For parents who use formula milk, there’s a new type of formula and bottle preparation system that seems noteworthy for its developmental approach, ease of use, and proven record in Europe and Asia. But since there’s nothing quite like it in the United States, it’s also worth describing in basic and familiar terms. Created by Gerber, the new product is called BabyNes. It recalls one of those well-designed, efficient coffee-making machines that brews ground coffee in a handy pod with perfectly-heated and healthy water, such that you press a button or pull a lever and you have you cup of coffee in a minute.
It’s much the same way with BabyNes, which combines a sleek machine (or “bottle preparation technology”) with its own pods of formula (with a range of six formulations depending on how old the baby is). The formula flows directly from capsule to bottle, and is prepared at the ideal temperature in under a minute.
BabyNes is FDA-approved, and it launched in the United States last October. For more information about the product, and where to find it, I interviewed marketing and digital manager Florian Jacquier.
What are the most important ways that BabyNes differs from preparing formula milk using powder?
The BabyNes system provides six stages of formula that evolves and is inspired by the natural changing composition of breast milk. The formula capsule works together with a smart dispenser to allow for ultimate hygiene, precision, and convenience. The formula is always fresh from the sealed capsule, providing a perfectly prepared bottle in just under a minute. There is a guarantee of precision with a perfect preparation (no lumps), with the exact amount of formula at the exact temperature.
How long have you been on the market in Europe—and what are the countries it is most popular in?
The BabyNes System was first introduced in Switzerland in 2012, and has been in China for one year. It is very well-received by parents in all markets where it’s available.
What about the machine itself? Briefly, walk our readers through one preparation. How easy is it to use? How long does a bottle take to prepare? And how much cleaning is involved?
The BabyNes nutrition system is incredibly simple. Turn on the machine, set the temperature, insert the formula capsule, and press the button. In less than one minute the bottle is done, and with one hand, it’s ready: A perfectly made bottle with no lumps. The formula dissolves completely within the capsule, and flows directly from the capsule into the bottle ensuring that the baby gets all the nutrition provided.
The capsules are hermetically sealed to protect the formula from the environment until it’s prepared and they have a built-in water filter, which ensures water quality for bottle preparation–so you can use tap water.
The formulas are designed to address the needs of typically developing babies, right? Please break it down: Are there differences in the formulations for different months? Also, for how long is the formula typically used? Till age 1? Longer?
The nutritional composition of breast milk changes naturally, in sync with baby’s growth rate (very high in the first few weeks and slowing down in the next few months). The BabyNes formulas were designed to evolve to meet your baby’s changing nutritional needs from birth to three years.
From 0-6 months, there are three stages for newborns and infants:
- Protein, fat, and calorie content is designed to provide for early intense body growth (especially for the first 2 capsules); they gradually decrease to reflect a baby’s slowing growth rate by the 3-6 month capsule.
Then, there’s a separate stage for starting solids:
- BabyNes formula changes to accommodate the introduction of solid food into your baby’s diet. The amount of fat was designed to complement intake from the diet (generally low in first solid food: Purees, mashed veggies, etc).
There are also two stages for toddlers:
- BabyNes toddler milk drinks provide a nutritious alternative to cow’s milk as your baby transitions to a toddler diet. Toddlers can become picky, and those first meals at the table are not always completely balanced. With BabyNes toddler milk drinks, you have the peace of mind that they get the nutrition they need.
What are the price points and how do they compare to your competitors?
The price of the BabyNes system is $249. Each formula box (26) is $59.
Since it costs more than powder formulas, tell us more about what you’ve learned from your user surveys in Europe and around the world. In other words, what do parents fundamentally like about the product? Why are they willing to pay more for it?
Some parents (moms or dads) like the convenience and the simplicity or the design of the machine. More specifically, Chinese moms are super conscious about hygiene of the formula preparation. In Europe, it’s all about the nutrition and the content of the formulas.
Today’s parents are also looking to get more from their products. The system is Wi-Fi enabled and syncs with your smartphone to offer parents and caregivers the ability to track their baby’s nutrition. For example, users will know when a bottle has been prepared by the nanny, or when they are running low on formula capsules.
What about when a parent is out and about with their baby? You can’t take the machine with you, of course. So what are your options? Do some parents use the capsules like they might use powdered formula? And just combine it with water on the spot?
The BabyNes system comes with a manual capsule opener and a travel case for on-the-go bottle preparation. The formulas are easy to use for those parents or caregivers who are on the road. Make sure to use safe drinking water and mix it with the capsules in the bottle.
The product has officially launched. Where can an interested consumer find it in a store or online? Do you generally recommend checking it out in a store if possible? Or is there enough information about the product online that an interested consumer could get a good feel for it on the web? Are there instructional videos, or anything like that?
The BabyNes system is available at specialty baby stores and online at giggle.com, BuyBuyBaby.com, diapers.com, babiesrus.com, and amazon.com. The formulas are available online at babynes.com or on the BabyNes app. We encourage expectant parents to go in-store and test the product for themselves at various locations; however, they can also see instructional videos at babynes.com.