Bobbie formula is an organic baby formula serving 50,000 families.
It is no secret that the past couple of years has been hard on consumers. Many grocery and retail store shelves have been empty and getting products to one’s home has been nothing less than a struggle. One surprising shortage came earlier this year when the nation began to experience a national baby formula shortage, one that organic infant formula company, Bobbie, looks to ease a little bit with its Bobbie formula.
BOBBIE FORMULA STARTED IN 2018
Co-founders Laura Modi and Sarah Hardy started Bobbie in 2018. The duo was looking to bring a European-style baby formula to the United States. When Bobbie was first launched, it became the very first new infant formula to hit American markets in six years and, according to Mondi, they were going after customers who had been finding their baby formula on the black market.
But like many businesses in their infancy, Bobbie ran into a number of issues. The main one turned into a big learning lesson for the co-founders, a lesson that Modi says was “quite a humbling and harrowing journey.” It was also a lesson they were not sure they could bounce back from.
BOBBIE FORMULA IS ORGANIC AND CONTAINS LACTOSE
Let’s take a look at what makes Bobbie formula so special and where parents can get some. First, Bobbie formula is organic. Not only that, but they use a European-style recipe that is very healthy for infants.
One of the things to know about Bobbie formula is that it contains DHA (Docosa-hexaenoic acid) which is not a U.S. requirement, but it is a very important omega-3 fatty acid that is extremely critical for babies’ rapid brain development. Bobbie formula meets the EU requirement of DHA with 20mg per 100kcal.
Bobbie formula contains lactose. This is the most common form of sugar that is found in breast milk and is a great source of energy that helps fuel growth in infants. But there are many women who, for various reasons, are not able to breastfeed, which makes Bobbie a great alternative.
Bobbie formula helps produce easy digestion for infants. It does this by using cow’s milk with added whey protein. This helps ensure that the amount and types of protein used in Bobbie formula are consistent with mature breast milk.
Bobbie formula has received the Clean Label Project Purity Award. They earned this from the rigorous testing they do on their ingredients to ensure that the formula is free from contaminants and toxins that include heavy metals, plastics, and pesticide residues. This last one also earned Bobbie the Pesticide Free certification.
Although there are plenty of other baby formulas that can be found on sites like Amazon, Bobbie formula can be found on their own website. Once there you can read about how Bobbie came to be and if you are looking to purchase, simply go to the big green button in the upper right-hand corner and give it a click. You will then be given choices to join their monthly formula subscription ($104 for four 400g cans) or to buy it as a one-time purchase ($116 for the same amount).
THEY RECALLED THEIR OWN PRODUCT
The learning lesson came during the first year of Bobbie formula production. It all hinged on Bobbie labeling their formula incorrectly, errors that were found by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. So, instead of letting the FDA recall their Bobbie formula, Modi and Hardy decided they would voluntarily recall their own product.
So, what exactly was the voluntary recall all about? Well, not long after the launch of Bobbie formula, it was pointed out that the Bobbie label was not meeting the FDA labeling requirements for baby formula. See, when Modi and Hardy first began their venture, they created the very first version of Bobbie formula with a German manufacturer.
Modi and Hardy did not realize that what works over in Europe doesn’t necessarily translate back here at home. Although the product was solid, they were seeing that the lines between toddler and infant formula can be easily blurred. They learned the hard way early on, but it turned out for the better in the long run.
The FDA has been regulating baby formula since 1980 when the Infant Formula Act was put into law. Basically, this law tells manufacturers what infant formula can have in it as ingredients and what it can’t, how the formula must be manufactured, and the exact steps manufacturers must take to produce their baby formula. The Infant Formula Act has made baby formula one of the most highly regulated of all the foods produced in the U.S. for one reason and one reason only – to make certain that your babies’ formula is safe and nutritious.
Modi and Hardy ended up having to stop using their German manufacturer but instead found something much closer to home – a manufacturer in Vermont that could produce Bobbie formula that would be compliant with FDA rules and regulations for infants 0-12 months. It was a tough learning lesson, but it was also a lesson in resilience.
“When the world of regulation and disruption come together in one of the industries that is heavily regulated, there is zero room for error,” Modi said via Tech Crunch. “Anyone can pick up and recover, and that positions us in a strong place. It also taught me that women are badass. To watch how we handled it with calm, humility, and vulnerability, and then stood back up and said let’s keep going. We were confident with what the product could do.”
Bobbie’s formula not only bounced back, but since their 2019 voluntary recall, they have thrived. Even through the baby formula shortage, Bobbie has been able to generate great numbers. It was something they were not prepared for.
BOBBIE FORMULA SERVES 50,000 FAMILIES
It is estimated that by 2026, the baby formula market will reach $103.75 billion. Modi and Hardy’s Bobbie formula is poised for a nice gain. Their most recent windfall came when they were least expecting it.
The bounce back was nice and had Modi thinking Bobbie formula was going to bring in around $4 million in revenue in 2021. Instead, Bobbie closed the year with a staggering $18 million, a figure they never dreamed of. “It was pretty extraordinary,” she said. “We had been heads down on growth and innovation, and what is clear is we have hit product-market fit. This is the product parents have been waiting for.”
The numbers were a clear winner for Bobbie formula, and it helped Modi and Hardy expand. They were able to first raise $15 million in a Series A round last summer and from that, they took their 20 employees and turn them into 50 employees. The growth doesn’t stop there for Bobbie.
The baby formula company now serves around 50,000 parents in each state across the country, and Modi says Bobbie will grow four times in revenue this year. She also says the pace at which the revenue is growing is at 60% month over month and there is no letup.
With these great numbers, Bobbie has had numerous investors come calling. Modi and Hardy see this as an opportunity to invest now in their company’s future, so that is what they are doing. Earlier this year, they were able to nail $50 million in a Series B round that brought in heavy investor hitters like Park West, AirAngels, and current investors NextView and VMG.
After a rough start, Bobbie formula has found its footing. They produce a great organic formula for infants and have received nothing but glowing reviews. In a time when it has been difficult for mothers to find formula, Bobbie’s has been able to produce.