Liz Sauer Williamson, Carmen Lazos Wilmking and Alice Mrongovius, co-founders of Löwenzahn Organics in Berlin, hope their range of healthy, organic and traceable baby formula and cereals will finally bring the quality expected of food and drink for adults, into the world of baby food.
Alice: “When you have a child, it changes the way you look at food products. It’s one of the core moment where people switch over to organic products.
“For all of us adults we are provided with organic food, all these different super foods and nutritional supplements, then you become a mum and get into the baby food aisle and those options aren’t there.
“There’s a lot of products not meeting expectations, not using the nutritional science available and not providing high quality premium organic products using the latest nutritional science.
“Combining the best of organic and the best of nutritional science. You have those products that are very scientifically formulated but they don’t use organic ingredients, and you have those that are organic that don’t use the nutritional science.”
Antonia Lück, the company’s nutritionist, explains that the products aim to combine nature and science.
“We decided it was important to add long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as Omega-3 and Omega-6.
“These good fats promote the optimal development of your baby’s brain and nervous system, in particular vision and motor skills.
"The European Union will be making these a mandatory ingredient in baby food by 2020. These fats are commonly obtained from fish oil or from algae.
"We have chosen the latter, meaning not only that the formula doesn’t taste like fish, but also making the product vegetarian.”
Lück explains they also opted to add galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) as this is a prebiotic food which feeds beneficial bacteria in the gut.
“These are additional ingredients you don’t often see in organic products,” she argues.
The 6+ and 10+ month formulas also contain organic maltodextrin and starch.
“These carbohydrates play a role in the child’s diet after a few months. They are specifically added in addition to the lactose for the developing needs of a child. These carbohydrates are digested more slowly and are therefore available to the baby for longer.”
As well as providing the best of nature and science, the mums also want their products to be superiorly tested and traceable.
All products are tested in an independent laboratory and are certified by Demeter, EU-Bio organic regulations and other German quality seals.
On each pack, consumers will find a traceability code that they can enter into the company’s tracking tool to find out where all the raw ingredients came from.
“With this new generation of mums we have a much higher demand over where our food comes from,” says Mrongovius
“More and more we are beginning to not trust big brands.
“43 per cent of millennials don’t trust big companies due to food scandals and health issues. We are seeing this mega-trend happening where people are beginning to ask questions about where food comes from and in that early stage of babies lives we want to make sure we know what we’re putting in their bodies.”
Pondering why it is that baby food currently on the market isn’t following the same health and traceability trends seen throughout the rest of the grocery stores, the mumpreneur points out that many baby food brands are owned by big FMCGs which are likely to be somewhat stuck in their ways.
“Working agency side on large FMCG brands, Liz saw that they worked at a snail’s pace when it came to embracing new trends, They are more concerned about maintaining market share and the colour of the baby’s eyes on the front of the packaging, rather than these big trends that the small startups are tapping into.”
After founding the company in 2016, the range of baby formulas, which are primarily available online, have gained a loyal following in Germany and Austria.
They also started exporting to the UK in January this year and they have big hopes for expansion.
“We see there’s a huge pull from other market. In the EU we are very lucky that we can rely on where our food is coming from. There’s generally a consensus that there’s food safety quality and food safety standards.
“This isn’t the case in a lot of international markets. They don’t have the same standards of formulation and there’s a lot of eyes on German products to provide this.”
The range includes three types of baby formula – for up to six months, six month plus and 10 months plus.
It also includes a range of ‘baby standard porridge’ which isn’t yet available in the UK.
Mrongovius explains why this seems like a logical first step into the baby food market.
“It was a really shock realising that all the other brands of porridge were processed to within an inch of their life, until it just tastes like glue.”
The porridge range includes a naturally gluten free pure oat porridge, a four grin porridge and a spelt and banana flavour porridge.