Tel Aviv…A major battle is shaping up over the lucrative kosher baby formula in Israel. Sources say that Materna (owned by Nestle-Osem), currently the leading baby formula brand for kosher consumers, may soon face stiff competition from Similac. Abbott Laboratories, the manufacturer of Similac, recently announced that it plans to launch a mehadrin (strictest level of kashrus) Similac milk substitute in the middle of 2011, according to the Calcalist (Economist) website. The religious market for milk substitutes is estimated at $25 million a year. The overall market in Israel is estimated at $150 million. Materna enjoys the certification of the Badatz while it is unclear who the certification will be for Similac. Materna products are popular with the US Orthodox market that could potentially mean that this baby-bottle-battle will soon reach the US market.
January 17, 2011