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Price of formula

(40 Posts)
TwoWeeSausages Wed 18-May-11 16:50:34

Has anyone else noticed that price of formula has went up significantly in the past couple of weeks?

Normally I pay around £7.50ish for a 900gm tin but went to buy one today and I was charged £8.99!

This is quite a jump in price.

I questioned the store about the price and was told that they have no control over this.

When DS1 was a baby, formula was around £7 a tin and this was 8yrs ago.

wigglesrock Wed 18-May-11 17:00:38

Yup, dd3 is 13 weeks old and I've noticed a big jump. Bought some in Boots and it was about £8.80 and you don't even get points for it grin slightly cheaper in Asda. I use SMA Gold.

RitaMorgan Wed 18-May-11 17:19:47

Aptimil got hugely more expensive a few months ago too, I switched to C&G - think that has increased too but still much less than Aptimil.

Pootle78 Wed 18-May-11 18:22:58

We use hipp and it's 6.9something in Asda for 800g

TwoWeeSausages Wed 18-May-11 18:57:01

I use SMA Gold too.

Had a check of other stores and it seems to be that they are all sticking their prices up on stage 1 milk.

Its only been within the last fortnight. Have tried to find out any information relating to the ridiculous price hike but can't find a bloody thing!

I just can't understand the rise considering the price has only risen by about 70p in the past 8yrs.

wigglesrock Wed 18-May-11 18:59:54

I know I had dd1 6 years ago and dd2 3 years ago and there was no difference in the price in that period. I started looking at SMA a couple of weeks before dd3 was born and nearly wet myself grin

TwoWeeSausages Wed 18-May-11 19:04:18

I'm actually thinking about moving my DS onto follow-on milk when he's 6mths just due to the cost.

SecretNutellaFix Wed 18-May-11 19:07:15

it has got to a stage where they have kept the prices down/ steady for too long and for them to keep making a certain amount of profit the manufacturers are whipping on the shortfall all at once.

wigglesrock Wed 18-May-11 19:07:34

I know and I'm not a fan of follow-on milk.

MrsTerryPratchett Wed 18-May-11 20:12:45

The price of oil means transporting things has got expensive, could be linked.

nov75 Wed 18-May-11 20:39:29

It's all about profit as my DH works for one of the manufacturers and I can tell you they make over 80 % profit minimum per tin! I bf but give the milk he gets away and he only pays around £3 per tin, usually less for aptamil 3. We didn't know how much it costs until my friend told us so he buys it for her in bulk once every two months. All retailers make big profits on formula too if they sell huge amounts hence mother and baby events. They are competing for custom to get the most sales and therefore get it for cheaper! Milk should be regulated as it's vital whether you ff or bf that kids get enough. I worry for those who really struggle and hate to think of a hungry child.

jaggythistle Thu 19-May-11 11:42:48

That's kind of depressing to read. nov sad

It's shit how they pretend to actually care about babies, it's all about the profit I guess.

OhYeahOhRight Thu 19-May-11 11:48:57

Goodness, yes, I noticed yesterday that SMA in Tesco has gone from £7.60ish to £9.something in a week. We are so skint at the moment that I'm cutting back on eveything to meet the bills and I nearly cried when I saw the increase. I'm sure it'll go up again, as what are we going to do? We can hardly stop buying formula can we?

If I changed brand do you think it would upset DD's tummy? She's 5 months. I'd love to change now I think about the cheek of holding mothers to ransom in this way angry

RitaMorgan Thu 19-May-11 11:58:35

I think SMA is already the cheapest - no harm in changing brands though, the manufacturers just want you to think you can't!

VeronicaCake Thu 19-May-11 12:09:41

DD had formula from 6m and she had whatever was cheapest which round our way tended to be C&G or Hipp Organic. The cartons of Aptamil were cheaper than the others so she had those too. So I think you can prob try switching esp if your baby is already 5m old.

wigglesrock Thu 19-May-11 13:03:10

Me again smile I was in our "big" Tescos this morning and up to £9 there as well. I have a funny feeling (and I'm a very level headed person honest), that there is a hope that by putting up the price we will be encouraged to swap to "ready made up cartons", which are easier for shops to store and also mean that formula companies wouldn't have to keep amending "how to safely make up formula in advance" guidelines. Now am off to sit in a corner with my tinfoil hat on.

VeronicaCake Thu 19-May-11 13:34:56

I don't think that is tinfoil hat territory at all wigglesrock. Sounds plausible to me.

I am also a bit puzzled as to why the tubs of Aptamil powder are always much more expensive than SMA and C&G but the cartons (at least in my local Boots and Co-op) are always a few pence cheaper. My hunch is that Aptamil is marketed at mothers who initially want to BF exclusively. So when they start to offer bottles it is only the odd carton here or there and they look along the shelf and pick up the cheapest one but then if they end up stopping bf-ing they are tied in to buying expensive Aptamil. Whereas people who bottlefeed from birth start off buying tubs of powder and only pick up cartons occasionally.

But maybe that is ridiculously cynical of me and whoever does the pricing in my local shops is a nana.

mejon Thu 19-May-11 13:58:34

SMA is now £8.99 in Morrisons too. I paid £7.69 for a tin last week.

shufflebum Thu 19-May-11 14:07:26

Christ really hope I manage to crack bf this time, was a disaster with DS but can't afford to pay those prices shock
I wonder if I should start buying some now just to spread the load a little, sod's law would then mean that it's a breeze and then I get left with a load of formula!

wigglesrock Thu 19-May-11 14:16:48

veronicacake I think that sounds quite likely as well. I know a lot of people who have the Aptamil is closest to breastmilk idea in their head.

I have e-mailed SMA to ask them why the sudden and substantial jump grin

DaisySteiner Thu 19-May-11 14:27:24

If you look on google shopping there are a number of online chemists still charging lower prices - might be worth stocking up if you can?

OhYeahOhRight Thu 19-May-11 14:30:50

So is this like a monopoly situation then, in that they've all increased their prices at the same time? Doesn't really give the consumer much choice does it?

OhYeahOhRight Thu 19-May-11 14:33:34

So is this like a monopoly situation then, in that they've all increased their prices at the same time? Doesn't really give the consumer much choice does it?

VeronicaCake Thu 19-May-11 15:43:07

It is an oligopoly - there are really only 3 sellers in the market for cows milk based formula, Nutricia (owned by Danone) which manufactures Aptamil and C&G, Pfizer which manufactures SMA and Hipp. When there are only a handful of sellers in a market you would expect a high degree of price conformity because it is very easy for each of them to see what their competitors are charging.

The problem is because the content of baby milk is heavily regulated it is very hard for new sellers to enter the market. And the other factor which might drive prices downwards is allowing supermarkets to compete on price but they are forbidden from promoting infant milks.

The net effect is that the consumer is screwed on price. But at least they can be confident that the milk they buy is safe for their baby. Deregulating to make it easy to manufacture or market baby milks might mean that unscrupulous sellers could sell poisonous products as happened in China or it could encourage manufacturers to promote false messages about formula milks being as nutritious for babies or even better than breastmilk. The latter type of marketing is typically disastrous for breastfeeding rates.

A further alternative would be for formula to be provided free by the NHS. The existence of one big buyer (the state) would force the price down, so this would be more efficient overall but is also politically unworkable.

ishchel Thu 19-May-11 16:25:44

"The problem is because the content of baby milk is heavily regulated it is very hard for new sellers to enter the market. And the other factor which might drive prices downwards is allowing supermarkets to compete on price but they are forbidden from promoting infant milks."

they are forbidden from promoting infant milks but they are not forbidden from permanently reducing the price.

In the US formula is promoted heavily but it is still as expensive as it is in the UK.

I think it has more to do with parents thinking that a more expensive formula means 'better' so if one were to permanently reduce its price it fears that buyers will think it is no longer 'best'.

The US also has generic brands Walmart, aka ASDA sells its own brand and another one I know of is called PBM I think and they are permanently priced about 20 to 30% lower than branded formula.

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