Farley’s baby milk and why is Heinz telling lies and ripping off customers?

farleys My daughter is now just over one year old. After starting off on her Mum’s milk she gradually moved over first to a combination of mum and formula, and then to just formula. To begin with we used ready-made SMA in cartons, because that’s what we’d been given in the hospital.

But then we moved over to using Farley’s baby milk, which is made by Heinz. Esme likes it and it is readily available so you knew you could get it almost anywhere.

When you buy a can it has a sticker on the lid saying ‘Farley’s committed to fair prices’, which is nice to know as you’ve got lots of expenses as a parent. Recently there has been a another sticker inside saying that Farley’s is soon to be renamed Nurture. I didn’t give it much thought other than thinking it sounded like one of those daft marketing moves where a company ditches a historic, tried and trusted brand to replace it with something pathetic and modern.

IMAG0023 However, in Sainsbury’s on Saturday I was astounded to see that Nurture cost about £8 per tin, compared to about £5 for Farley’s. My initial thought was to be angry at Sainsbury’s for using the name change to hike the price. But when I got home and read this story in The Guardian I discovered that the real culprits were Heinz. What’s most astounding is the incredibly idiotic quote from Heinz to explain the price increase as being down to new packaging including a ‘more hygienic storage for the scoop". So what are they trying to tell me, that the scoop they’ve sold me for the last year is unhygienic?

IMAG0024 Pull the other one, this is just a piece of incredibly bad marketing that puts the company first and the customers nowhere. That’s certainly the online sentiment in forums such as mumsnet.

But it’s the sticker on the tin that really annoys me and prompted this post. You can’t claim to be ‘Committed to fair prices’ and then hike the price by 70%. That means you are lying and that is something a brand should never, ever do.

Hopefully this will back fire on Heinz and they will be forced to either reverse the name change, drop the price or both. Just to help the cause I’ve created a Facebook group to ‘Bring back Farley’s baby milk‘ because we don’t want to pay over the odds for Nurture.

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About Stuart Bruce

International communications consultant and PR trainer specialising in online public affairs, digital corporate communications, online PR and social media; frequent national media commentator and conference speaker.
  • Lisa Artis

    I am in total agreement and furious. I have used Farleys since birth as it is what the special care baby unit put my now-10month old girl on. I have always been pleased that Farleys charged only £5 per tin whilst its competitors charged £7 and felt as it said that 'it was committed to fair prices'. To be honest I haven't bought a tin of Nurture yet as last month I actually stocked up on 4 tins of the 'old stuff'.

    The thing is Heinz will know that as parents you dont want to change their milk but I think they may find that parents are that annoyed they may just do that.

  • http://www.smanutrition.co.uk Helen Smith

    Farley's was the first milk i gave my little girl – i chose it because it was the cheapest of the big brands and she liked it so i never felt the need to change. However i've now taken my business elsewhere, because its now the same price as the 'leading brands'!
    I tried cow & gate but jessica didn't like it, so moved to SMA which seems to have gone down much better.
    Shame on Heinz!

  • http://www.hackflack.co.uk Chris Marritt

    A little off-topic seeing as the post is about communications but I always thought the design of the Aptamil tub/scoop takes some beating.
    The leveller in the corner of the box means that you can easily make a bottle up with one hand (and so while holding howling baby in the other), without switching the light on, even when you're half asleep!
    To me, that is the definition of understanding your customers' needs. It probably is a bit more hygienic too.

  • gemma

    i think that its disgusting that u have put yr prices up so dramatically i will definetly be taking my buisness else where! how is a single mother who only gets £18 a week ment to survive when milk has gone up that much!!!

  • gemma

    i think that its disgusting that u have put yr prices up so dramatically i will definetly be taking my buisness else where! how is a single mother who only gets £18 a week ment to survive when milk has gone up that much!!!