Parents demand more organic baby options

The latest home and health trend for new parents is scouting for organic baby accessories. From organic snacks and formulas, to safer, more earth-friendly bottles and pacifiers—even bath and beauty products—everything baby is going organic.

According to Barbara Haumann, press secretary for the Organic Trade Association, “There is much interest in organic baby food and organic bedding and clothing for infants and young children. New parents are one of the demographics who choose organic products.”

As new parents are learning more about the health and safety benefits of organic and toxin-free living, retailers continue to meet their demands for higher-quality accessories.

For example, the organic baby food segment has seen the launch of a diverse assortment of new products, as well as a rise in sales over the past few years

“Organic baby food sales grew to $206 million in 2006, up 12.2 percent from 2005,” Haumann said. “In the same time period, organic baby formula sales grew by 40 percent to reach $12 million.”

Happybaby frozen organic baby food recently launched Happybites, a line of snacks and meals for toddlers. The Happybites meals contain “secret” hidden vegetables and come with dipping sauces.

In addition to its line of baby cereals, Parent’s Choice, the baby food brand distributed at Wal-Mart stores throughout the United States, has launched its own organic baby formula. The Parent’s Choice baby formula is marketed as nutritionally complete, meeting all Food and Drug Administration standards. Parent’s Choice formulas come in a variety of options to meet baby’s digestion needs.

First Juice has launched the first organic fruit and vegetable juice beverage for toddlers. First Juice’s two flavor options, apple-carrot and banana-carrot, contain a greatly reduced amount of sugar and no artificial ingredients. They also are fortified with calcium and vitamins A, C and D.

In the accessories market, the race is on to find safer pacifiers after it was discovered that many conventional ones contained Bishpenol A (BPA), a synthetic hormone used to make plastic that has been found to be toxic.

Natursutten Pacifiers makes an all-natural, organic pacifier, free of artificial colors, BPA, chemical softeners, parabens and other chemical additives. These pacifiers are crafted from a special rubber from the Hevea brasiliensi tree. They are softer than silicone and molded in one piece so they have no joints where dirt and bacteria might accumulate.

Gerber Silicone Nuks are also free of polycarbonate plastics and BPA, as are the line of cups and baby bottles made by BornFree.

More and more parents say they have “gone organic” because of concerns about the impact of baby products on the environment. More environmentally responsible baby accessories, such as biodegradable diapers, are finding their way to the shelves of retailers.

“In 2005, organic infant clothing and diaper sales grew by 40 percent to reach $40 million,” Haumann said.

gDiapers is a brand of flushable, nontoxic diapers that are not made with plastics, chlorines or perfumes. gDiapers are made from tree-farmed fluff pulp, with an outer shell that is all-natural fiber and entirely compostable—that means they are safer for contact with baby’s skin and better for the environment.

On the bath and beauty front, last year Fruits and Passions released its 100 percent ECOCERT certified-organic line of all-natural bath products, cleansers and even a fragrance. The Bébé line includes body and hair wash, oatmeal bath milk for delicate skin, ultra gentle cleansing foam for the face and signature “baby’s first fragrance”—Delicate Baby Bouquet.

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