Although we are innovating the baby formula industry using science, our real focus is not on technology. Our real focus is on helping struggling families and allergic babies and ease the pain and panic they feel while searching for feeding options, because at the end of the day, this is what really matters. Technology is just a means to this end. Harmony is developing a hypoallergenic breast milk component-based infant formula that will be an option that gives these families confidence and peace of mind feeding to their babies.
Right now, parents are desperate to find the specialty formula they need during this ongoing infant formula shortage. Two of the three formulas recalled in February were hypoallergenic, and the few remaining hypoallergenic options have struggled to pick up the slack, leaving parents in a panic to find the specialty formula they need to feed their babies.
As the parent to two children, one of them cow’s milk allergic, Del Afonso speaks from personal experience about what these families who need specialty formula are going through during the shortage.
Parents are facing consistently empty shelves when looking for their specialty formulas. For the babies that require them, just switching to a different formula for a short time is not a possibility. For allergic babies, switching to a new formula can cause a lot of issues in their digestive system, whether it is an allergic reaction or extreme sensitivity that can leave the baby in pain.
This leaves their parents panicked because they cannot find the formula that they know will be okay for their baby to eat and must resort to paying hundreds of dollars per can to people reselling formula online. The very last thing they want to do is to return to a baby in pain from a formula that does not work for them, driving the desperate decisions they must make now.
The big problem we see is that cow’s milk is not designed for humans, yet cow’s milk is the standard for infant formula. This is a problem for all babies, but especially for the babies that can’t tolerate cow’s milk. They do not have many formula options at their disposal and if something happens to one of them, then the few remaining hypoallergenic formulas struggle to pick up the slack. It is clear we need a better formula solutions for allergic babies, and better formula standards that do not depend on cow’s milk for the entire market.