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To be outraged at this price increase?

(210 Posts)
Pinkcat231 Wed 20-May-20 23:28:56

I was reading an article the other day about baby formula prices and how families struggle to afford it then today I have noticed several shops have increased the price of all the Aptamil products.

I assume other brands will follow and it just seems outrageous with the current crisis and so many people getting less or no pay.

A lot of companies seem to be cashing in on the fact supplies are running low of certain items so AIBU to think Aptamil have jumped on that bandwagon or is this an innocent, albeit poorly timed, price increase in line with inflation?

Dazedandconfused10 Wed 20-May-20 23:45:42

Or maybe due to lack of supplies it costs more to produce and price is increased to reflect this. Yeah they could make less profit and keep the price the same but no one goes into business to not make money.

Pinkcat231 Thu 21-May-20 00:11:39

Maybe, although certainly not for the milk part as there were farmers on the news pouring it down the drain the other day due to lack of demand. sad

Does anyone know who sets the baby formula price anyway? It has to be the same in every shop, doesn’t it?

MarylandMayhem Thu 21-May-20 00:17:48

Why wouldn't they increase the price? The company exists to make a profit, not to help babies. If they think people will pay more then of course they'll raise the price.

Dazedandconfused10 Thu 21-May-20 00:19:53

If the farmers dont have the contract though, that takes time.

or it's the other ingredients. I'm not sure about setting pricing bit I dont think it does,you just have to be able to compete and get yourself the best deal. Could be wrong there though

Disquieted1 Thu 21-May-20 00:21:29

No one sets the price. Cartels are illegal.

I think that this is just something that we will have to suck up (where did all the supermarket offers go?)
Every single business will struggle to pay the bills: manufacturers, supply chain, distribution, customers reluctant to buy...I doubt if it is profiteering.

BikeRunSki Thu 21-May-20 00:21:47

Infant first milk can not be incentivised to make it cheaper/gain loyalty points etc. I’m not sure there is any regulation in putting the price up.

Gingerkittykat Thu 21-May-20 00:22:04

How much is the price rise?

Muppetry76 Thu 21-May-20 03:25:24

Why on earth would you think that there is a fixed price for anything?

Market forces/supply & demand/unscrupulous manufacturers/retailers all have a part to pay in setting prices for anything eg a tin of value chopped tomatoes in Aldi is much cheaper than Waitrose specialist sun-dried tinned tomatoes. Retailers charge what people will pay. The same is true for houses, nappies, fórmula.

Have you tried shopping around to compare prices?

CovidicusRex Thu 21-May-20 03:30:44

@MarylandMayhem because it will have a detrimental effect on good will and could result in lower profits for years to come. Blindly opportunistically raising prices is a very bad idea. It’s likely that they’ve thought it all through and decided that a price rise was a good idea but even large companies cock up so one can’t assume.

CayrolBaaaskin Thu 21-May-20 03:38:30

There’s no price setting of formula or anything else. All prices in the supermarket have gone up

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 21-May-20 03:40:14

There is a perfectly good, basically free way to feed babies without using formula which is available to most families. Unlike many items. Admittedly people can't change horse mid race. But there's nothing to stop new mums voting with their breasts feet.

I actually think this is a better way to sell breastfeeding than all that 'breast is best' nonsense. If you're tight, breastfeed. Lazy? Breastfeed.

mochajoe Thu 21-May-20 03:43:44

The price of formula is set to a minimum by law so that retailers can't promote formula over breast milk. I found that out when buying formula in boots once and they told me I couldn't get Clubcard points on it because it would be considered a promotion. I'm not sure if there is a maximum price that is set for any reason though.

DCIRozHuntley Thu 21-May-20 03:53:34

I'm not sure it is true that formula milk is set to a minimum in law. Certainly you can't advertise it instore by methods like product placement, earning promotional points or vouchers on it (or using them against it) or running promotions like 20% off. However companies can set the standard RRP as low as they like I think. For example, Sainsbury's own brand formula is around £7 and Aldi sells a first stage one for £6.

Aptamil et al are super expensive because formula companies spend £36 per new baby born worldwide on advertising / marketing.

Kittenlicker Thu 21-May-20 04:33:01

Prices were always going to do up with Brexit, and shortages of some products. Could it be this?

GinDaddyRedux Thu 21-May-20 04:47:02


Nice...on the assumption that the person buying the formula has a choice. Not all women do, despite what strange stuff is sometimes written on here. It's not just a willpower thing.

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 21-May-20 05:17:12

I literally wrote available to most families literally.

Of course some women can't. And there should be no judgement. But there is a free way to feed babies for MOST families. And then adopted babies and fostered babies and all that.

But breastfeeding rates are vastly lower than those that can't. If you choose to formula feed you are putting yourself at the mercy of formula manufacturers. Who aren't famously ethical. Do what you like but I'm pointing out that this choice means you're at the mercy of business.

I can't really understand why people get so angry about basic facts.

Most women can BF most babies
Formula is produced by companies, not charities
People choose most of the time to do this

itsniceoopnorth Thu 21-May-20 05:24:23

Cost prices are increasing on many many products. Not the retailers fault

AgentJohnson Thu 21-May-20 05:28:36

Op are you suggesting that the government set the price? Prices fluctuate, formula isn’t the only product that has increased in price.

downtheplug Thu 21-May-20 05:34:24

I fully agree with @MrsTerryPratchett. BF rates in the UK are incredibly low. There is a reason for this, I am not claiming to be an expert or to know the answer but I do believe that is it mostly cultural.

BF is very hard work, and can take weeks. It does hurt. And then, after a few weeks, (with my 3rd it took a month!) it tends to (for the majority) fall into place.

I don't believe that in the UK, mums are given enough support in the beginning. IMO, if this is put into place, and new mums are given the time and support to establish feeding, then rates will go up.

Of course, there are always going to be some women who can't, and there are always going to be some babies who struggle. Thank goodness for formula! But the companies are not there to produce it cheaply and not make any profit. Same with nappies.

Anyway, back to the OP. You can be outraged if you choose. But that is business, at the end of the day.

Honeybee85 Thu 21-May-20 05:42:32

Sometimes it's not the company that makes the end product that wants to make extra money, they might be forced to increase their price because their suppliers have increased the price for raw materials.

I live outside the UK.
Every shop that sells sanitizing handgel here is selling it now for 3 or 4 times the price it was before Corona outbreak. The local equivalent of Poundland has had empty shelfs where there used to be liquid handsoap and baby wipes. They surely haven't restocked it for weeks because the shelves are always empty and there's no sign there that indicates that only 1 item of it per customer may be purchased. My guess is due to high demand they are unable to get it for the price they got it before from their suppliers, who could probably sell it for more to other shops or brands. Therefor they won't be able to sell it in the shop for their normal price and still make profit thus they temporary stopped selling it. It's unfortunately a result of the times we are living in.

lazyarse123 Thu 21-May-20 05:51:26

[Disquieted] supermarkets took the offers away when supplies were difficult to get etc 3 for 2 so they could limit the amount everyone could buy. According to my boss (supermarket) it takes 15 million cages a week to keep everyone supplied and they're only able to deliver 11 million due to lack of drivers and manufacturing workers at the moment.

Pinkcat231 Thu 21-May-20 06:21:17

I didn’t know if the prices had a minimum due to the laws around not being able to promote it etc. It also seems to be the exact same price in every shop which I’ve never noticed with any other product.

As for breastfeeding I don’t know one woman (of the 30+) who’ve had babies in recent years that haven’t been told to use formula by their midwives or HV due to weight gain issues so maybe that’s where the issue lies.

But it was only a question/discussion, happy to be told IABU! Just sad to think of more babies going hungry (if this article is to be believed) if all brands prices rise by as much.

Daftodil Thu 21-May-20 06:35:23

Could be lots of reasons for the increase...

Supermarkets are spending more on deep cleaning between shifts, the signage around the store showing 2m gaps/1-way travel, PPE for staff, hand sanitizer for staff/customers etc etc. They will have cancelled special offers and increased prices to cover this.

Also, we are in April - start oc a new financial year - so perhaps manufacturers have set new prices.

Or, as PPs have pointed out, ingredients may be more expensive.

Thehop Thu 21-May-20 06:42:30

@MrsTerryPratchett this! Exactly!!!

But you’ll get eaten alive 😂

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