Plant-based dairy is now available in toddler formulas

30 Sep 2020

Israeli-based Else Nutrition released its first plant-based toddler nutrition formula on Amazon at the end of September. However, the company is already conducting clinical trials to bring a vegan infant formula that replicates the nutritional properties of breast milk to market by 2022.

Else Nutrition produces plant-based, organic toddler nutrition made with almonds, buckwheat, and tapioca that is free from dairy, soy, gluten, hormones, antibiotics, palm oil, and corn syrups. This vegan alternative differentiates itself from the products currently on the market, which are primarily based on dairy and soy protein sources, by focusing on formulating plant-based protein for children.

Plant-based dairy is now available in toddler formulas
Photo Courtesy of Else Nutrition

As the first plant-based, soy-free formula option for parents, according to the company, the product is positioned as a high-end formula alternative. A single can of Plant-Based Complete Nutrition, which holds 17 servings, sells for $36. A four pack costs $136.

Despite the steep price point, Else expects to continue expanding and launch a nutritional drink for children aged 3 to 12 next year. The line will compete against long-time staples like PediaSure.

This new vegan toddler formula is playing in the plant-based dairy space but is expanding it to the planet's youngest demographic. Already, the plant-based market is anticipated to reach $21.5 billion by 2024 at a 10% compound annual growth rate, according to Research and Markets. If Else can replicate the nutritional properties found in human breastmilk, it will undoubtedly generate buzz and expand the category further since it appeals not only to those interested in plant-based alternatives, but it is also entering the growing market for infant formulas.

Fortune Business Insights projects the $50 billion global infant formula market to reach $109 billion by 2027 as more children are reared on formula. This shift in infant and toddler nutrition has been building for years and major manufacturers have been working to introduce qualities that can enhance the nutritional profiles of the forumulas on the market. Gerber has researched opportunities to improve the nutritional values of its products, and DuPont invested in developing probiotics for use in formulas to build infants' gut biomes, supporting immune, digestive and cognitive development. Recently, companies have pushed the boundaries further. Biomilq, which recently raised $3.5 million from Bill Gates’s investment firm, is working toward culturing human breast milk in a laboratory.

For now, Else’s infant formula remains in the testing phase. The company is taking the required steps for gaining approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to mass market the product, Forbes reported.

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