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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Marketing of Growing Up Milk

Earlier this week, I shared this article on my social media channels - Breastfeeding is winning! So companies are pushing “toddler milk” to neurotic parents.  I find this article very important to merit its own blog post. One paragraph in the article struck me most:
Often, these drinks contain much higher levels of protein than breast milk or cow’s milk, health advocates say, which undercuts demand for healthy food. “When you drink a lot of formula milk, your appetite is not so good,” Ip said. That makes parents think their kids are picky eaters, she said, which then leads them to feed them more toddlers milk. These companies “are trying to solve problems they are creating,” she said.

This is very disturbing because this is precisely what the formula milk marketers are after.  Let's zero in on one of the more popular milk brands - Lactum:

The ads harp on the claim that Lactum is necessary for a complete nourishment of children.  However, they cleverly conceal the fact that they are just creating the need - a market - an extra product that parents have to spend on but their children do not really need.  If you check the food pyramid from the FNRI, you can see that the daily requirement of a child from 1-12 years old is just 1 glass of milk or milk products.

However, the way that growing up milk is being locally advertised is that your child will be cheated of intelligence, skill, etc. etc if you do not give him this xxx brand of growing up milk.  These milk brands also conveniently do not tell the parents that their products are not sterile and the correct preparation of these milk powder formulations require water that is at least 70 degrees Celsius, as mandated by the World Health Organization.

Yes, while the Milk Code specifically states that there should be no health or nutritional claims being made, we can still encounter violations left and right.  In fact, a friend Tricia shared that during her trip to the North, she noticed that in sari-sari stores, advertisements of soft drinks are now being replaced with advertisements of toddler or growing up milk.

Because consumers are now more aware of the benefits of breastfeeding and perils of artificial milk feeding for infants and babies, toddler milk or growing up milk has indeed become the new battleground.  As Nanay Ines always reminds us --- who wins and who loses when formula milk manufacturers market their products?  I am pasting the article link here again - and please do click, read and be enlightened

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