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New Moms Are Feeling Pressure to Buy Expensive Brands, Which Does Not Necessarily Mean Higher Quality

Dr. Jennifer Trachtenberg is a pediatrician, assistant clinical professor of pediatrics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and a mom. She has written two books, and has appeared on The Today Show and CNN's Headline News.

"Brand" New Mom Study Highlights

The "Brand" New Mom study of more than 1,900 expectant first-time moms and current new moms with children 12 months old or younger, explored their outlook on a number of issues including baby-related purchase decisions, advertising and marketing, store and name brand baby products, and the challenging economy.

New Moms are Information Hungry

  • 67% of moms feel that having a baby is the most important time to gather as much information as possible. This life changing event far outranks buying a home, getting married, retiring or switching jobs.
  • Despite all of the information that moms gather, 41% say they are learning something new one to three times per week and 11% feel they are not receiving enough information.
Most Important Life Changing Event
for Information Gathering
Response %
Having a Baby 67%
Buying a Home 17%
Getting Married 6%
Retirement 5%
Switching Jobs or Careers 4%

Impacts of Advertising and Marketing Messages on Moms

  • 85% of moms pay more attention to baby-related advertisements than any other type of advertisement.
  • Baby-related advertisements strike an emotional chord with moms – nearly one in four feel overwhelmed (23%) and one in five feel anxious (20%) or confused (20%).
  • 76% of current moms say that, at best, baby-related ads make them feel like average mothers.
  • Furthermore, 21% of expecting first-time moms confess that these ads make them feel less prepared to be a mom.
  • Moms trust claims backed up by specific medical research (60%) or testimonials from other moms (56%) in baby-related advertisements much more than simple statements like “best for baby” (30%) or celebrity endorsements (6%).
  • When receiving a free sample or coupon at the hospital, 69% of moms believe the hospital endorses or approves it, and 33% will continue to use that baby brand.

Overspending on Baby Even Though Mom Feels Financial Pressures

  • 59% of moms are stressed because of their personal financial situation or the economy.
  • 53% admit that thoughts about their baby product budgets plague them on a daily basis.
  • 37% feel guilty if they cannot afford a specific product for their babies.
  • More than one in four moms (27%) admit they would spend more than they originally budgeted for a baby product they had already planned to buy.
  • In fact, only 13% scaled back their spending for their expectant or new baby in reaction to tough economic times, while around three-quarters have recently cut back on dining out (74%), clothing for themselves (75%), and entertainment (74%) because of the challenging economic times.
Moms Emotional State Due to Current Economy
and Personal Financial Situations
Response %
Stressed 59%
Overwhelmed 44%
Anxious 41%
Nervous 41%
Frustrated 38%
Afraid 25%
Doubtful 18%
Guilty 13%

Store Brand Vs. Name Brand For Baby

  • Only 30% of respondents are willing to buy store brand products for their babies, while more than half (52 percent) will buy store brands for everyday household items.
  • 62% believe that name brand baby products provide higher quality than store brand.

Formulated Opinion

  • Nearly half (40%) of moms would feel guilty about using formula, instead of breastfeeding. A potential reason why infant formula is one purchase on which many moms are willing to splurge – even though they don’t have to.
  • Less than a quarter (23%) of moms are open to buying store brand infant formula.
  • 68% believe a heftier price tag for formula means that it’s a better quality product.
  • 50% believe that a name brand infant formula generally indicates higher quality and 37% believe it is more nutritious.
  • Over a third of new first-time moms (34%) are still using the same brand of formula that the hospital provided when they gave birth and haven’t explored new options yet.
Moms Opt for Name Brand Formula
Over Store Brand Formula
Response %
Name Brand Formula 77%
Store Brand Formula 23%
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