Bobbie is a new style of organic U.S. infant formula committed to pulling back the curtain on the industry and giving families a better, more transparent experience when it comes to feeding options. Based on a survey conducted by Wakefield Research, 83% of new parents in the U.S. will turn to formula. So why do we still have trouble talking openly about this commonplace feeding journey? And why don’t we have more options? Here, founders (and moms) Laura Modi and Sarah Hardy explain how they are evolving the infant formula industry forward to catch up with modern parenting.
1. Opening the conversation
“We’re changing the conversation and it starts with evolving the narrative associated with how you’re feeding your baby and being able to destigmatize formula,” Laura explains. “Eighty three percent of people are feeding their kids formula. We need to change how people talk about it.” Bobbie works hard to do this not only by explaining — in detail — their stance on things like “breast is best,” but also by providing a community for women to openly dialogue.
2. Committing to transparency
“Transparency in the formula industry is a very hot topic, but we truly need it in all aspects of what we’re doing,” says Sarah. “That includes everything from traceability and the supply chains, to knowing the farms where your ingredients are coming from. We personally interview every face and family behind each of our ingredient suppliers- because it matters. On the other side of the transparency conversation, you’ll see that we, as founders, are very transparent about who we are, our personal experiences, and why we’re in this business.
3. Giving back to the community.
“This is something that’s been front and center for us from day one,” Sarah proudly explains. “We’re really excited about our partnership with Baby2Baby. Every time you purchase formula from Bobbie, it goes to helping a baby in need.” Other important give-back components in the works: supporting mastectomy moms who cannot breastfeed as well as Brilliant Detroit, an organization dedicated to building kid success neighborhoods in Detroit by offering support with literacy, community classes, and resources like infant formula.
4. Demanding Better Ingredients
Arguably the biggest point of pride for Bobbie’s founders: the ingredients. Bobbie’s milk is sourced from Organic Valley, where cows are free to roam and graze on pastures (sounds nice), and are never treated with hormones or antibiotics. Bobbie’s fat blend is made up of organic coconut, organic safflower/sunflower, and organic soybean oils and is sourced from around the globe (all non-GMO, of course). “Ingredients matter to us,” Laura says. “Our recipe is backed by clinical studies with the goal of providing a nutritionally complete infant formula that supports the growth and development of your baby throughout their first year.” For a full list of ingredients, visit hibobbie.com.
5. Focusing on Digestibility
“We didn’t default to corn syrup,” Sarah says, referring to the “de facto” source of carb used in almost half of all infant formulas. Prioritizing digestibility (i.e. making sure your babe can actually keep the formula down) was of the utmost importance for the founders who made conscious choices, like not to include palm oil in their formula, and to opt for a 60:40 whey to casein ratio which mimics that of breastmilk, to ensure they were offering an easily digestible option.
6. Pledging Quality
Prior to Bobbie, many formula-feeding moms would scour the Internet, looking for brands that had standards they found up to par. This led parents down the rabbit hole of international ordering, in bulk most times, with arrival dates up in the air. “We will be the only formula company that meets the European standards for critical nutrients like DHA and iron,” Laura says. “You can finally get those same nutritional standards here in the U.S. and the safety of a US manufacturer and FDA backing.”
7. Executing accessibly
Bobbie is a direct-to-consumer, subscription-based company for a reason. “No more worrying about having to buy in bulk or waiting for delays…” Sarah says. With shippageddon still haunting our online purchases, Bobbie is focused on being two steps ahead with their subscription model, “We’re helping make sure you can get exactly what you need when you need it.”
8. Supporting all feeding journey’s
Bobbie is more than a place to get formula. It is a judgement-free zone. “We’re reinventing how we show up for parents in the first year of their feeding journey,” says Sarah. This means not being only about formula or only about breastfeeding. “We don’t disagree that breast milk is truly the gold standard for infants,” Bobbie’s website clearly states. “We are the parents who thought we would breastfeed exclusively and got met with emotional and physical challenges. We are just like the parents who realized that balancing full time return to work and keeping up our supply was a near impossible feat. We are just like the parents who quietly moved to formula and stayed silent through what felt like a shameful part of parenting.” If you want some inspirational support on this front, get your tissues out and follow their emotional Instagram content.
9. Leading Female-First
A formula company founded by two moms? What a concept! “It’s kind of shocking that we will be the only female-founded, led company in our [sector],” Laura says. “[Formula companies] should start with those that experience the pain and the frustration and the disappointment and, most importantly, make sure they’re supporting all feeding journeys.” For those that question why they should be in this industry, it’s because these moms know first hand the physical, emotional, mental toll of feeding a baby and “what we wanted that frankly didn’t exist when it came to formula,” Laura said, “So we created Bobbie.”
This article was written in partnership with Bobbie.