Webinar preview: Lactalis looks at essential nutrients for growing infants
22 May 2023 --- Several studies have demonstrated the necessity of proper nutrition for growing infants and their physical and mental development. Moreover, Innova Market Insights highlights that product launches in the baby and toddler category experienced a 5% growth globally from 2018 to 2022 (CAGR), with baby formula and milk being the leading subcategory for launches in 2022.
Furthermore, Innova reveals that the baby snacks category is showing innovation opportunities with 21% growth over the last five years and nearly half of all baby and toddler-focused launches featured an organic claim while plant-based claims rose 62% year-over-year from 2018 to 2022.
Ahead of Lactalis’ upcoming webinar titled, “Providing the right nutrition for optimal infant growth,” on 23 May, (16:00 CET) we look at the ingredients and innovations driving this growing market.
Breastmilk the standard
Breastfeeding has long been held as the standard in infant nutrition and, as science uncovers more and more of what is in human milk, it seems that will not change, though one company has stated it is close to replicating human breast milk.
Recent studies have shown that – even more than vaginal birth – formula feeding and breastfeeding have a greater effect on the infant microbiome. Moreover, the nutritious aspects of breast milk seem to be present regardless of the breastfeeding mother’s diet.
Breastfeeding is deemed so important in the optimal development of infants that a pasteurized milk bank was recently opened in San Diego, California, US. Additionally, a team of international researchers recently looked at the monetary contribution of breastfeeding and found positive impacts for countries’ GDP.
Building trust in formula
In some cases, breastfeeding is simply not an option. Moreover, as many women return to work faster – around 80% of mothers in France returned to work within one year of giving birth – breastfeeding times are becoming shorter and the need for nutritious formula is on the rise.
One thing Lactalis is set to stress in its upcoming webinar is the necessity of building trust among consumers, especially in light of the recent infant formula crisis that took place in the US.
Transparency, natural and clean label ingredients and nutritional analogs for the main components of breast milk will likely be a main driver in future formula formulations. Ingredients like lactoferrin, lactose and human milk oligosaccharides are increasingly included in formulations due to their health benefits.
Though, traditionally, the plant-based infant formula was considered a niche market, Innova Market Insights notes that infant nutrition products in the sector increased by 62% globally year-over-year from 2018 to 2022.
Furthermore, the plant-based and alternative-dairy infant formula segment was recently pegged as set to experience continued growth as many infants are sensitive to dairy and more and more parents are looking for environmentally-friendly protein sources.
By William Bradford Nichols
This feature is provided by FoodIngredientsFirst’s sister website, NutritionInsight.
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