Jarred purees are a pantry staple for new parents. But whilst convenient, one look at the label, and parents might shudder at the amount of preservatives they contain. And if they dare take a closer look, the majority of pre-prepared baby meals and snacks on the market will have a longer shelf-life than the age of their little one.
Sensing an opportunity, a host of new baby food brands have launched to meet the needs of today’s health-conscious parents, in turn helping to pivot the category away from preservative-filled purees to an innovative array of organic, fresh superfoods.
Born in NYC, Little Spoon has raised $73 million in total to expand its operations of delivering fresh, homemade, organic baby food straight to parents’ doors. All of their products are manufactured using High Pressure Processing (HPP), otherwise known as Cold Pressure, which naturally elongates the shelf life of their fresh food by a few weeks. Making waves on our side of the pond is Mamamade, a fast-growing organic plant-based baby and toddler meal subscription which this week received over £600k in crowdfunding - £200k over the target. Others in the space include Little Tummy, backed by supermodel investor Natalia Vodianova, and Omami, who focuses on small-batch, specially curated subscription boxes.
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However product innovation isn’t the only factor behind the success of these brands.
For a Little Spoon customer, the relationship isn’t just transactional, it’s conversational too. Their community platform “Is This Normal” is built to help parents connect with each other and ask their experts the questions everyone wants the answers to when it comes to this parenting life. Investing in their community experience to build affinity and trust is their “secret sauce” according to the CEO, Ben Lewis.
Similarly, Mamamade has built a 40,000 strong community of like-minded parents, all of whom consider the brand as a forum, a place to seek advice, comfort, and friendship, through all stages of parenting. Founder, Sophie, perfectly explains it as “we’re more than just a food brand, we’re a support system.” This element of the business has garnered the attention of celebrity mums including; Lucy Mecklenburgh, Rochelle Humes, and Millie Mackintosh.
Toddlers don’t care much for aesthetics or brand values, but millennial parents do. So rather than leaning into childish branding like supermarket competitors, this new cohort of parenting brands have followed modern DTC codes with sleek visual languages and empowering manifestos that appeal to the next-gen parent.
“At Little Spoon, it’s not just our products that are fresh— it’s our take on parenting and what it really looks like today” says Caryn Wasser, VP of Brand Marketing and Partnerships, Little Spoon. “We wanted to use design to communicate our modern approach to babies and kid’s meals in a way that appeals to both the parent and child. Straddling an illustration style that could be drawn by either party, utilising a bold typeface and vibrant colours, then layering in the use of organic forms inspired by our ingredients and of course, our spoon, conveys our fresh take in this category.”
It’s clear that the baby food category is having a much needed makeover, and here at Charlie Oscar we’re all for it. If you’re interested in exploring how your brand could participate in the baby wellness revolution or just want to chat, drop us a line.