Are the newer affordable formula milk brands really as good as the established premium brands? We look at three new value-for-money brands available on supermarket shelves to find out.
There’s been a lot of talk in the past year about rising infant formula milk prices, and no wonder. Certain brands of milk powder could cost up to $97 per kg! Thankfully for parents, the Government created a taskforce in May last year to look into this issue. In its first formal update on 8 February, Senior Minister of State for National Development, Trade and Industry, Dr Koh Poh Koon, who chairs the taskforce, announced that the average prices of infant formula milk powder has dropped 4.8 per cent since May.
While this is definitely good news for parents, what’s even better is that retailers are also sourcing for more affordable brand options. But some parents are still leaning towards ‘premium’ brands that they feel are more established and more nutritious for their children. After all, you get what you pay for, right? How can milk powder that costs about $30 per tin be as good as one that costs $80 per tin?
According to the Health Promotion Board (HPB), “All infant milk formula sold in Singapore provide sufficient basic nutrition for infants to grow healthily. There is little difference in the key nutrients offered by different brands of milk.” We did some research to learn about some new ‘affordable’ brands on the market, and here’s what we found.
Australia’s Own formula milk (Source)
Made from Australian cows’ milk, Australia’s Own formula milk is sourced from the premium dairy regions of Australia. They are scientifically formulated and nutritionally balanced, with the Diamond range being slightly superior to the Gold range in terms of added optional nutrients. Added nutrients include prebiotics, probiotics, Omega 3 and Omega 6, on top of over 25 essential vitamins and minerals. In an HPB chart comparing Stage 2 follow-on formula, Australia’s Own actually contains more calcium per 100ml of prepared milk than five more expensive brands on the market!
- Australia’s Own Gold Infant Formula Step 1 (for 0 to 6 months), 900g – $29.50
- Australia’s Own Gold Follow-on Formula Step 2 (for 6 to 12 months), 900g – $29.50
- Australia’s Own Gold Toddler Milk Drink Step 3, 900g – $27.50
- Australia’s Own Diamond Infant Formula Step 1 (for 0 to 6 months), 900g – $35.00
- Australia’s Own Diamond Follow-on Formula Step 2 (for 6 to 12 months), 900g – $35.00
- Australia’s Own Diamond Toddler Milk Drink Step 3 (for 12 months and up), 900g – $32.50
Aptamil Gold+ formula milk (Source)
Backed by over three decades of research, Aptamil Gold+ formula meets current nutrient recommendations from nutritional experts. In fact, with 100mg DHA per 100g of Aptamil Gold+ Stage 2 Follow-On Formula, it comes the closest to meeting the World Health Organization’s daily recommended DHA intake levels. It also contains the only patented prebiotic blend to support your child’s natural defenses. Aptamil is imported from New Zealand, except for Aptamil Gold+ HA Follow On Milk Formula Stage 2, which is a special hypoallergenic formulation from the Netherlands.
- Aptamil Gold+ HA Follow On Milk Formula Stage 2 (for 6 to 12 months), 800g – $54.60
- Aptamil Gold+ Follow On Milk Formula Stage 2 (for 6 to 12 months), 900g – $54.00
- Aptamil Gold+ Toddler Growing Up Milk Formula Stage 3 (for 1 to 3 years), 900g – $43.15
- Aptamil Gold+ Junior Growing Up Milk Formula Stage 4 (for 3 years and up), 900g – $37.50
FairPrice Gold formula milk (Source)
There are those who believe that housebrand products are affordable because they are of low quality, but perhaps it’s time to change that perception. FairPrice Gold formula milk is sourced from dairy farms in the Gippsland Region of Australia, renowned for high quality dairy products. Free-grazing grass-fed cows make more nutritious milk! Furthermore, it is manufactured in a Pharmaceutical Grade facility under stringent standards set by Food Standards of Australia and New Zealand. All three formulations are further fortified with Omega 3, Omega 6, lutein, the prebiotic GOS and nucleotides.
- FairPrice Gold Newborn Infant Formula (for 0 to 6 months), 900g – $29.00
- FairPrice Gold Follow-On Infant Formula (for 6 to 12 months), 900g – $29.00
- FairPrice Gold Growing-Up Infant Formula (for 12 months and up), 900g – $27.00
Quality Value-for-money Options for Parents
In a bid to provide better value and to give customers more choices, NTUC FairPrice now carries these exclusive affordable formula milk brands on its supermarket shelves and FairPrice Online. In September last year, it also launched housebrand FairPrice Gold. Many customers have since switched over from higher-priced brands, as more parents begin to understand that price is not an indicator of quality. In other words, expensive does not equal good and cheap does not mean bad.
Perhaps you’re still not sure but are game to let your baby try one of these affordable formula milk brands? Then sign up for your free FairPrice FairMily Kit. You’ll not only receive a tin of Aptamil milk powder for babies above six months, but also a specially curated set of essentials and groceries for the whole family. It’s basically $100 worth of affordable yet quality products you may not have time to shop for after your bundle of joy arrives.
What’s inside NTUC’s Good Start Bundle’s FairPrice FairMily Kit
The FairPrice FairMily Kit is part of the NTUC Good Start Bundle, a set of goodies NTUC and its group of social enterprises have put together to help young families early and support you and your newborn with relevant products and services at different stages of your parenting journey.
(See also: Raising a Baby is Expensive – Here’s Some Help)
So what else is in the NTUC Good Start Bundle?
NTUC Good Start Bundle (Source: NTUC Enterprise)
1. Complimentary one-year health insurance coverage for your newborn
Every Singaporean is covered by MediShield Life, but this may not be enough if Baby requires intensive medical care. Enhanced IncomeShield and IncomeShield Standard Plan are Medisave-approved Integrated Shield Plans that ensure peace of mind. With the NTUC Good Start Bundle, Baby’s first year premiums are free.
2. Early Experiences Matter: Parent-Child Activity Book
With daily necessities and healthcare covered, the next thing is to nurture the parent-child relationship. This book, developed by early childhood professionals at NTUC First Campus, offers practical advice on how to foster strong bonds with Baby. Using the accompanying accessories, engage in fun activities beneficial to Baby’s mental, physical and emotional development.
3. Toddlers’ Thursday
To encourage even more parent-toddler bonding time, toddlers up to three years old (and a parent) are invited to special educational experiences every first Thursday of the month. Enjoy free entry to eXplorerkid at Downtown East and AMK Hub, with Music and Dance Movement sessions to boot. Over at The Little Skool-House Early Literacy Centre at Downtown East, interactive learning zones let children discover the wonders of languages and literacy. You can visit each for free, up to six times a year!
And that’s not all! In fact, NTUC Social Enterprises will constantly work at adding new goodies and perks to the Good Start Bundle, so do follow them on Facebook to make sure that you don’t miss out on all the new benefits!
Every Singaporean baby born between 1 January 2016 and 31 December 2019 is eligible to receive the NTUC Good Start Bundle goodies.
Just click here to register for your NTUC Good Start Bundle!
This article was brought to you in collaboration with NTUC and its group of social enterprises, to help Singaporeans in their everyday lives, such as provide affordable yet quality products and services, moderate the cost of living and do good for the community.