Plant-based, soy free: Else Nutrition’s infant formula debuts in APAC with Australia launch

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

Else Nutrition's stage 2 plant-based follow-on formula (left) and stage 3 toddler drink. © Else Nutrition
Else Nutrition's stage 2 plant-based follow-on formula (left) and stage 3 toddler drink. © Else Nutrition

Related tags plant-based Infant formula toddler formula Dairy alternatives Australia

Else Nutrition, which specialises in plant-based but soy-free infant and toddler formulas, has launched in Asia-Pacific with Australia as its first stop.

Formulated using almond, buckwheat, and tapioca as the key ingredients​, the Israeli firm launched two products in Australia, namely 1) a stage 2 follow-on formula for infants six to 12 months and 2) a stage 3 toddler drink for toddlers aged 12 to 36 months.

The former is also Else Nutrition’s first ever commercially available infant formula across the globe.

Currently sold online via Amazon, there are plans to roll out the products in other online retailers and brick and mortar stores, including independent natural products stores, drug stores, and grocery stores.

Outside of Australia, the company’s toddler formula and other products such as baby cereal and kids shakes are already commercially available in the US and Canada.

Australia: More educated in plant-based infant nutrition

Across APAC, Australia is currently one of the most educated markets when it comes to the link between plant-based products and infant nutrition.

The market is also strategically located in APAC, which is also a reason for starting its regional expansion there.

“The connection between plant-based and baby food is not very strong in China and many other APAC countries. Australia, however, is quite different. 

“They (the other APAC countries) perceive plant-based as something that is not necessarily complete in nutrition, and not necessarily representative of infant formula, so there is a lot of education required, which is another challenge, but the potential is huge,” ​Hamutal Yitzhak, CEO and co-founder of Else Nutrition told NutraIngredients-Asia.

Watch the following video as Hamutal tells us more. 

The Australian market has seen the entry of new plant-based or plant and dairy blend toddler formulas in recent months, including oat-milk based firm Haven​. Danone, on the other hand, had launched a dairy and plant milk powder blend​ for infants and toddlers in Australia and New Zealand.

Sprout Organic​ is also another plant-based infant and toddler formula firm originating from Australia.

Citing data from Research and Markets, Hamutal said that APAC’s baby, infant, and toddler food market was expected to grow from an estimated market size of US$50bn in 2021 to over US$75bn in 2028, making the region a “big opportunity” ​for Else Nutrition.  

We will be shining the spotlight on infant nutrition, as well as food and nutra for kids at Growth Summit Asia 2024. You could expect to hear from leading brands including Aptamil's parent firm Danone, China's Junlebao, Indonesia's up-and-coming gummy supplement brand Youvit, and Singapore's Haruplate. Find out more about the agenda​. Do register to attend​ now!

The three key market opportunities

Providing an alternative to infants who are lactose intolerant, allergic to dairy, and is clean label are the three key market opportunities that Else Nutrition has identified for its products.

Of which, being clean label and using minimally processed ingredients are attributes which the company believes that distinguish itself from other plant-based competitors.

This is especially in the US and Canada where the competition between plant-based toddler products is more prevalent.  

“There’s competition in the US, Canada, especially in the US where you will find some plant-based options but none of them is an infant formula,” ​Hamutal said.

“[Second is] the fact that our processing method is so different as compared to the rest of the industry. This is because we are not using isolated proteins, we are not using fractions or derivatives of ingredients which are ultra- and highly-processed.”

Instead, through the company’s patented method, she said that intact proteins were processed via mechanical and enzymatic methods, while avoiding chemical processing at the same time. 

“In that respect, I think we are the only ones based on whole food ingredients. This is another talking point or attribute that attracts a lot of parents that are looking for better-for-you products for their children.

“Our patents and our IP and know-how specialise in whole food ingredients. The minimally processing of ingredients is also part of our innovation, and that’s how we want to stand out,”​ she said.

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