Baby’s pap: Start-ups get the market moving
As a rule, parents of children of the complementary food age have the choice between small glasses or self-cooking. Now new players are getting involved in the baby food market: Recently, new companies have been founded that offer alternatives. The offer ranges from pap in a squeezed pack to frozen food.
For Sandra Peralta, founder of Little Leaf, it was clear: “My goal is to offer fresh pap that tastes good and stands out from what the range has to offer so far. So after the birth of her second child, she began to cook the baby food herself. The owner of a catering company developed all recipes herself and founded Little Leaf at the beginning of this year. Instead of heat, it is preserved with the HPP high-pressure process: “Little Leaf is one of the first baby foods from Germany to be preserved with this process.” This makes her complementary food fresher and more tasteful for children aged five months and older. In the meantime, Peralta presented her products at the world’s leading trade fair for organic food “Biofach” and is enthusiastic about the response: “People are happy about new fresh ideas in this area, because little has changed here in recent years. Stories like these often motivate young founders to bring movement into the market around the baby food.
Subscription sales model with deep-frozen pap
The Nuremberg-based company Babyviduals, for example, offers frozen, single-origin baby food in organic quality. The products are steamed, finely pureed and then shock-frozen in small portions. The paps are available in almost 200 specialist shops and in the online shop, where 300 grams of organic courgettes cost 3.70 euros. The two-year-old Berlin-based company Nuri is focusing on sales via pap-subscription. Its baby food will also be shock frozen to preserve vitamins, fibre, taste, color and consistency. Parents throughout Germany can have the pap delivered to their homes in specially refrigerated transport packaging. A subscription with 18 mixed paps of 190 grams costs 44 euros.
Squeezed bag for paps with gentle HPP process
The success story of Tummy Love shows just how strong young parents’ need for alternatives to the traditional offer is: In March 2018, the three founders Sebastian Haupt, Hannah Schmitz and Johannes Papp started official sales via their website. Just two weeks after the start of advance sales, almost 5,000 portions of baby food had already been pre-ordered. The team also works with gentle high-pressure preservation and has developed a special packaging concept for this: “We have deliberately opted for squeezed bags, as only flexible packaging is suitable for our innovative high-pressure preservation process (HPP). Glass would simply not withstand the incredibly high pressure! That is why we try to get the best out of the squeeze bag and, unlike most other suppliers, we do not use aluminium – of course, it is also free of harmful BPA. We have been working on our shipping concept with specialists for over 10 months. The result: a double cardboard box, lined with insulating mats made of cellulose flakes and, of course, thermal packs. So we can guarantee a 48-hour cold chain even in summer.” To avoid wasting packaging and thermal packs, Tummy Love offers a free return loop for shipping material and empty squeeze bags.
Looking for interested dealers and supermarkets
Sales are still in their infancy with the young companies. Tummy Love is currently only available in our own online shop. According to the founders, this will soon change: “Because we are currently looking for interested retailers and independent stores who would like to work with us and our products. In the future, they will surely also be found in supermarkets.” Sandra Peralta from Little Leaf wants to start selling her products in June – deliberately via her online presence: “We want to sell our products primarily via the www.littleleaf.de In the long term, we plan to be available in selected organic supermarkets.”
Rapid start with support from business angels
In contrast, products from Löwenzahn Organics were placed directly on the shelves of major organic supermarket chains such as Alnatura, Denns or BioCompany. The company was founded by parents Liz Sauer Williamson, Tobias Thamm, Carmen Lazos Wilmking and produces milk powder and cereal pap. Its USP is the holistic approach of introducing healthy and ecologically responsible nutrition to families as early as possible: “Our philosophy is to meet our customers at eye level and to inform them comprehensively. The organic and Demeter-certified ingredients of our dairy foods and paps are transparent and holistically traceable on the package. Each package contains our Dandelion Organics Transparency Code, with which the origin of the individual ingredients can be traced. This tells parents where our raw materials come from. Transparency codes for tracing ingredients are unique in the field of baby food and complementary foods,” said the founders.
500 grams pre-start milk for 14,99 Euro
They also relied on the support of business angels “who are experts in the food industry and trade and have always helped us in word and deed.” Meanwhile, Löwenzahn Organics’ pap is listed in over 1,000 dm markets and in the 46 Globus hypermarkets. In May, more than 600 branches of the Austrian BIPA drugstores are opened. Also over the own homepage one sells well. Here, 500 grams of pre-start milk cost 14.99 euros and 150 grams of 4-grain pap 4.99 euros, plus subscriptions and special packages. The team looks back enthusiastically on the still young company history: “Since our sales start in June 2017, i.e. in just under 10 months, our products have already found their place in several thousand families, which is far above our expectations and which we are very pleased about”. Feedback from their customers is probably the main reason why many young companies are currently preparing to compete with the established top dogs: “We receive enthusiastic feedback from our customers, who are actually building an emotional relationship with our products, because it is very important to them what they write on their offspring’s menu and where the food comes from.
Image: Little Leaf, Tummy Love, Dandelion Organics