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I exclusively breastfed both my daughters but not for lack of trying to introduce formula. At eight weeks pregnant with my second daughter, my oldest was ten months old. As we prepared to embark on a family cruise while I was dealing with first trimester morning sickness, I figured it would be easier to travel if my 10-old switched to combo feeding. I planned to breastfeed in the morning and at night while giving her formula during the day. But my plan failed. My daughter refused to drink the formula.
The majority of babies I knew drank formula, so I didn’t understand why my daughter took one sip and spit out the rest of it. My husband and I tried everything. First, we mixed it with breastmilk—that was a bust. Then we poured the mixed formula from a bottle to a sippy cup with a straw, to a sippy cup with a spout. But nothing worked. Finally, my husband and I tasted the formula, realizing the problem. The formula tasted repulsive—and that’s putting it nicely. If we couldn’t stomach it, why did we expect our daughter to voluntarily gulp it down? I didn’t make her and ended up exclusively breastfeeding until her first birthday.
After talking to many of my fellow friends and parents, it’s clear I’m not the only one who struggled to find a formula my baby loved that I didn’t think was crap. And that is where Bobbie comes in; the first-ever mom founded and run formula company that meets both the FDA and EU nutritional guidelines and doesn’t taste like chalky, chunky, clumpy water.
Modern Company For The Modern Parent
Over the last decade, companies in the health and wellness space, the baby space, and the food and beverage space shifted strategies to appeal to the modern-day adult. But formula companies stayed stagnant. The United States hasn’t updated infant formula nutritional standards since 1980s, when congress passed the Infant Formula Act of 1980. Today, it’s still commonplace to see ingredients like corn syrup, palm oil, and GMOs in most formulas, Bobbie co-founders Sarah Hardy and Laura Modi tell me. “When you look at formula -- it’s old brands with disappointing products left on shelves. It’s an unchanged industry with heavy regulations and two major companies dominating the space.”
As moms first, Laura and Sarah understand first hand the importance of having a quality product for babies and knew if anyone was going to take on the stale $70 billion industry formula, run by a bunch of old dudes, it was going to be moms. Three years ago, the two embarked on a journey to create a clean, high-quality infant formula. “If you’ve had any experience with formula in the last five years you’ve most likely heard of European formulas,” says Sarah. “American parents are looking for quality ingredients.”
Unlike US made formulas that include ingredients I don’t want to put in my own body, let alone my kid’s, European formulas have a minimum requirement of key ingredients needed for baby’s development and ensure all ingredients are sourced with a purpose. The European Union looks at the safety, quality, use of sustainable farming practices and nutritional benefits, updating nutritional standards every few years, with strict changes made just last year.
Only The Best For Our Babes
Over the last three years, Bobbie’s built a dream team to create a dream formula, made up of scientists, nutritionists, and veterans in the formula space. The formula is manufactured at Perrigo, an FDA-inspected plant that’s produced baby formula for more than 20 years. Their simple, no-nonsense ingredients allow Bobbie to offer only the best of the best for our babies. “Milk is the crown jewel of our formula,” says Sarah and why the company chose to partner with Organic Valley, whose pasture-raised organic milk comes from cows who spend most of their lives grazing green pastures--Organic Valley is a staple at most grocery stores and a product all of us would consume, making it a product good enough for our babies too! Additionally, there are no added sugars in the formula—the sweetness comes from lactose—the same sugars found in breastmilk.
Bobbie also knocks it out of the park when it comes to DHA amounts. DHA is the essential omega-3 fatty acid needed for babies’ brain and eye development and Bobbie has the highest levels out of any formula on the US market.
Ingredients aside, paramount for new parents is seeing the baby’s temperament, i.e.how easily their child digests the formula, and if they are fussy or gassy along the way. Bobbie’s 60 to 40 whey to casein protein means there’s more of the easily digestible whey protein and is the exact ratio you’ll find in mature breastmilk. “You need a few goods days to see what the baby’s shits are like,” Laura says with a smile—that’s why the company offers a free full can of formula (all you have to pay for is shipping), which makes 26 bottles, for parents to test out before committing to the product. “Most companies give a sample for one bottle, but every mom knows you won’t know how the formula works after just one bottle. Being moms and parents ourselves, we knew that unless we gave parents a few days worth of formula to try, they wouldn’t know if it was a good fit for their baby.”
From Bobbie’s Headquarters To Your Doorstep
In addition to creating a high-quality product, Bobbie is creating a high-quality customer experience as the first-ever direct to consumer formula company—a serious bonus for busy parents.
Finding yourself in the kitchen with a crying baby in tow and an empty can of formula in your pantry is a nightmare scenario to avoid at all costs. With Bobbie’s subscription model, parents can sign up for automatic delivery, with formula arriving right at your doorstep. “You can text to order or get questions answered,” explains Sarah. “There is also ease of flow when using the website. There are a lot of twists and turns in that first year of parenthood, so we are doing our best to guide parents and act as a support system from beginning to end.”
When I got my Bobbie box, I couldn’t help but smile. From the personalized packaging to the clean, white, and green formula container, the company gives off a modern vibe with a luxury feel—a delivery I felt proud and confident to receive. “We redesigned the entire experience from end to end. 90% of parents transition to formula before they are ready, and they are often unprepared. We designed for speed making sure customers receive the formula within three days of placing an order,” says Sarah.
I got my box in that three-day timeframe, opened it up, and did a taste test comparing Bobbie to Enfamil. The biggest differences were in color, consistency, and taste. Bobbie's creamy, white color looked much more like breast milk, a stark contrast from Enfamil’s chalky white appearance.
After smelling both, I got ready to take a sip. I don’t have great memories of formula, so I was nervous to try it—remember how Ross felt before tasting Carol’s breastmilk in the Friends episode, “The One with the Breastmilk?” That was me.
Obviously, both tasted like formula, but Bobbie was smoother, less metallically (a taste that comes from iron, which Bobbie has managed to make taste better while still meeting both EU and FDA iron requirements), and had just a hint of sweetness reminiscent of breastmilk.
A Product With A Purpose
“There’s nothing more personal than how we feed our children,” says Laura, who has a seven-month-old and is why she and Sarah set out on this journey in the first place. Laura struggled with her breastfeeding expectations and in the middle of the night found herself at the grocery store, angry with the formula options on the shelves. Like many women, Laura felt pressure to breastfeed longer than she wanted.
The experience led Sarah and Laura to focus on founding a mission-based, high-quality formula company that evolves the feeding conversation while creating a culture of confidence and compassion instead of comparison.
The experience led Sarah and Laura to focus on founding a mission-based, high-quality formula company that evolves the feeding conversation while creating a culture of confidence and compassion instead of comparison. “We wouldn’t be pushing to change this industry if it wasn’t for how bad the narrative is around formula,” Laura explains. “It’s heavily stigmatized and parents feel shame and guilt. We want to look back and say we were changemakers—that people don’t judge others for using formula and how you choose to feed your baby is no longer questioned.”
Laura, Sarah, and their team of moms, 50% of whom had a baby over the last year, are all destigmatizing formula use by sharing their feeding journeys while providing a platform for all parents to share feeding successes and failures. Even celebrities like Laura Dern are weighing in on the feeding conversation on Instagram sharing how 16 years ago she was looking for a European-style formula in the US—a post that garnered more than 63,000 likes.
Cheers To Change
It’s not surprising Bobbie is already in the bellies of thousands of babies all across the US, as parents jump to get this new, clean formula that undergoes over 2,000 quality checks. From the stellar packaging to the easy customer service to high-quality ingredients, Bobbie is the exact product parents need during their baby’s first year of life.
“It’s about science and experience with the bottle itself. It comes down to fully understanding what the consumer is going through,” explains Laura. “It’s crazy no other women are leading this industry.” Check out Bobbie Baby to see if it’s the right fit for you and your growing family!
Five More Reasons To Love Bobbie
- FDA approved formula that also lives up to the higher European standards when it comes to quality.
- Bobbie Formula has no corn syrup, no palm oil, no filler, no Maltodextrin, no gluten, no pesticides, and on antibiotics.
- It’s manufactured in an FDA-inspected facility known for producing formulas and goes through 2,000 rigorous quality control tests.
- The first women-founded and led formula company in the United States.
- One can of formula lasts for about three days and makes 26 (4 oz) bottles.