking subsequently.
In fact, the products have quickly resonated with consumers from as far as South Korea, which the firm had entered via cross-border e-commerce in early 2018 after being approached by distributors.
“It was a market that came to us first and that was a nice surprise.
“What we found is that there is a real awareness of organic and nutrition and there was a real need or demand from that market,” Sauer Williamson said.
As a step forward, she said that the firm was planning to sell in-market in South Korea next year when the product registration has been approved by the regulator.
Elsewhere in Mainland China, the company has been selling 10 SKUs including cow’s milk and goat milk infant formula, as well as complementary foods, via cross-border e-commerce on Tmall since end April and also took part in the 618 shopping event.
The products were featured on Tmall after the firm got in touch with the e-commerce giant’s Germany team which wanted to experiment with new overseas products on the platform.
The company is entering China via cross-border e-commerce first as there were more barriers to entry in terms of product registration for in-market sale.
“We were really happy to find out that there was this possibility, that Tmall was also expanding their business networks for Germany-based small and medium sized companies to the China market through their platform.
“We were soon able to participate in different kinds of campaigns on Tmall and also the European-based organic products stores…We also participated in one of the biggest shopping festival campaigns 618.
“I would say that its an eye opening journey for us to see how Chinese consumers are relating to our products,” Cuilu Fan, business development manager said.
Since then, the company has been building awareness on its brand via WeChat, The Little Red Book, Zhihu etc.
Within APAC, the company is now in talks with business partners in Singapore and Japan for distribution of the products.
At the same time, it has also applied to the US FDA under the Enforcement Discretion policy for two of its products, namely Organic Pre Initial Milk for newborns and Organic Follow-Up Milk 6+.
“We are confident we will soon be able to support moms and their babies in the US…With a go from the FDA, we could more than quadruple our sales,” said Sauer Williamson.
Gut health trend
Another mega-trend that the firm has observed, is in the area of the gut microbiome and gut health.
Sauer Williamson pointed out the importance of the gut brain axis, pointing how it the gut microbiome could have an impact on long term health issues.
This is also why the company has since day one, added the prebiotic galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) into all its formulas which are manufactured in Austria.
In the next 18 months, the company will be launching pre and postnatal supplements for mothers to repair and support breast milk production, such as prenatal snacks, supplements and superfood powders to aid mothers’ and babies’ development.
At present, the firm has already developed energy bites and balls for pregnant women and mothers. Ingredients such as omega-3 ALA, iron, selenium, and vitamin C are used in the product for pregnant women, while fenugreek, brewer’s yeast, omega-3 ALA are used in the postnatal products to support lactation.
For baby products, the firm will be revamping its packaging, switching plastic fir recyclable paper-based packaging in Q4.
The firm will also be launching a vitamin gummy rich in vitamin C for toddlers.