Survey highlights parent’s attitudes towards infant formula
Arla Foods Ingredients commissioned YouGov to survey 5,658 mothers in seven different countries about their attitudes towards infant formula, inparticualr, their ingredients.
When asked whether they knew about specific formula ingredients, lactose topped the list – recognised 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. Twenty-nine per cent were aware of alpha-lactalbumin, 20% knew of milk fat globule membrane (MFGM) and 16% were aware of osteopontin (OPN).
Nearly four in ten 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.
Manel Romeu Belles, global industry marketing manager for paediatric & medical nutrition at Arla Foods Ingredients, said: “This research provides valuable insights into the consumer behaviour of mothers buying infant and baby formula. One of the key findings, for us and for formula manufacturers, is that high numbers of mothers globally not only recognise whey-derived ingredients, but also have a preference for products that contain them. This is particularly true of China, the world’s largest infant formula market.”
High quality (87%), health benefits (83%), product brand reputation and clinically documented ingredients (both 75%) topped the list of product characteristics most important to mothers worldwide. Price (52%) was the least important. When asked which health benefits would influence their decision to buy a particular product, nearly nine in ten (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%).
A total of 5,658 mothers and mothers-to-be were interviewed in France, South Korea, China, the UK, the USA, Germany and Indonesia. All were aged 18-45, had children up to the age of four and were educated to college level.