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Most formula is sold to women who didn't want to buy it - how manufacturers make their product appeal

(140 Posts)
hunkermunker Sun 07-Jun-09 19:28:44

Given that most women want to breastfeed, yet most don't do it for as long as they wanted to, and given that only breastmilk or formula are suitable for babies under a year old, there's a lot of formula being bought by women who don't want to buy it.

Can we have a chat about how advertising formula brands (in the form of follow-on, etc) is actually unhelpful with regard to making the baffling choice of "which formula"?

How DID you choose which formula? What would've helped you with your decision? Do you feel that adverts for formula are a valuable addition to the information, or do you think that seeing words such as immunofortis, laughing babies and blue Ready-brek glows round breastfed babies and toddlers in adverts are really pretty meaningless?

WinkyWinkola Sun 07-Jun-09 19:30:46

I'm really not convinced most women want to breast feed at all though.

TrillianAstra Sun 07-Jun-09 19:32:28

I imagine it's about brand recognition - if as you say, a woman doesn't really want to FF then when she (or her DP/DH) buys it they will be stressed, tired, possibly in pain, and just grabbing the first thing they see that looks familiar.

AbricotsSecs Sun 07-Jun-09 19:33:22

Message withdrawn

fucksticks Sun 07-Jun-09 19:34:50

I wanted to BF and didnt for long both times.
I used Aptamil the first time purely because it was the most expensive and therefore must be the best <deluded>
The second time I knew it wasnt any better because it was more expensive, but I also knew DS1 had done so well on it and had no other experience so just stuck with what I knew worked and it was fine again.
The adverts never made any impact on which one I chose as far as I'm aware.

rubyslippers Sun 07-Jun-09 19:35:26

I chose SMA as that is the only one i had heard of and my sister had used it

imunofortis means nothing to me ... it just sounds made up ... which it is

puffylovett Sun 07-Jun-09 19:36:02

when we did eventually start supplementing with the odd bit of formula, I choose Hipp organic purely because it was organic and the only organic version on the market. It makes me potty seeing the advert you're referring to actually, because they're using babies to advertise follow on milk for 1 yr plus - which is misleading and misrepresentative IMO.

As for the others, I avoided Aptamil because I'd read things about the quality of the DHA they were adding to it hmm

fucksticks Sun 07-Jun-09 19:36:37

My sister and SIL both used SMA as that is what they saw being used in hospital and therefore felt as though midwifes were 'recommending' it almost.

puffylovett Sun 07-Jun-09 19:36:49

(still doing odd bit of bfeeding btw, we just supplemented when I worked evenings )

nigglewiggle Sun 07-Jun-09 19:37:17

How do you know that women wanted to breastfeed, but bought formula? How do you know that they don't just say that they want to breastfeed because they think that's what they should say, when they really intend to use formula all along?

KingRolo Sun 07-Jun-09 19:37:59

Well, the only formula I have bought is some to keep at MIL's house in case of emergency - she looks after DD one day a week so it's worth having something there in case the ebm gets spilt or something.

When chosing what to buy I was so confused though. I couldn't connect any of the adverts with what was on the supermarket shelves, had no idea at all about the 'benefits' of each brand and words like immunofortis just don't actually mean anything to me.

In the end I bought a few of those little cartons for convenience sake. I think it was SMA but can't be sure.

pickupthismess Sun 07-Jun-09 19:45:01

I'll be honest I'd didn't even notice the advertising. I needed formula because DS wouldn't bfeed and SMA looked good on the shelf at Tesco. DS liked it and that's what we stuck with.

bigstripeytiger Sun 07-Jun-09 19:46:58

I would have chosen Aptimil.

I had a terrible time with BF initially, and remember standing in the supermarket with tears in my eyes, looking at all the formula, trying to find one that was as good as breastmilk.
I didnt manage to find one, but thought that the Aptimil seemed the most likely, as it said something on the packet about being for breastfed babies.

So from my experience I would say that anything that makes you feel less guilty for buying formula would improve sales.

(I know that Aptimil isnt any better than any other formula, but it just shows how gullible you can be when you are feeling guilty anyway).

I was lucky that I didnt manage to find any formula that seemed to be equivalent to breastmilk, as eventually I did manage to make BF work out.

RambleOn Sun 07-Jun-09 19:52:05

Slightly off topic, but that tv advert works for me - cow and gate growing up milk I think.

They plonk a huuuge baby bottle of cows milk on the highchair tray and say "this is how much cows milk your toddler needs to drink to get the same amount of iron as a thimblefull of C&G growing up milk" (or sommat like that)

Gives me the guilts something chronic grin

PeppermintPatty Sun 07-Jun-09 19:53:47

I have only ever bought one box of formula which eventually went out of date and ended up in the bin - as DD refused to drink anything but breastmilk.

It was HIPP organic which I bought cos it was the cheapest in the supermarket at the time blush

I tend to ignore most formula advertising, but I'm quite cynical of advertising in general.

Surfermum Sun 07-Jun-09 19:55:02

I wasn't capable of rational thought, it was what dh came back from the shops with.

PeppermintPatty Sun 07-Jun-09 19:56:46

I also disagree that most women want to breastfeed. That's certainly not true in my area - only about 50% of women initiate breastfeeding at my local women's hospital.

fishie Sun 07-Jun-09 19:58:07

a friend of mine didn't want to bf, she chose aptimil. "there isn't really any difference between it [and bm]"

before i got bf going i used sma, because that was what my mum had used to top up my sister (i'm quite a bit older).

wuglet Sun 07-Jun-09 19:59:01

Can't answer the OP but rambleon - that advert is rubbish because babies who are weaned aren't getting all their iron from milk - so yes they could drink a gallon of cows milk - or they could eat an egg. Or some beans. Or a dried apricot!


Picante Sun 07-Jun-09 20:00:36

I got Aptimil because the packaging looked posh. shock

I was naive back then!

RambleOn Sun 07-Jun-09 20:01:29

I agree ppatty - in my area too. I would say that if asked, most would say they wanted to bf, but only because they feel that it's expected of them.

Then they 'fail to bf' without even trying iyswim.

Just my feeling on those new mums I've met recently obviously.

CherryChoc Sun 07-Jun-09 20:03:21

My friend tried to bf but her baby was sleepy and not wanting to latch (though she had had pethidine and the midwives didn't tell her this might be why) - her DP picked Aptimil from the ones offered, "because that was the only one which had won an award" shock He is severely dyslexic, so can be forgiven for not reading what it actually said in the little shield thing, but that is exactly the kind of snap thing which makes the decision for people at 3am when they (or their wife/partner) is in pain and desparate.

RambleOn don't feel guilty, what they don't tell you in the advert is your toddler is probably getting the iron they need from their food at that age - lots of iron in red meat, green vegetables and eggs.

hunkermunker Sun 07-Jun-09 20:04:23

Interesting - I wonder what the response would've been if I'd started a thread with the title "Most women don't want to bf, they just pretend to because they think they ought"...!

I maintain that most women, nationally, want to breastfeed. Many are pragmatic about stopping, others are grief-stricken and that manifests in a number of ways.

nickytwotimes Sun 07-Jun-09 20:05:51

I wanted to bf.
Got no support whatsoever adn was in agony. Gave up after a few weeks.
Gave ds SMA as that was what I was fed on, as was dh.

Personally, the advertising didi nothing fo rme, but i know loads of people round here who think that INSERT BRAND HERE is 'best' because it is 'almost as good as breastmilk' hmm

hunkermunker Sun 07-Jun-09 20:05:52

Whether women want to be buying formula or not, they deserve to have decent information about it.

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