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The High Price of Free Samples

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Published September 2019

Parents rely most on pediatricians when it comes to all things related to feeding baby within the first year. That means the discussion around feeding with families has a big influence on their decisions. Medical professionals may not realize that what they recommend matters; especially when it comes to infant formula, because formula feeding is often unplanned and unresearched.

In fact, 92% of moms plan on breastfeeding baby, so they don’t research infant formulas before baby arrives1. More importantly, 57% of moms start using formula earlier than planned (2-3 months earlier than planned, on average).2

It’s important for pediatricians to consider the cost when recommending an infant formula to the families within their practices. While it feels good reaching into a sample closet knowing the family is going home with quality nutrition for a few days, that free sample can have major cost implications. Research says 69% of families see it as an endorsement of the name brand.1

It turns out that being helpful isn’t always helpful. The “free” sample of name brand formula can end up costing parents up to $1,800 a year or more.3 At a time when 40% of Americans find it difficult to afford a $400 emergency expense4, spending more than $1,800 for national brand infant formula is a big deal.

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With that “free” sample of nationally advertised infant formula, pediatricians may be unintentionally recommending something families can’t easily afford. In some cases, it can actually lead to unsafe feeding practices such as diluting infant formula to stretch their budget. Store brand infant formula is a smart, safe option that medical professionals can feel confident in recommending since it provides complete nutrition that families can more easily afford. That’s because store brand infant formula costs up to 50% less than national brands and can save families up to $900 a year.3

Recommending store brand infant formula is just like recommending generics. Medical professionals confidently recommend generics in other categories to help families save money. Recommending store brand infant formula is no different because it matches the nutrition of advertised name brands such as Enfamil® or Similac®.5

How to Talk About Store Brand Infant Formula to Help Parents

When you reach for the sample closet, be sure to grab a store brand infant formula rebate and feel confident about recommending complete nutrition, so your patients stretch their paycheck, not their formula. Here’s what they need to know:

  • Matches the nutrition of Similac® and Enfamil®5
  • Easy to switch because it is proven to be as well-tolerated as Similac® and Enfamil®6
  • Clinically-proven to support growth and development7
  • Meets FDA quality and nutritional standards
  • Costs up to 50% less than national brands3

Order a Rebate Kit For Your Office

1Feeding Realities survey was conducted between July 23-August 22, 2018, among 2,000 nationally representative Americans between the ages of 18 and 65 who currently have a child between the ages of one and three, using an email invitation and an online survey. Margin of error is +/- 3 percent.
2Meredith MomTrak, 2009
3Total savings based on price per fl. oz. comparison of store brand infant formulas and their comparable national brands. Retail prices are from May 2019 retail price survey of assorted stores. Actual prices and savings may vary by store and location.
4Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2018, May 2019
5Enfamil® is a registered trademark of Mead Johnson & Co. Similac® is a registered trademark of Abbott Laboratories.
6The Safety of Formula Switching for Infants, Barber et al, 2012.
7PBM milk-based infant formula growth study in normal term infants (2005). Studied before the addition of prebiotics and lutein. Data on file. Perrigo Nutritionals, Charlottesville, VA.

Help Families Get Up to 9 Days1 of Store Brand Infant Formula for Free, After Rebate!

While we don’t flood your office with samples, we can help patients try store brand for free … you can request a rebate kit for your practice, which includes important product information for you, and 50 rebate tear-sheets worth up to $20 each to hand to your patients. This helps them get started experiencing complete nutrition with everyday savings provided by store brand infant formula.

Request Rebate Kit

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