What do consumers around the world think about children’s milk formulas? - Little Étoile

What do consumers around the world think about children’s milk formulas?

Adequate infant and childhood nutrition is essential growth and development, especially before the age of 5, when they grow the most. Choosing the right milk formula products can be daunting, especially when parents just want to give their little ones the best opportunities. So, we thought it would be useful to get a better understand of their priorities in choosing children’s milk formulas.

During March and April 2021, Max Biocare Group, on behalf of Little Étoile, conducted an online questionnaire through social media, involving a total of 2334 mums with at least one toddler, living in 7 different countries. The results of the survey were also published here [link].

The diagram below shows what percentage of countries were represented in our sample:

Which were the most important health areas?

When asked about what they considered the single most important health benefits of children’s milk formulas, out of 5 that we listed, more than half of mums chose brain health (29.1%) and immune health (27.8%). Growth and height gain (18.8%), along with gut health (18.6%), were equal second, followed by eye health (5.5%) (as shown below).

Immune health and infections

The focus on immunity makes sense, considering the global events around the Covid-19 pandemic that have dominated family health and wellbeing issues, since early 2020. Parents have become more conscious about maintaining their children’s immune system health through complete, balanced nutrition. We already know from research reports that undernutrition is a risk factor for children’s degree of illness from infections [1], and can impact on their immune system [2].

As shown in the graph below, we found that Singaporeans were the most concerned about childhood immunity in a milk formula, followed by Chinese, Australians, Indonesians, Vietnamese, and Thai mums.

Mums also supported the idea that milk formulas should play a protective role in seasonal infections. When questioned about whether it was important that a milk formula should help prevent colds & flu in children, more than 80% of mums answered ‘yes’, as depicted in the graph below. We know from research studies that specific nutrients like zinc and vitamin C [3], vitamin D3 [4] and beta glucan [5], can play a role in lowering the impact of colds and flu in children.

Nutrition – the bottom line

Above all aspects of children’s formulas, we found that nutrition was by far the most valued aspect, compared to other factors, at 51%. This was also followed closely by brand trust and product shelf life, which are two aspects that are closely related to quality. Of course, complete, and balanced nutrition is at the core of all processes in growing bodies, not just immunity, that support healthy growth and development. Research reports have demonstrated that multi-nutrient and fortified milk formulas can have a positive benefit on the prevention of growth stunting, nutrient deficiencies, gut health problems, and cognitive delays [6][7].

Taken together, the survey provides evidence that nutrition is widely accepted as promoting health and wellness in children.