Is gerber baby food made in china

Made in America? Not Exactly for These 5 Popular Products

Image source: The U.S. Army via Flickr.

Chances are that the phrase "Made in America" had a far different meaning for your parents. The "Made in America" label at one time exuded pride. It represented the toils of the American laborer that went into producing a product, and it gave the purchaser a sense of patriotism knowing they were purchasing a good manufactured within the United States.

However, today's economy is fully global, and from the smallest U.S. businesses to the most valuable corporations in the world, outsourcing manufacturing and services to foreign businesses has become fairly commonplace.

Why companies outsource
Why would U.S. companies risk losing the trust of American consumers to outsource part or all of their production? First, it has to do with costs. Popular outsourcing destinations such as China and India offer a substantially cheaper labor force, which can save a company money and allow it to keep the price of its goods and services relatively low.

Furthermore, outsourcing in China, Southeast Asia, or India opens up new markets for U.S. businesses. It can also improve supply chain management if parts are being purchased or sold in overseas markets. Finally, it allows overseas contractors to offer their perspectives, which domestic businesses may not otherwise have access to.

Nonetheless, some Americans take the "made in America" ideal seriously, and outsourcing can cost America jobs. While most U.S. companies have gotten away with outsourcing some or all of their business without too much backlash at home, producing products in overseas markets can still elicit a negative reaction from American consumers.

Made in America? Not exactly
With this in mind, here are five popular consumer products in America that you may not realize are actually produced (at least predominantly) in overseas markets.

Image source: Levi Strauss. 

Denim maker Levi Strauss is actually one of the most patriotic brands in America, according to the annual rankings from New York-based Brand Keys. The rags-to-riches story of its founder, as well as the durability of the brand, are hallmarks that have established the privately held business as an icon of America.

However, truth be told, there are very few factories left in America that produce Levi's. As of September 2014, there were more than 500 factories around the globe producing accessories for Levi's, including just nine within the United States. Remember, this is a premium denim brand with a relatively high price point, so keeping manufacturing costs low is important to keeping its final prices from getting out of hand. Thus far it appears the move overseas hasn't hurt the appeal of the Levi's brand.

Image source: Flickr user Sean MacEntee.

iPhones & iPads
OK, so this one may not come as a huge surprise, but two of Apple's (AAPL 1.63%) extremely popular products -- its iPhone and iPad -- both come out of China (although the Philippines will soon be making iPhones, too). The obvious reason to manufacture these products in overseas markets is to keep costs down. Monthly labor costs in China are around 10%-20% of what a full-time worker in the U.S. would make at the federal minimum wage. Given Apple's penchant for introducing as many new gadgets as possible in its phones and tablets, keeping manufacturing costs down is imperative.

However, it's about more than just costs. China's greenhouse emissions laws are considerably more relaxed than those of the U.S., and as pointed out in 2013, China is also home to a vast majority of rare-earth metals, which are used in the production of Apple's core mobile products. In this instance, Apple is making its supply chain more efficient by keeping production based in China, where rare-earth mines are located.

Of course, all design aspects of the iPhone and iPad come directly from Cupertino, California. There's no outsourcing of innovation on Apple's part.

Based on Apple's No. 1 brand value ranking worldwide, according to BrandZ, I don't believe its outsourcing is harming its reputation much.

Image source: Gerber. 

Gerber baby food
Most of us have seen Gerber commercials -- or may even have the Gerber baby's face emblazoned in our minds from walking down the aisles in the grocery store. Once an American company based in Michigan, Gerber is now owned by Swiss company Nestle (NSRGY -0.57%). Although it retains some American factories -- for its infant formulas, for example -- the majority of Gerber baby food is produced outside the confines of the United States.

Although the company isn't as forthcoming as Levi Strauss with its factory list, Nestle lists Poland, Venezuela, and Mexico as affiliated country websites that consumers can visit on its corporate page, implying that these are likely some of the manufacturing locations outside the United States. Like the others companies listed here, Gerber doesn't appear to be suffering from its ex-U.S. production: It claims U.S. baby food market share of 71% as of 2013.

Image source: Flickr user Laura Flores.

Major league baseballs
There may be no sport more American than baseball. Known as America's pastime, baseball began in the 19th century and continues today, with data from ESPN showing that approximately 73,760,000 people were in attendance in MLB ballparks in the 2015 season. 

Here's the real kicker: The baseballs being used in MLB games from Rawlings aren't American-made -- and they haven't been for decades.

Rawlings, which is one of many components of Jarden (NYSE: JAH), produces rawhide baseballs in Costa Rica. Whereas global expansion is on the minds of Apple, Nestle, and even Levi's, Rawlings made the move specifically to keep its costs down and its profits up decades before outsourcing was even considered an issue in the United States. As of 2010, the typical worker hand-stitching baseballs in Costa Rica earned around $1.60 per hour, compared to the $7.25 federal minimum wage in the United States.

Image source: Barbie.  

American Girl & Barbie
These are the toys that many children have loved for generations, but Mattel (MAT 0.33%)-owned Barbie dolls and American Girl dolls aren't made in America. Instead, as has been a mainstay in Mattel's production line for more than a decade, they are predominantly manufactured in China, along with many other Mattel toys.

Mattel's use of Chinese labor was a way of reducing costs and facilitating quick access to supply chain products that were also coming from China. In other words, this outsourcing was an attempt to make Mattel's supply chain as efficient as possible. Unfortunately for Mattel, this company actually has faced backlash for using outsourced labor.

In 2007, Mattel wound up recalling about 19 million toys, 18.2 million of which had small but powerful magnets that could be harmful to children if swallowed, along with about a half-million toys that were covered in potentially harmful lead paint. Mattel also wound up apologizing to China for enforcing weak safety standards that allowed dangerous materials to be put on toy-store shelves.

Not surprisingly, sales of Barbie, and even American Girl, have struggled in recent years. While outsourcing isn't the only issue here, Mattel's image was obviously not helped by these problems less than a decade ago.

Nestle says 'Gerber baby foods made in China are safe after toxic metals claim'

February 9, 2021

Nestle and its Gerber baby foods unit have responded to allegations posted on social media in China that the brand's cereals contain toxic metals.

Dean Best

Nestle and its Gerber baby foods unit have responded to allegations posted on social media in China that the brand’s cereals made and sold in the country contain ‘dangerous’ levels of toxic metals.

Last weekend, an association going by the name of the Maternal and Child Industry Committee of China Commercial Economy Society claimed on social media that Gerber products contain toxic metals “to a dangerous degree”, according to Reuters. The post, which advised consumers to stop buying Gerber products, was later shared across social media in China.

A representative for the association told the news agency that the posting on 6 February was meant for internal eyes, but had been misinterpreted and has since been removed, adding that Gerber products are still on sale in China.

A spokesperson for Nestle told Reuters via a statement: “All Gerber products produced in China comply with China’s food safety standards on complementary foods for infants and babies.”

Meanwhile, Gerber has posted a comment on its website saying heavy metals occur naturally in soil and water where crops are grown, as the allegations of toxic metals in baby foods resurface following similar claims made in 2019.

“As stated in our 2019 response to the Congressional Inquiry, we take many steps to minimise their presence. We prioritise growing locations based on climate and soil composition. We approve fields before crops are planted based on soil testing,” the statement read.

It continued: “As a member of the Baby Food Council, we have been working together with other industry members, the Environmental Defense Fund, Healthy Babies Bright Futures and Cornell University in the identification of best agricultural practices and creating a voluntary industry standard to reduce heavy metal levels in baby foods to the lowest levels possible.”  

The Chinese group was reportedly repeating claims made by US congressional investigators that they had found ‘dangerous levels of toxic heavy metals’ in certain baby foods, including Gerber.

A spokesman for the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) told Reuters it was reviewing the report by the investigators, and like Gerber, noted toxic elements are present in the environment in soil, water or air.

Gerber added: “The standards we have in place for the safety and quality of our baby foods are industry-leading, and among the strictest in not just the US, but the world. We meet the standards of the FDA, but we don’t stop there. We meet or exceed all existing government requirements, and where they don’t currently exist, we have established our own high standards based on the latest food-safety guidance. Gerber foods receive thorough oversight at all levels of the growing and the production process.”

Dean Best

An experienced editor, Dean has reported on the international food and beverage industries for 19 years. He became editor of Just Food in 2007 and Just Drinks in 2022.

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Children's vegetable puree: edible or inedible?

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GOST not Decree

The tasting of vegetable puree was conducted by specialists who have devoted many years to the development of baby food. Their opinion can be trusted. But we want to warn you: it is impossible to guarantee that the child will like the same puree as the experts (rather, you should rely on your own taste). Much more important is compliance with safety requirements. And most of the samples we tested meet the standards. Most, but not all. nine0003

Let's deal with the quality

Andrey Mosov, head of the expert department of NP Roskontrol, doctor:

“Such characteristics as sweetness, bitterness or “unexpressed taste” are subjective. Parents most often pay attention to the water content of the product. The presence of water in the composition of vegetable puree is not bad for the first feeding. You just need to understand that water is a cheaper raw material than a pumpkin.”

Irina Konokhova, leading expert of NP Roskontrol, doctor:

“Indeed, in most of the tested vegetable purees, the mass fraction of chlorides (i.e. salt) is 0. 2%, and in the Babushkino Lukoshko, Heinz and Semper purees it is 0.3%. Perhaps this is due to the higher natural content of sodium chloride in the feedstock, although it cannot be ruled out that salt was added. However, this intake of salt with complementary foods is acceptable, given the physiological need for sodium in children. The permissible mass fraction of chlorides in children's vegetable puree is 0.6%, and this figure is not exceeded in the tested samples. nine0016

How about sterility?

Let's start with the main thing: all samples meet the requirements of industrial sterility. Pesticides were not found in any of the samples, and all samples meet the standards in terms of nitrate content.

In addition, the puree was checked for 5-hydroxymethyl furfural content . It was not found in any of the samples.

All preservatives and sweeteners are prohibited in baby food. We checked the puree for the presence of sorbate, benzoate, sulfur dioxide (these are preservatives) and determined the mass concentration of sweeteners. Parents can be calm: no preservatives or sweeteners were found in the samples. nine0003

One in the jar, another on the label

Andrey Mosov, head of the expert department of NP Roskontrol, doctor:

in pumpkin puree should be 3.6% (in boiled pumpkin - 4.6%).

Summing up and drawing conclusions

Roskontrol experts noted that the manufacturer of puree Semper misleads the consumer about the presence of sugar in the composition. A mark "Bebivita" does not correspond to the actual product name - it is indicated in small print on the back of the label ("Complementary food product - mashed pumpkin and potatoes").

Puree “Spelyonok” has the inscription “fortified with vitamin C” illegally placed: the actual mass fraction of ascorbic acid in this sample is four times less than indicated in the label. Plus, on all samples, except for Bebivita puree, information about the nutritional value in terms of carbohydrate content is distorted. nine0003

Test details

August 27, 2014



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Gerber baby food DHA and rice probiotics products,Germany Gerber baby food DHA and rice probiotics supplier

Gerber baby food DHA and rice probiotics products,Germany Gerber baby food DHA and rice probiotics supplier

Home > All Categories > Others > Gerber Baby Food DHA & Rice Probiotics

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update time 2018-06-21

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Green Trading Co., Ltd.

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