Nestle’s BabyNes, A Breast Milk Alternative, Runs Into Controversy

Nestle is taking its single serve coffee machines one notch further. The company has introduced a similar contraption that will serve BabyNes, a luxury baby formula. This new Nespresso machine for babies will provide six consecutive formulas to cater to the changing needs of babies during the all-important first three years of their lives.

All it takes is the push of a button. The BabyNes machine prepares a baby bottle using a self-serve capsule in the right dosage and at the right temperature to meet a baby’s nutritional needs. It takes less than a minute for the baby food to be ready.

Nestle has already introduced the BabyNes concept in Switzerland last month. However, health experts and newspapers in the country have taken exception to this. They are showering criticism upon criticism on the company, accusing it of encouraging mothers to avoid breastfeeding.

Not that too many mothers will be able to afford the BabyNes machine. This luxury lifestyle product comes with a huge price tag of $295 and includes packets of 26 capsules. But critics are already taking Nestle to task on moral and health grounds. There are apprehensions, indeed justified ones, about the fallout of commercializing alternatives to breast milk.

Nevertheless, Nestle has walked this road before, back in the 1970s when the company first launched infant formula in developing countries. Back then, many babies had died because contaminated water had been mixed with the formula.

This time around, Nestle is ready with its counter to the criticisms. The company said that in line with WHO recommendations, it favors exclusive breastfeeding for babies that are six months old or less. However, the company added that BabyNes is targeted at babies that are not being breastfed. The company is looking to launch BabyNes outside Switzerland in 2012.

Via: Industry Leaders Magazine

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