Blog The blog of the next generation of baby nutrition & care
cow's milk allergy

Infant Formula Shortage: The Perfect Storm

carter | May 5, 2022 | 3:35 pm

Imagine a world in which we no longer use cow’s milk as the basis of infant formula. Every formula is made from human breast milk components that provide the exact nutrients a baby needs and are naturally hypoallergenic. Harmony is working toward making this dream a reality. A reality that would benefit allergic and non-allergic babies alike.  

Right now, the infant formula industry is facing the perfect storm for shortages. There already existed supply chain issues as a result of COVID, then in February, there was a large formula recall. These issues compounded to create a massive crisis in infant formula. As of now, studies show that nearly 30% of brands are sold out in stores and online, according to USA Today, even months after the recall occurred. Retailers have even been rationing formula to just a few cans per person to cope with the shortages. 

This crisis has disproportionately impacted allergic babies and their parents, since two of the formulas recalled were hypoallergenic. For allergic babies, finding a new nutrition option is more challenging than just switching to an equivalent formula. First, there are very few hypoallergenic options to choose from on the market. Second, many of the hypoallergenic options may not work for any individual baby, causing spit up and other gastrointestinal issues. Even when pediatricians recommend a new hypoallergenic formula, there is no guarantee these parents will even be able to find them in stores or online. The recall on two of the main hypoallergenic options has put immense strain on the rest of the hypoallergenic brands, causing nationwide shortages even greater than those seen for regular formula. 

These parents are panicking, spending hours a day trying to find their baby’s next meal. Many of them are going to secondary markets online, forced to spend hundreds of dollars for a can of the hypoallergenic formula they know their child will consume. Harmony is well versed in this struggle, and experiences like these are part of the reason why the company was created in the first place. 

Our Founder and CEO, Del Afonso, cites his personal experience raising his cow’s milk allergic daughter, saying “if you have an allergic baby at home, you’re struggling, you need help. You can’t sleep, your baby has rashes all over their body, it’s really a very hard time, so the need for change comes from parents. They need something better.”

Del has worked in the specialty formula industry for over 15 years, and more recently he had a cow’s milk-allergic daughter of his own and has seen firsthand the panic and the struggles the parents of allergic children face, and Harmony wants to ease those worries the best we can. We believe Harmony will help mitigate the issues many parents are facing right now, by providing a naturally hypoallergenic and nutritious formula based on breast milk proteins any parent could trust.