Many American parents have been affected by the baby formula shortage in the United States in 2022. To overcome this problem, parents had to find other solutions. Many of them turned to online baby formula retailers from overseas, selling European Organic Baby Formulas from brands such as HIPP or Holle, among other products. This led to an increase in the popularity and demand for European baby formulas in the US market over the last year. Ultimately, this phenomenon has left many parents wondering why they are not able to find these highly sought-after formulas in their local grocery stores.
So why can’t parents buy EU Baby Formula in the US? The reason is simple.
Because most of them are not FDA approved.
Why do EU Baby Formulas need to be FDA approved?
All new food or health products introduced to the American market must undergo a verification process carried out by the Food & Drugs Association (FDA), which is responsible for protecting the public health by ensuring the safety of the products. Therefore, the reason why EU Baby Formula is not commonly found in US grocery stores is the fact that it has not undergone this verification process, due to the differences in standards & regulations between the US & EU. These differences in standards are mainly related to the ingredient compositions and labeling requirements, and would require European manufacturers to adjust their products to fit the American market.
Here are the main differences between the US & EU:
Both the US & EU have their own specific guidelines regarding nutritional content. Consequently, US & EU Baby Formulas differ in their ingredient compositions.
For example, iron content in US formulas exceeds the maximum allowable iron concentration set by the European Commission.
Therefore, in order to sell in the US, EU manufacturers would need to reformulate their products to comply with US regulations, which adds an extra layer of complexity and cost.
As the EU has its own specific regulations regarding labeling, selling in the US would imply adhering to different labeling standards, which can be a complex and expensive process for manufacturers.
For example, a EU Baby Formula manufacturer would be required to convert their labeling information from the International System of Units (kg & g) to the US Customary System (lb & oz).
Therefore, these differences represent another factor that further prevents the availability of EU Baby Formula in the US.
INDUSTRY PROGRESS: Approval of EU Baby Formulas in the US & EU-inspired Formulas
However, there has been some progress in the approval of EU baby formulas in the US. For instance, UK-based Baby Formula company Kendamil has been approved by the FDA and is now available in grocery stores, such as Target or Fred Meyer.
Moreover, some American brands, such as Bobbie, have successfully replicated the European formulation by creating European style organic baby formulas that meet the U.S. FDA's nutritional requirements.
WHAT YOU SHOULD REMEMBER:
At the current moment, the standards set by the FDA do not allow all European Formula brands to be purchased in the US. However, brands such as HIPP & HOLLE can be purchased from online retailers in Europe, which are then shipped directly to the US.
Remember, as a parent, it is your own responsibility to seek out specialized help from your healthcare professional to decide which is the most suitable formula for your baby.