Nestle uk baby food

Infant formula | Nestlé Global

Breast milk is the ideal nutrition to ensure babies get the best possible start in life. It provides infants with the right nutrients, builds tolerance and offers protection, while, for mothers, it fosters bonding and stimulates the production of important hormones.

Unfortunately, not all mothers can breastfeed: there are a few medical conditions that aren’t compatible with breastfeeding. Also, situations such as inflexible work schedules or working away from home may prevent a mother to breastfeed her baby. They simply are not in a conducive environment to breastfeeding.

Studies have shown that non-breastfed babies are often given alternatives which don’t offer the nutrition they need. So it is critical that, when infants are not breastfed, they receive the highest quality, scientifically proven alternatives to breast milk with the appropriate guidance of their healthcare professionals. For us, the number one priority is to ensure that all children get the best possible nutrition.


We first developed infant formula 150 years ago to meet the urgent need for a safe alternative to breast milk. Since then, we have continuously improved our products to create the best possible breast-milk substitutes, always holding ourselves to the highest safety and quality standards.

Nestlé offers high-quality, nutritionally balanced and science-based products to mothers and babies in the first 1000 days of life, which are setting the foundations for lifelong health. We value the trust our consumers place in us, and it is our responsibility to respect this trust by acting in their best interests at all times.

That is why we are committed not to interfere with mothers’ desire to breastfeed and to protect them from inappropriate marketing practices by actively supporting breastfeeding. We do so by making it easy for our employees to breastfeed, allowing up to 14 weeks’ maternity leave or implementing breastfeeding rooms in our facilities and public places.

Download Nestlé Global Parental Support Policy (pdf, 3Mb)

We’ve also implemented industry-leading Policy and Procedures (pdf, 5Mb), derived from the WHO Code of the Marketing of the Breast-milk Substitutes, that reflect Nestlé’s strong compliance culture.


At Nestlé, the health and safety of babies is our priority, and we are committed to using only the highest quality ingredients and applying the strictest safety standards for our products, even when these extend beyond the requirements of local legislation.

We design our products to suit every stage of a baby’s healthy growth and development, and we only use raw materials that are traceable to source. All our products comply with our own strict specifications, as well as international and local quality and safety standards. The materials we use are grown by experienced farmers, who have been specifically selected, trained to apply good agricultural practices, and are regularly audited to ensure they conform.

We perform quality checks on our ingredients and finished products up to 200 times throughout the production process, using state-of the-art laboratories, in line with our mission to nurture a healthier generation through safe, nutritious and high-quality products.

Download our Quality & Safety Infographic (pdf, 250Kb)

Cerelac | CERELAC

6+ Months

7+ Months

12+ Months

CERELAC® products

Choose an age range from the menu above to view products suitable for your little one.

From around 6 months

At 6-7 months old, your baby is just beginning to eat. Baby foods for this stage are gentle for learner eaters. They have plain flavours and smooth textures, just what your baby needs.

From 7 months

Now they are 7-8 months old, your baby is ready to explore and try new tastes. Stage 2 CERELAC® helps you introduce them to new flavours. These cereal flavours help to encourage variety in their diet.

Now is also the time to introduce finger foods as babies are able to pick up foods with their fingers

These products are produced on a production line that also handles peanuts and nuts.

From 10 months

By 10 months, your baby is ready to explore new textures and tackle some bite sized foods.

CERELAC® Farmer’s Selection Snacks can help to further develop your baby’s skills; by exposing them to new shapes and textures they learn how to pick up new foods.

These products are produced on a production line that also handles peanuts and nuts.

From 12 months

By the age of 12 months, your baby is an established eater ready to try more. It’s time to introduce them to family food textures, to help with muscle development and provide a strong foundation on which to build future tastes.



CERELAC® Wheat with Milk

CERELAC® Wheat with Milk is a nutritious, wheat-based infant cereal with milk powder. 


CERELAC® Baby Rice with Milk

CERELAC® Baby Rice with Milk is a nutritious, rice-based infant cereal with milk powder.


CERELAC® Mixed Vegetables and Rice with Milk

Our infant cereal with milk powder and mixed vegetables is a good foundation for weaning.


Is My Child Getting Enough Vitamin D?

What does vitamin D do, and why is it so important in my child’s diet?  


Help! My Baby Is A Fussy Eater

Why is my child a fussy eater?

Why is Nestlé baby food not finding adequate demand?

According to Euromonitor, in 2018, the largest growth in sales in the infant formula segment came from specially formulated foods for babies who have just transitioned from breastfeeding to formula.

Swiss food giant Nestlé is trying to diversify its baby food range and bring innovative products to market. The prospects here are promising. However, many critics are skeptical. And they have a reason to. nine0003 This content was published on January 10, 2020 - 11:00

Jessica Davis Pluss (Jessica Davis Pluss)

In the first weeks of life, baby Lindsay Beeson developed a rash, traces of blood on diapers, diarrhea and vomiting. Doctors diagnosed an allergy to cow's milk. Like many other mothers in her situation, Lindsey eliminated milk from her baby's diet and, in addition to breastfeeding, began to gradually introduce complementary foods with hypoallergenic infant formula. In the second year of his life, her son was switched to milk formulas specially designed for babies with allergies. “I knew that they contained a balance of proteins, fats and vitamins similar to the composition of cow's milk. And my son liked the taste,” she said in an interview with nine0003

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For global food concerns such as Nestlé, the development and launch of new formulas for infants up to one year of age, including those suffering from allergic reactions, requiring special dietary nutrition or simply picky eaters, is another and very important abroad in expanding the range of baby food.

Speaking to a group of journalists in Lausanne, Thierry Philardeau, Nestlé's Senior Vice President of Strategic Dairy Business Development, recently stated: all babies and their mothers. " From a practical point of view, the concern's strategy is to fill the gaps that arise in the nutrition of mothers and their children, regardless of whether the children receive artificial feeding, natural breastfeeding or combination. nine0003

The Swiss concern continues to focus on the nutrition of premature babies and children with special medical conditions. And yet, in recent years, he has consistently increased investment in research and development in order to obtain new products for the nutrition of children after the age of six months of life, that is, for a particularly difficult period when breast milk alone is no longer enough to meet the nutritional needs of a child. , and a complete transition to artificial food has not yet taken place. nine0003

Artificial demand or valuable nutritional supplement?

Nestlé baby food has a direct impact on the health of millions of children around the world. More than 150 years have passed since Henri Nestlé (1814-1890) invented Farine Lactée, a baby porridge to support malnourished children. Today, Nestlé is the world's largest infant formula company. It has a fifth market share, followed by Danone in second place. nine0003

In recent years there has been a real boom in breastfeeding around the world. The profits of infant formula companies have fallen. Therefore, today these companies rely on "older babies" and on related products. According to EuromonitorExternal link , in 2018, the largest growth in sales in the infant formula segment was provided by specially formulated nutrition for children who have just switched from breastfeeding to artificial food. nine0003 External content

Today in supermarkets in almost every country in the world you can find the widest range of types of milk powder, dairy product concentrates and breast milk substitutes for children under one year old. It would seem great, but not everyone is satisfied with these products. Activists such as Patti Rundall are sounding the alarm. Since the 1980s, she has served as Director of Strategic Policy for Baby Milk ActionExternal link , an international network of baby food organizations. Since her filing, the world has experienced a number of very large litigations in connection with the production and sale of artificial nutrition from Nestlé Corporation. nine0003

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What's the problem? It turns out that, according to her, the Nestlé and Danone concerns are the main initiators of the promotion of baby food for babies and milk formulas for children aged from 6 months to 3 years and further up to the age of nine. They use the same or very similar symbols (logos) as on infant formula, so parents, when they see the brand name, believe that they have a whole product line in front of them. However, new formulas for infant formula are just a marketing ploy. nine0003

“There is nothing new in them, so all milk formulas, starting with formulas “6 months+”, as well as formulas for children from 1 year to 3 years and older, are simply not needed, they are just a way to get more money out of parents’ pockets ”, P. Randall told “This product should be removed from the market. But the market has become so huge that no one wants to do it, although everyone knows that they are dealing with violations of the provisions of the WHO Guidelines to stop inappropriate forms of promotion of foods for infants and young children. nine0003

More precisely, we are talking about the International Code on the Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes, adopted by WHO in 1981. This document sets standards for ethically responsible marketing, including restrictions on advertising, sponsorship, and giving away free samples of infant formula. The default document proceeds from the fact that, anyway, only breastfeeding is the ideal nutrition for a healthy baby up to six months, which, in fact, Danone, Nestlé and their opponents agree with. nine0003

Pressure from the baby food industry

Controversy arises at the gray zone stage, when complementary foods with other foods and drinks can be introduced at about six months of age and older. You can enter, but is it necessary? And this is where the problem lies. Don't concerns create artificial demand, beneficial primarily to themselves? It is really difficult to understand this, the information received by parents from baby food manufacturers, doctors and staunch opponents of factory baby food is often contradictory. nine0003

Some scientific studies state that so-called “Third level milk formulas” for children aged one to three years are not needed, but they can help compensate for nutritional deficiencies, especially in cases of malnutrition or lack of certain nutrients substances in local foods”. So what's wrong with giving kids a better chance at delicious and most importantly healthy food?

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Criticism of Nestlé has a long history. About forty years ago, breastfeeding activists first vociferously accused Nestlé of using an aggressive marketing strategy that resulted in mothers declining to breastfeed in favor of infant formula. The ensuing widespread boycott of Nestlé products led to major changes in the formation of marketing strategies.

However, Catherine Watt of the Geneva group La Leche LeagueExternal link , an international public private secular organization to support breastfeeding mothers, says that many women today stop breastfeeding earlier than they should. Why? “This is happening as a result of veiled pressure from the baby food industry, which has an arsenal of advertising in favor of various types of complementary foods and infant formula,” she said. “If there are doubts about whether the baby has enough breast milk, and there is some kind of milk formula in the closet, you just try to use it. And now you are already “under the hood” of the industry.” nine0003

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In developing countries, the consequences of such a move can be most dramatic. CTO of the Breastfeeding Promotion Network of India BPNIExternal link JP Dadhich is particularly concerned about the high cost of these products, their negative environmental impact and potential risks of infection.

“We can't be sure about the quality of the water that these formulas are based on, which increases the risk of diarrhea. And this is in conditions when there is now enough milk of animal origin in India. After boiling, it is completely safe, in addition, it is quite acceptable here, taking into account the cultural traditions of the country. For children, it is better to use complementary foods from quality local products, continuing to breastfeed the child after 6 months.” nine0003

The World Health Organization (WHO) is also concerned that infant formula designed specifically for babies after one year of age can shorten the duration of breastfeeding by depriving the baby of important nutrients, especially if the products are labeled similarly and are promoted as more healthy alternative to breastfeeding due to the increased content of vitamins and minerals.

The devil is in the details

All this has caused and continues to cause heated debate between governments and food company lobbyists. “One of the challenges with regard to 'level 2' formula (after 6 months) is the need to understand whether foods for children aged 1 to 3 years should be considered specifically as 'substitutes' for breast milk, and if not, what should they be called.” Tom Heilandt of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, an international food standards group, tells us this. nine0003

Some governments would like to ban these formulas so as not to completely "kill" the motivation to breastfeed, while other countries want to leave the choice to consumers. India is a country with some of the most stringent regulations. Here, any products intended specifically for children under the age of two years are categorized as breast milk substitutes and thus fall under the international “Code of Regulations” of WHO. Group NestléExternal link says it has gone further than many other players in the industry by operating under European Union rules coming into effect in 2020.

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At the same time, Nestlé opposes any additional regulation, arguing, based on studies already conducted in many countries, that any artificial nutrition alternative will still be less healthy than any mixture. “There is no point in restricting nutrition advertising for children under the age of one, especially when there are almost no restrictions on advertising Coca-Cola and other fast food anywhere,” says T. Filardo. nine0075

Always guilty?

Nestlé recognizes that it needs to proceed with caution given its history of high-profile scandals. “It’s not for you to sell chocolate, we have a huge responsibility. Every year we produce formula for 15 million children, which is equal to the population of the Netherlands,” says T. Filardo. At the same time, the company has already updated its marketing policy several times by creating a system for reporting violations and annually providing reports on compliance with its obligations. nine0003

Unlike the pre-1980s era, the company is very clear that "breastfeeding is the best feeding option." At the same time, she wants her food products for children to be almost in no way inferior in quality to breast milk. Critics say it's not enough to be "the lesser of the evils. " However, Nestlé argues that if the company is forced out of the baby food market, companies with more than a dubious reputation will take its place. This is especially true in countries with weak regulatory environments such as China, Russia, and the United States. nine0003

According to WHO, 58 countries around the world still do not have laws restricting the marketing of infant formula for children under one year of age. “I want to complete the story of Nestlé as a company that allegedly kills children,” says T. Filardo. “Let's move on without forgetting the past. We have drawn conclusions, we have changed. I want to look to the future, I don’t want to bear the stigma of the eternal guilty anymore, especially since someone, and our company, has done more in this area than many other companies.” nine0075

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Nestlé for babies, or how to run the perfect third world marketing campaign

Baby food is an emotional topic. It is unlikely that anyone will deny that breast milk is the healthiest, cheapest and safest product for feeding babies. However, it is known that for various reasons, not all mothers are able to feed their children with their own milk. Medical contraindications, lack of education or the need to go to work forced women to look for an alternative to breastfeeding babies. nine0003

In 1867, Nestlé was the first to develop and market baby food for premature babies. Even then, it was recognized that breastfeeding is ideal for the baby, and artificial formula is suitable only when the mother has no other choice. However, the invention of Henry Nestle was a real salvation for premature babies who were unable to take any other food. Over time, Nestlé has become the world's largest manufacturer of powdered infant formula. nine0003

Description of the problem

Baby food sales skyrocketed in the post-war years as a consequence of the so-called post-war baby boom. Since the late 1950s, however, a decline in the birth rate began, which could not but affect income from the sale of food. In desperation, turning their eyes to the developing countries of Africa, South America and the Far East, industrialists realized that with the development of new markets, a successful future awaited them.

In the second half of the 20th century, the sociocultural situation began to change in poor countries. Women, who provided a significant part of the family income, began to meet more and more often. In order not to lose their place, after the birth of a child, they sought to return to work as soon as possible. nine0003


The forthcoming marketing campaign was intended to:

- to popularize artificial feeding;
- Convince target audience that powdered formula is better for infant feeding than breastfeeding;
- Increase sales of Nestlé's dry baby formulas.

Target audience

breastfeeding mothers, physicians, medical staff in maternity wards, pharmacists, workers in courses for new mothers. nine0003


The 1960s are our time.


ATL (radio, press, outdoor advertising), BTL (sampling, promotions, direct marketing), brainwashing, lobbying.


Direct consumer promotion of dry formulas for artificial feeding in the third world countries was very diverse. Nestlé chose radio, newspapers, magazines, billboards and loudspeaker vans as its main advertising media. Samples, bottles, nipples and measuring spoons were generously distributed. nine0003

So, what was the content of the campaign itself, and, accordingly, advertising media?
• Marketing methods were designed to mislead poor and illiterate mothers into thinking that artificial feeding was preferable to natural feeding;
• Pamphlets ignored or did not highlight the benefits of breastfeeding;
• Advertisements portrayed breastfeeding as old-fashioned and uncomfortable;
• Gifts and trial samples were intended as a direct incentive to formula feed. nine0138 • Active advertising in hospitals implied that the product was approved by the healthcare system.

The practice of free or subsidized supplies of artificial milk to hospitals and maternity wards has also been adopted. This encouraged artificial feeding of children, but disrupted the proper functioning of the mammary glands. The calculation was that when the mother left the hospital, she could not re-transfer to breastfeeding, respectively, became a regular customer of the company's products. nine0003

About two hundred women were employed by Nestlé as promotional personnel, so-called "milk nurses", who were registered with hospitals as nurses, diet nurses, or midwives. These "sisters" were uniformed sales associates who visited mothers and gave them food samples in an attempt to convince them of the benefits of artificial feeding.

In addition to direct consumers, the company's advertising efforts were directed at doctors and other medical personnel. This type of marketing involved discussing product quality and performance with paediatricians, nurses, and other maternity staff. Materials such as advertisements, charts, and free samples have been made available to doctors, hospitals, and free clinics. Doctors and other hospital staff were paid by the firm to travel to medical conferences. nine0003

Nestlé now distributes posters and brochures to the Gabon health care system to promote powdered formula, distributes a type of formula, "Cerelac", gives gifts to healthcare workers, and supports travel and conferences.

In India, the company became the only baby food advertiser in the Indian edition of Parenting magazine. In addition, in order to be able to advertise "Cerelac" in Indian pharmacies, Nestlé pays local pharmacists an average of Rs 200 per month. A similar practice is carried out by the company in countries such as Chile, Colombia, Zimbabwe. nine0003

Campaign results

Thanks to Nestlé's marketing and promotional methods, dry mixes as a product have gained a certain prestige. And what could be more natural than a mother's desire to give her baby all the best. Thus, the “positions” of breastfeeding were undermined. In 1951, approximately 80% of three-month-old babies in Singapore were breastfed. In 1971 - only 5%.

By the mid-1970s, powdered infant formula was the third most advertised product in the Third World, after tobacco and soap. Sales of Nestlé baby food in poor countries have skyrocketed. nine0003

In 1978, the company's annual turnover amounted to 11 billion dollars, and 31% of total sales at that time were in the third world countries. By comparison, 46% were in Europe and 20% in North America. Approximately the same were the indicators for the segment of dry mixes for feeding infants.

It is not yet possible to sum up the final results of the massive campaign to promote powdered infant formula in the countries of the "third world", since the "program" has not yet ended. nine0003

Seriously, the results are...

According to the World Health Organization, 1.5 million children die every year from unsafe formula feeding (most of them in Third World countries). And this means that one baby dies from improper feeding in 30 seconds. For at least the first 6 months of life, infants are recommended to be fed exclusively with breast milk. Introduction to the diet of products other than breast milk in the first months of life increases the risk of various diseases. nine0003

It was not until the early 1970s that the first suspicions began to arise among the world community that baby food manufacturers, by vigorously promoting their product to Third World countries, contributed to a high percentage of infant mortality. Most of the end users were simply unable to read the manual due to the high illiteracy rate in those countries. In addition, Nestlé printed product instructions only in English prior to the relevant legislation. nine0003

Many consumers have been unable to use the product correctly due to living conditions, mixing food with dirty water or pouring the mixture into unsterilized bottles. Yet, according to UNICEF, an unhygienic artificially fed infant is at least 6 times more likely to die from diarrhea and 4 times more likely to die from pneumonia than a breastfed infant.

Equally problematic was that baby food was too expensive and many customers diluted it to useless levels. Accordingly, the baby's nutrition was inadequate. nine0003

New mothers were not informed that all the essential nutrients and antibodies found in mother's milk are almost entirely absent from dry formulas. Criticism was based on the fact that the company did not warn mothers about the possibility of artificial feeding only in emergency cases (for example, if a woman had to go to work soon, or if she was physiologically unable to breastfeed).

Nestle boycott

B 19'74 British charity War on Want publishes a 28-page document entitled "Babykiller" that publicly criticizes the marketing methods used by the Swiss company Nestlé in Africa for the first time. A year later, the German Third World Working Group accused Nestlé of "unethical and immoral behavior" in its article "Nestlé kills babies".

In 1977 two public interest groups, the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility and the Infant Formula Action Coalition (INFACT), announce a worldwide boycott of Nestlé. The movement soon gains support from over 450 local and religious groups across America, with supporters claiming it is the largest non-union boycott in United States history. nine0003

It was the worldwide boycott of Nestlé that led to the adoption in 1981 of the WHO International Code for the Marketing of Formula Feeding. Under the Code, baby food companies must not:

• Supply infant formula to hospitals;
• Advertise your products to community or healthcare professionals;
• Use pictures of babies on baby food labels;
• Give gifts to mothers or health workers; nine0138 • Give free product samples to parents;
• Advertise meals for children under 6 months of age.

Baby food labels must be in a language the mother understands and contain an important warning about the contraindications and consequences of formula feeding.

New concept

However, as you probably already understood, Nestlé only declaratively supported the Code. In practice, the company tries in every possible way to circumvent its regulations. The company developed the concept that infant formula saves lives, not takes them - a hint that those children who cannot be breastfed for various reasons are no longer doomed to die. The problem is that Nestlé did not present this idea in a clear and understandable form in the early stages of the crisis. On the other hand, despite the new concept, the company's violations of various ethical and legal norms continue. nine0003

It wasn't until the early 1990s that Nestlé began to communicate with its stakeholders much more intelligently. A significant number of materials have been published, refuting the accusations against the company and restoring the truth as it is seen by the company. In essence, these were elements of a defensive strategy that left control of the problem at the mercy of groups of social activists who were aggressively disposed against the TNC itself. Partly to repair a damaged reputation, Nestlé launched a new marketing strategy in 2002 called Good Food. Good Life, which focuses on the health of consumers. nine0003

A similar story can be told about almost any transnational corporation in the world. And for Nestlé, she is not the only one. And this company, frankly, was simply unlucky, but it is not surprising that Nestlé, which controls half of the baby food market, was the first to be boycotted. Later, other baby food manufacturers were blacklisted by consumer advocacy groups for violating the Code and being subject to boycotts of their products: Abbott Ross, Mead Johnson, and Danone. nine0003

This is the world we live in. In it, all means are good to achieve the goal and to make a profit. You can take it easy, live with it. And you can choose a different path.

In 2005, three years after Nestlé had positioned itself as a health food manufacturer, research company GMI conducted a survey of 15,500 people in 17 countries about the image of leading multinational corporations. Nestlé has been voted the most boycotted company in the world. For example, 21% of the French and 36% of the Italians declared their rejection of Nestlé.

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