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Babies with Goat's Milk: 'Better Image Than Cow's Milk'

goat's milk

If you are unable or unwilling to breastfeed, you will soon choose baby milk-based milkBut there are also alternatives: on the menu of babies there is more and more goat milk, they say at The Pure Goat Company. "We are just on the shelves at Etos."
To immediately remove a prejudice about goat milk: it is not an alternative for people with a cow's milk allergy. "The proteins are different, but usually resemble cow's milk enough to cause an allergic reaction," says Rogier van Anholt, co-founder of The Pure Goat Company.
Such an allergy is rare: cow's milk allergy has been demonstrated in 2.4 percent of children according to the  Pediatric Medicine Association .

Van Anholt also holds a PhD in biology and worked for more than twelve years as a researcher and developer at food companies such as Numico (now Danone), where he developed food for sick children, among other things.

Ideas about baby food

Company Frank Dekker was a buyer at FrieslandCampina. "I sold ingredients to him. When Rogier started his business, he was on the doorstep, whether we could put something innovative on the market with baby food." Van Anholt had ideas about that.

Since last year, The Pure Goat Company has been making milk powder based on organic (whole) goat milk. The company buys goat milk from  farmers and has it 'powdered' at a specialized  company. All food ingredients  are mixed and packaged at a factory in Austria.

"It is a new sector where a lot is happening," says Van Anholt. "That makes it interesting. The cow's milk sector is already boarded up, it is difficult for you as a small entrepreneur to intervene." Goat milk turned out to be a emerging market with opportunities.

Different in proteins

Due to strict controls,  goat milk is seen as a high-quality product. And it is certainly different from cow's milk, especially in proteins. "Little remains of other differences, such as minerals, if you make bottle-feeding from it," says Van Anholt. That is because all baby food must comply with European rules. It determines which ingredients may be in it and what the fat content should be.

Then it should not matter what you feed your child? "Yes and no," says Van Anholt. In addition to what needs to be added, there is also a selection list with ingredients. Many brands stop at the basics, but those who spend more time in research and their product can certainly stand out.

Extra Omega-3

In addition to the musts, such as iron and (vegetable) fats, The Pure Goat Company, for example, chooses to add Omega-3 DHA. The  Nutrition Center knows that an ingredient that contributes to the development of the eyes and brain .

He also opts for Omega-3 from algae instead of the usual tuna (oil). Because tuna is linked to overfishing. "You can grow the algae almost unlimited, even though strict quality requirements apply."

Approved since 2014

Goat milk has only been approved by the EU since 2014 as a raw material for baby food, in addition to cow milk and soy. It is therefore fairly new on the European market, but it has been around for some time. "Nannycare from New Zealand is one of the best known producers," says Van Anholt. The largest is originally  Ausnutria, which is now largely in Chinese hands.

They make goat milk, but it is not organic, Van Anholt knows. That is where he wants to stand out. All ingredients from The Pure Goat Company are organic. Parents choose organic more often, according to figures from consultancy firm IRI and branch organization Bionext. The turnover of supermarkets in this area grew by more than 18 percent (2018). In 2017 that was 23 percent, good for a turnover of 21.8 million euros .

In addition, many people look for alternatives.  people are increasingly leaving the 'normal' milk carton on the supermarket shelves. Last year we bought 25 million liters less milk than in 2017. Important reason: the claim that milk would be 'unhealthy' . In the meantime, vegetable food cannot be dragged .

Better image than cow's milk

Goat milk is not vegetable, but has a better image than cow's milk, says Van Anholt. The milk would be mild and in some cases easier to digest. Incidentally, those benefits have not yet been proven, the Nutrition Center states in a response.

"In addition to cow milk, you can also buy more and more milk from other animals in the store. Think of goat milk, horse and sheep milk. There are also more and more vegetable alternatives of soy, oats and almond. But these variants are not suitable for babies under the age of 6 months ", says spokesperson Patricia Schutte. Infant formula (and follow-on milk after 6 months) based on goat, soy or cow's milk is possible.

Goat on the rise

Health benefit or not, the worldwide demand for goat milk is growing. According to Van Anholt, much research is still being done , the goat is on the rise. Despite an outbreak of Q Fever, Rabobank says . In 2018, the austria had more than 500 dairy goat farms, accounting for more than 370 million kilograms of milk (CBS).

"It is a sector with good economic prospects," said Esther de Snoo of the Agriculture and Horticulture Organization (LTO) earlier. "Goat milk is a healthy emerging product. It is a long-term trend, not a hype. Farmers are investing because they think demand is only increasing."

At the Etos

That is why The Pure Goat milk cans have also been on the shelves at Etos since last week, for 29.95 euros per bus. It is the first major customer for the company, in addition to the sales that the company makes through the website. "We would like to expand to Germany, but we must first make a substantial turnover in the austria," says Van Anholt.

Then maybe goat milk porridge. "They are really nice animals. Funny and sometimes stubborn at the same time."

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