Is high-fat, high-protein the next big trend in baby food?
- A new startup called Serenity Kids is launching baby food inspired by the paleo diet, a product the company's founders claim is the first of its kind, according to FoodNavigator. Founders Serenity Heegel and Joe Carr also claim the baby food contains the highest meat content of any pouched baby food product.
- Heegel and Carr made the product for parents who want to raise their children on a paleo diet after finding that most existing baby foods are very low in fat and few contain meat. Canned baby food used to contain more meat in the 1940s and 1950s, but fell out of favor because of high prices and perceived "ick" factors.
- Heegel’s research uncovered that the “original” baby food — breast milk — is about half fat, almost half carbs and a “little bit of protein,” reports FoodNavigator. But most products on the market today are made with high-sugar fruit bases and not much fat or protein.
Parents want the best for their children, and there’s arguably nothing more important than starting infants out young with a nutritious, healthy and balanced diet. The market potential for good-for-you baby foods could be huge, particularly as more health-conscious millennials move into the family formation years.
So, Serenity Kids may be onto something. The upstart’s new baby food products are all low in sugar and reportedly mimic the macro-nutrient balance of breast milk, according to FoodNavigator. The high fat and meat content may alarm some consumers, who over the years have eschewed animal fats in favor of low-fat and plant-based diets. But adult consumers' perception of whole and healthy fats are beginning to evolve, a purchasing behavior which will likely be reflected in the infant food space as well.
Serenity Kids’ products are made with “good fats" from grass-fed and pastured animals raised on small American family farms, according to the company’s website. Company information also indicates the products are “better for your baby because they have a much higher Omega-3s and CLAs (conjugated linoleic acid) than grain-fed meats.”
The question becomes: Will a high-fat, high-protein baby product line thrive or fade away as another fad? If the new consumer love for “healthy fats” is any indication, Serenity Kids should find success. The low-fat diet message prevalent in the 1980s has given way to a near consumer obsession for fats and oils as important components of a healthy diet.
U.S. consumption of olive oil — in many ways the forerunner of the surge in healthy oils — has risen by 250% since 1990, and marks a major change in dietary habits, according to a report from Italian farmers’ group Coldiretti. Demand for healthier foods made with specialty fats and oils — not just from olives, but avocado, sesame, flax, nuts, hemp, grapeseed and coconut as well — is on the rise. So too may be the demand for healthier-made baby foods.
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