Healthy and organic baby food trends: pouches, low sugar

Parents—and anyone who ever sets foot near children—know that squeeze pouches are all the rage these days. We asked a few of the leading brands to provide some insights on what trends they’re seeing in this category, and where they’re expanding beyond pouches.

Top flavors

For Plum Organics, the bestsellers are Pear, Purple Carrot & Blueberry; and the Tots Mighty 4 Blend pouch with sweet potato, carrot, blueberry, apple, Greek yogurt, millet and oats. The Tots pouches, which are designed for kids ages  are the fastest-growing segment of the company’s portfolio.

Earth’s Best’s bestsellers are staple vegetables and fruits like sweet potatoes, carrots and apples. The Wholesome Breakfast line, which features fruit and grain combinations like Blueberry, Banana, Flax & Oat, is seeing the highest growth.

Happy Family’s most popular blends are Apples, Kale & Avocado; Banana, Raspberry & Oats; and Apples, Blueberries & Oats.

New or coming-soon products

Earth’s Best plans to expand its protein offerings, with chicken and turkey in jars. Its Homestyle Meal line of pouches now includes chicken casserole and beef medley.

Happy Family launched Happy Baby & Happy Tot Whole Milk Yogurt earlier this year in cups. These are available in 10 blends, designed for kids between six months and three years old.

Among Plum Organics’ product launches this spring is the Mighty Protein & Fiber pouch, which includes protein from veggies, seeds and fruit, with no dairy. Plant-based proteins provide 3 grams of protein and 2 to 4 grams of fiber per serving.

Plum also launched its Baby Bowl line recently, which is designed for spoon feeding. “We’ve attracted new consumers to Plum for their first solid foods and broadened our product portfolio to offer products that meet every feeding occasion,” said Ben Mand, Plum’s SVP of marketing and innovation.

Ingredient trends

Plum Organics is seeing a trend towards functional ingredients and healthy fats industry-wide. “In addition to adding exciting and adventurous ingredients like guava to expand a little one’s palate, we continue to include trend-forward healthy fats like avocado and coconut cream in our products, and are expanding our Tots portfolio this year to include plant-based protein and fiber pouches,” Mand said.

Happy Family sees families continuing to move toward gluten-free diets, no-added-sugar options and foods that support gut health. The brand is focused on innovating and enriching its recipes with superfoods like chia and whole grains, and has baby and toddler snacks made without gluten or added sugar.

Sam Garfinkel of Earth’s Best, which maintains a full line of both jars and pouches, added: “While the long-term trend reflects a shift to pouches from jars as consumers search for added convenience, Earth’s Best jars have rebounded recently behind expanded distribution and participation in governmental programs that help provide access to infant nutrition.”

Sustainability

Sustainability is still a big question across the board. Plum Organics says it’s working on finding recycled materials it can integrate into its packaging and researching ways to recycle the pouches. Once Upon a Farm seems to be the only brand that offers recycling of its pouches, and does so through a mail-in program—no curbside recycling yet, if ever—in partnership with TerraCycle.

Source: Healthy and organic baby food trends: pouches, low sugar