New startups show that millennials want their babies' food to be as healthy as theirs—if not more so.
When it comes to motherhood, millennials are turning convention on its head, as previously reported by JWT Intelligence. Now, millennial parents are passing their affinity for healthy, adventurous food on to their offspring, and brands are targeting the high end of this market with innovative offerings.
The team behind West Village café Nourish Kitchen + Table launched Nourish Baby NYC in New York at the end of April. Meals are made with fresh organic and seasonal ingredients sourced from local farmers, with options including Korean black rice congee designed to broaden taste palates. Subscriptions run up to $475 per month, with weekly pickups at designated Nourish outputs.
“It’s hitting the right generation,” Marissa Lippert, a registered dietician and the founder of Nourish, told JWT Intelligence. “If you’re a new parent at the age of 25 or the age of 40, that age range is hyper-conscious of where they’re buying their food, or where they’re ordering from. Health and wellness is everything now. It’s the right time and place to have these conversations.”
Yumi is a baby food delivery service modeled after its grown-up counterparts that also launched in April. Based in Los Angeles, Yumi was founded to counter the amount of preservatives found even in high-end organic options. Yumi’s meals include locally sourced ingredients, and are recommended by a team of pediatricians and nutritionists. Prices start at $50/week.
“As millennial women age and have children, we are going to apply all the things that we want for our lives to our children’s,” Angela Sutherland, former investment executive and founder of Yumi, told Vogue. Yumi is aiming squarely at the cohort of working millennial mothers who are hyper-focused on wellness, by simultaneously providing nutrition for babies and mental relief for parents.
In the UK, the Young Gums community aims to provide “a breath of fresh air” for new parents seeking an at-home alternative to processed baby foods. Launched last year by Beth Bentley, head of strategy at Wieden + Kennedy, Young Gums quickly gained more than 8,000 followers on Instagram. Bentley creates simple, healthy, make-at-home meals—many of which can be done with one hand.
“I set out to fill the void with an honest and trustworthy healthy baby food inspiration platform that’s built for real, connected, creative modern parents,” says Bentley. “That extends from the freshness and modernity of the recipes themselves, through to the visual look, tone of voice, sense of humor, and even through to the time of day I share content, on which platform.”
Bentley’s recipes provide not just an alternative to not just the baby food aisle (which she calls “the land that time forgot”), but to the tone and feel of many parenting blogs. Billed as “Baby Food with Attitude,” Young Gums delivers with sassy recipes and an acknowledgement that moms aren’t superheroes. “WTF Do I Do?” reads the recipe copy, which offers time-saving tips and cost-saving hacks. Compared to other sites, where Bentley says, “Sometimes the general vibe of the writing is just a little bit lacking in realness, or feels a bit patronizing.”
Nourish Baby also shows the value of design in a brand that, while designed for children, is also very much a part of an adult’s life. “The vibrant colors are meant to attract a child’s eye, and the shapes,” says Lippert. “But it also attracts the parent, because it is so simplistic in the design. It hearkens back to Matisse, or the 1930s Bauhaus design. It’s a sophisticated, new, fresh way of thinking.”
Millennial moms are bringing different values to parenthood than previous generations. And as of today, they make up the bulk of new parents: In 2015, 82% of births were to millennial moms, according to Pew research. Baby brands should take note of the fresh attitudes, fresh looks, and fresh ingredients driving the clean baby food trend, and shaping millennial motherhood today.
Main image: Yumi.