WHY THE MOST EXPENSIVE MILK ISN'T ALWAYS THE BEST
Look at the milk powders on any supermarket shelf, and you’ll likely be stunned by the price differences. It’s now possible to find an S$35 tin of milk powder, next to one that’s priced at over S$55. Nature One Dairy Pty Ltd is a Singapore-owned Australian dairy firm is one of those. Most well-intentioned parents want to play it safe, pick the pricier one – but they may just be the victims of a slick marketing machine:
How milk powder prices went sky high
Average milk powder prices have shot up 120 percent in 10 years, mainly on the back of two things:
First, the information is asymmetrical. Most parents aren’t doctors, and there’s no way for them to know if marketing claims are accurate. For example, there are often claims of additives such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and arachidonic acid (AHA), which aid in a child’s mental development.
However, while the World Health Organization and Food and Agriculture Organization (WHO/FAO) and the Child Health Foundation have all recommended the inclusion of DHA and ARA in infant formula, these claims still remain controversial, as some Experts don’t know if intelligence is objectively tied to consuming more DHA as a child, as it could just as easily be a product of better education or academic interest. However, more does not often mean better!
The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Josephine Teo, has also remarked that milk powder generally maintains the same standards in Singapore. The product is regulated by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA), so there’s no chance of any brand being “inferior”.
The Singapore government is implementing tighter rules on the advertising of milk powder, for precisely this reason.
Second, prices may be more reflective of logistics than quality. Some milk powders are produced overseas and imported. These go through distributors or retailers that want a high markup. These higher costs are passed on to buyers, who mistake the high price as an indication of quality.
But what is the best milk powder?
The best milk powder for your child is:
safe for your child, and meets your child’s nutritional needs (this is every kind of milk powder approved by the AVA in Singapore)
one doesn’t cause an allergic reaction* in your child (constipation, diarrhea and rash)
affordable to you
Remember, a more affordable milk powder means more money saved. This means better provision for your child in other areas, such as a better education and better insurance policy.
*If your child is allergic to cow’s milk, you will need a hypoallergenic formula or one that’s based on goat’s milk or soy. We recommend that you seek advice from your paediatrician
Some milk powder is just cheaper because it comes direct
Nature One Dairy Pty Ltd is a Singapore-owned Australian dairy firm that manufactures as well as distributes infant formula and a variety of milk powder. Because we manufacture, and import infant formula directly we are able to provide a high-quality product at an affordable price. Nature One Dairy Pty Ltd is an approved manufacturer by Singapore’s AVA and whose product all meet AVA’s strict standards.
Don’t forget to address your baby’s preferences
The last reason why expensive isn’t best?
It’s a matter of taste. Just as some of us prefer an S$3.50 hawker meal to an S$45 restaurant meal, your baby may not love a formula just because it’s pricey. Some infants will turn their heads away from a formula just because of the smell, no matter its price or AHA/DHA additives.
Try a few different brands, and you may find your baby prefers something less pricey. Remember it’s just as good for them, and count yourself fortunate - there’s no need to force them to take the more expensive milk.