The ultimate price review to baby formula milk in Singapore

Jes , 8 Comments

As I am promoted to a mummy now, I will be sharing more about the finances of a family. One big hole in the pocket is because of formula milk, no wonder we always say parents have to 赚奶粉钱 (earn money for milk)! The recent report by Straits Times is not helping. It states that the price of formula milk has gone up by 120% in 10 years, faster than any other raw materials.

This post aims to compare the formula milk of all stages with the intention to find out if there is a big price difference that will motivate me to change brands.


Nutritional information
Before I talk about the different prices, it's necessary to explain more about the nutrition that is widely marketed by milk companies. They 2 key ingredients are AA and DHA, but you will also find ALA and LA in the formula milk too. Some details on these 4 ingredients:
You can also get ALA from walnuts
DHA content in formula milk is usually higher than AA because:
1) Children do not take much fish, which contains DHA
2) Conversion of ALA to DHA is low

Thus, even without addition of AA, there is a large amount of LA present in formula milks. Rest assured that all brands sold in Singapore comply to the requirements set by AVA, and no evidence that any one brand is superior to another.

Assumptions
1) For the prices below, I used the bulk price listed in Lazada for all the non hypoallergenic and with lactose version.
2) For newborn formula milk, they cannot be bought online so I took the prices from Sheng Siong.
3) Average price calculated at the overall comparison does not include the price of Stage 1 because the amount of formula milk consumed should be low during the first 6 months.
4) I did not use the amount of ALA/LA present, but the summation of only AA and DHA in the comparison
5) Price divided by the total amount of AA and DHA is a very simplistic way to determine the price per nutrition and may not be reflective of the total nutrients present.

Stage 1 (Formula milk from birth)
I do encourage all mummies to continue breastfeed as long as you can, but don't force it if you are losing sanity. These prices are taken at Sheng Siong on April 2017. Comparing the prices for Stage 1, S26 has the lowest price per kg and by amount of AA+DHA, Enfamil A+ has the highest amount of AA/DHA.
The highlighted boxes are the best in each categories
Stage 2 (Formula milk from 6 months onwards)
Comparing the prices for Stage 2, Friso Gold is the lowest in price per kg. Enfamil A+ has the highest amount of AA and DHA, which corresponds to the lowest price per AA+DHA.

Stage 3 (Formula milk from 1 year old onwards)
Comparing the prices for Stage 3, Friso Gold is still the lowest in price per kg. This time, Mamil Gold is the lowest in price in terms of amount of AA+DHA.


Stage 4 (Formula milk from 2 or 3 years onwards)
Comparing the prices for Stage 4, Friso Gold reigns as the lowest in price. Mamil Gold is the lowest in price in terms of amount of AA+DHA.


For the overall comparison
The average price does not include the prices of Stage 1

Conclusion

The lowest cost by unit price is Friso Gold while the most value-for-money by amount of AA+DHA is Mamil Gold.

I am shocked by the difference in prices between Similac (most expensive) and Friso Gold (cheapest). The difference is quite substantial: $(54.53 - 35.71) = $18.82, a 50% difference! In a year, just by changing the brands, you could save $(18.82 x 52 tins) = $978.64. This is assuming your baby drinks 1 kg a week, which is pretty accurate for baby above 6 months.

To be fair, there is no bulk discount for Similac which might explain the highest price. After all, this is just a numbers comparison but there are other factors to be considered, such as taste and your baby's preference to it. Price is not everything!

What this means for me?
My baby is drinking Nestle Nan Optipro now and I was not surprised that it is one of the most expensive brand, particularly because it is Made in Switzerland with only 800g as its biggest size. I regretted not doing this comparison earlier, but now I will definitely get baby to try Mamil Gold or Friso Gold. Being a non-fussy drinker, I really don't think she will reject it!

Disclaimer: No milk companies sponsored this review but I do wish they would give me some tins of milk! :) Follow me on Facebook if you would like to receive updates on family expenses and let me know if you would like me to compare on other expenses. Want to know what is the cost to raise a child in Singapore? Stay tuned for my next family post.

Jes

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8 comments:

  1. some errata in your conclusion. Similac is the most expensive and not the cheapest

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there,

      Good catch! I have edited it accordingly, thanks for the help :)

      Delete
  2. Now you may appreciate what your parents have been through.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Uncle CW,

      Yes I appreciate more now that I go through this stage. So I just don't understand how the last generation can have so many kids! Haha :)

      Delete
  3. There are reasons why the products are priced differently, eg:
    1. Processes (Actually this is one key component for Quality)
    2. Ingredients, Raw materials
    3. Branding

    It is known in the industry, how some brands are able to priced them self much lower than competitors, due to the process they are using.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Yong Kun,

      I agree with you, which is why this is a very simplistic way to compare prices. Would you care to share with everyone the various processes and how they affect prices? As we are not in the industry, we do not know much about it. Thank you!

      Delete
  4. Hi Jes

    I have been using Dumex gold after 1 year of breastfeeding. You can look out for bulk discount as the price you quoted are much higher than what I have paid for.

    One thing that you may have missed out. Different formula need different numbers of scoops and made the comparison harder. Example, some need 1 scoop for every 40ml of water, while some need 1 scoop for every 60ml of water. Maybe comparing by per intake is more accurate.

    Read your diaper post too, good job. haha.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi FD,

      Yeah, I already tried looking out for the cheapest, maybe just nice the bulk discount is not applicable during this month.

      That's a very good point! However, the normal consumer probably wouldn't compare between the different number of scoops. Too many things to compare. Hope the government can do something about the rising cost though.

      Thank you for the compliment! Haha, now being a mum, more kiasu on costs. Happy Mothers' Day to your wife and enjoy your holidays!

      Delete