Push Button, Feed Baby. Nestle’s New Luxury Baby Formula BabyNes
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Press Button. Feed Baby: Nestle’s Controversial Luxury Baby Formula BabyNes

Press Button. Feed Baby: Nestle’s Controversial Luxury Baby Formula BabyNes

The Nespresso for Babies

After their single serve coffee concept having become one of the fastest growing of Nestlé’s billionaire brands, the company is looking at extending this success formula by introducing a luxury baby formula called BabyNes that follows a similar operational method as Nespresso coffee machine and capsules do.

Promising six consecutive formulas that “meet the evolving nutritional needs in the first three years of (baby’s) life” Nestle released a statement about its new product, saying, “The single-serve portions are sealed in capsules, used in the proprietary BabyNes machine, which recognises each capsule and prepares the bottle with precisely the right dosage and temperature, at the push of a button, in less than one minute.”

Having introduced BabyNes in Switzerland late last month, Nestle has been severely criticized for this new release by a number of Swiss dailies and health experts who are accusing the Switzerland-based food and dairy products giant of encouraging mothers to stop breastfeeding over a new lifestyle consumer machine that dispenses substitute baby milk formula from capsules.

Breast-feeding More Than Just a Lifestyle Statement

Luxury Baby Formula BabyNes by nestle

Luxury Baby Formula BabyNes by nestle

Despite the heavy price-tag attached to BabyNes - the high-end machine costs $295 with packets of 26 capsules, amounting to around four times the cost of Nespresso coffee –  likely to put off lower income consumers, the BabyNes product, with its single-serve capsules and instant milk-making machine, has gained so much criticism because of the never-ending debate about the morality and possible health implications of commercialising breast milk alternatives.

A sequel to the scandal that broke out in the 1970s when Nestle first introduced infant formula to developing countries,  though not as furious as its precedent, Nestle disagrees with all contentions of breast feeding campaigners, health experts and media questioning the possible health implications of introducing a product like BabyNes.

The company said in a statement, “Nestlé supports exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of an infant’s life, in line with World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations, and continued breastfeeding thereafter for as long as possible. For babies who are not breastfed, Nestlé provides high-quality breast milk substitutes, such as BabyNes.”

The 1970s scandal was largely based on Nestle being blamed for a number of infant deaths in developing countries following the introduction of baby formula in these markets, because of contaminated water having been mixed with the formula. These could possibly have been avoided had beastfeeding been ensured.

And despite the company’s claims about adhering to WHO guidelines about breastfeeding, through offering a “luxury baby formula” product, with its state-of-the-art technology, Nestle essentially seems to be endorsing a lifestyle product, a status symbol, that allows mothers to make an easier choice, rather than focus on nutritional implications of this choice.

Critics have focused especially on the negative aspirational trends such a product could set in developing economies. And while Nestlé has mentioned that they would be looking at launching BabyNes outside Switzerland in 2012, the company has not elaborated on whether they would be aiming at developing economies in the future.

images courtesy babynes.ch
Author
Christy Gren is an Industry Specialist Reporter at Industry Leaders Magazine; she enjoys writing about Unicorns, Silicon Valley, Startups, and Business leaders and innovators. Her articles provide an insight about the Power Players in the field of Technology, Auto, Manufacturing, and F&B. Follow Christy Gren on Twitter, Facebook & Google.

4 Comments

  • Kitty says:

    “that allows mothers to make an easier choice, rather than focus on nutritional implications of this choice” I hardly think fomula is an ‘eaiser choice’ than breastfeeding. Breastfeeding can basically be done anywhere anytime, without the need to sterilise bottles, carry bottles and formula, as it also far cheaper. For many women it is a heartbreaking reality. Not a choice at all. I have nerve damage to my breasts (due to having a reduction because of heavy breasts causing back/neck pain and migraines) and I more than likely will never be able to breastfeed. Should I let my future baby starve because ‘breast is best’? What about adoptive parents, while some are able to produce milk, that is a rarity. This article ignores the reality that while yes, breastMILK is best, for some, it simply is not possible for everyone! Also Plenty of women prefer to or need to express, so when you see a mother bottle feeding a baby, please don’t judge, because it may well be breastmilk in that bottle!

    • Lisa says:

      Kitty,

      It is sad if people who bottle feed because they have to feel judged by other people. I am sorry you won’t be able to do it. Do you know that for a fact? And if so isn’t it amazing that it exists so much great choice of breast milk replacement products? Called formula in the UK. I try not to judge when I see bottle feeding but the reason people do is because the sad truth that women are getting told by media and even health visitors that breast isn’t enough. They are getting told that breast is best but for the hungrier baby formula is needed. British women also seem paranoid about the weight of their breast fed babies because NHS has got a weight scale that every baby is suppose to follow (otherwise something is wrong). I was laughing when I met the health visitor with my very big breast fed baby who one month just didn’t seem to have grown that much. He probably just had a little pause in growing as he growth spurt previous month. The health visitor started to worry and asked me about feeding and even indicated the breast milk wasn’t enough and that I needed to come back in two weeks. I told her to stop worry and stop making people paranoid. Also I went to wedding recently in Italy where I brought my 10 month breast fed baby. It was four other couples there who had left there babies between 6 and 10 months at home in UK. Obviously not breast fed. I start to feel like a rarity here in UK for still breast feeding even though WHO says 2 years minimum. I was asked by a couple who has got a son the same age as mine to come to their birthday party weekend away but without the baby? I feel like I am weird not being able to leave my baby for the weekend. I just feel that he needs the comfort of the breast and it is getting even more important the more his emotions develop that I can give him that comfort. Also I noticed he could chew food from 6 or 7 months but the bottle fed babies seem to be very late with chewing as they get hardened in their mouth by the bottle and they seem to more dangerous to them to eat bits of food as it could get stuck in their throat. I just think we could give our babies enough attention at least the first years. They will grow up and become independent later in life anyway. There is no hurry to make them independent before they are ready. What they mean with “easier choice” is probably that you can gain your freedom easier with formula as you can go away for a holiday or go to work without having to feed all the time. For many people it is not possible to continue to breast feed because they have to work. That is the sad reality of a hard British society with too short maternity leave.

  • Dave says:

    babynes could also face some legal issues. did they copied the idea? … again??

  • Idana says:

    Now I know who the brainy one is, I’ll keep lkooing for your posts.

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