New Year baby food face-off - Heinz vs. Hipp
Friday 17 December 2010
Ketchup and baked beans giant Heinz will put a new baby food product range on UK shelves, where a very similar product already exists, by the end of January 2011.
US-based Heinz's new range, Taste of Home, is packaged in reusable and resealable plastic "Twin Pots"- a format already in UK grocery store aisles since 2009 under the German Hipp brand.
Taste of Home's packaging, content (steam-cooked, heavy emphasis on vegetables and fruit) and format are nearly identical to that of Hipp's "Organic Wholesome Pots" (also sold in twos), which seems to be the inspiration behind the new line. However, Heinz parlays its new range with one standout difference: price.
"Mums prefer the 'home-made' look of plastic pots but are often put off by the high prices," Katie Bleach, the marketing manager in Heinz infant feeding department said in a statement on December 14.
Heinz's 13-product line is separated into three feeding stages by age group and varying in package size -babies aged 4 months-plus (£1.49(/240g), followed by seven months-plus (£1.89/380g) and 10 months-plus (£2.29/420g).
Hipp's Wholesome Pot prices: Stage 1 (£1.85p/200g), Stage 2 (£2.65/380g) and Stage 3 (£2.95/440g).
Hipp, which is the most popular baby food brand in the UK and claims to be the world's largest baby food maker (The Guardian reported that it produces 1.5 million jars per day), justifies its higher price with two claims: its product range is organic, packed with omega-3s, and packaged in fully recyclable and eco-friendly plastic.
Hipp's Organic Wholesome Pots (called Baby BioMenu Cups in Germany and Little Pots or Little Bowls/Gourmet Traditions in France) are available in most European markets in local flavors, like Cottage Pie, Cassoulet (French bean casserole) and Rahgemuse (German stuffed potato dumpling).
The UK will be Heinz's launch market for the Taste of Home line. There are no plans yet for an international launch, but stay tuned. The company no longer sells baby food in the US, where it is headquartered, but sells baby products in Italy (its Plasmon brand is the market leader there), Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Russia, China and the UAE.
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