View Full Version : Anyone Use Formula from Wal-Mart, Target, or other?

03-20-2002, 01:39 AM
Just read some info from the Morning Show that the Fields' were on last week. Anyone use these formulas they suggest? I've been using Similac, but would like to try something cheaper. Any thoughts?

03-20-2002, 11:20 AM
These "store brand" formulas are all manufactured by one company, Wyeth Nutritionals. Wyeth used to manufacture formulas under their own name in the US until about 10 years ago. They are still a big player in the European formula market. These formulas must meet all the same FDA nutritional standards for infant formulas as all the other companies. You can find out more about them by going to their website: http://www.storebrandformula.com/

Befor switching formulas, always check first with your pediatrician. And switch gradually, not all at once.

Personally, I have found that if I buy formula on sale and use a coupon, that the price of store brands and "name brands" are then comparable. Also, Costco carries Similac in larger cans and it is more economical that way.


03-20-2002, 05:13 PM
I agree. I joined the Similac Welcome Additions club on their website and I know this is bad so but I'm being honest, my cousin joined (not pregnant/no baby) too and gives me her coupons as well. You get a nice sizeable coupon each month. I purchase the formula at BJ's Wholesale Club. They have a great baby aisle. I found that they also offer in-store coupons on the Similac and Im able to use both coupons together. Once I got a case of 6 plastic pre-made containers for as low as $13 with my coupons! You need to shop around!

03-20-2002, 05:54 PM
If you haven't yet joined these formula "clubs" (they all have them) and you already have a baby who is older than a couple weeks, I would be less than totally truthful about the age of your baby. The younger your baby, the better the coupons. This is because parents tend to develop brand loyalty after a few weeks and the companies know that if you haven't used their formula already by 4 months (or whatever) then you're not likely to start. This is why the initial gifts are so great ($10 coupons, free cans of formula, etc.). By 6 months, the coupons are down to like only a $1 off. In my mommy group, we all swap coupons. Enfamil moms give Similac coupons to Similac moms, and vice versa.


03-25-2002, 03:22 PM
At a friend's baby's appointment ( I had tagged along) the Dr said to only use the formulas by Similac. She said that in her opinion, Similac was the only formula brand to activly conduct research into making the formula more like breastmilk. She told my friend to avoid all store brands... don't kow if this is true.. but it is what she said..

03-25-2002, 05:26 PM
Sounds to me like that doctor gets a hefty amount of money from Similac for only recommending their brand. Especially since Enfamil just released their new formula with DHA, and Similac hasn't released theirs yet.

04-07-2002, 06:19 PM
Does anyone know if Target or WalMart are selling DHA formulas yet?
I'm assuming that Wyeth makes all these, from what I've read so far?

04-07-2002, 09:07 PM
Wyeth does indeed make all store brand formulas in the US, wherever they are sold. I did a quick check of the website, http://www.storebrandformula.com, and I didn't see anything about a new DHA formula. So far only Enfamil has the DHA formula available as Enfamil Lipil. The Similac website says that their new formulation is "coming soon", but I have heard some folks on another bulletin board say they have seen it on the shelves in their area. You could call the customer service number for Wyeth and ask if any new formula is being planned.

You may want to talk to your pediatrician to get more info on this type of formula. It is significantly more expensive and may not necessarily be right for your situation. If your baby is even partially breastfed for a long enough period of time, then this formula may not provide any additional benefit. And there is also some controversy around the studies showing whether or not there is a real benefit. As my ped said "some studies have shown that there may be a benefit for some babies..."


04-10-2002, 01:22 PM
Wyeth (AHP) used to market SMA in the US, but it really never took. So they take it to Europe and it is the largest selling formula in UK.
I found SMA GOLD from a UK online service that ships to US.! It contains DHA and ARA, so I've been giving it to my son since Dec. The same formula is the Target, Walmart, CVS store brands, but doesn't have DHA and ARA yet. Wyeth nutritionals in PA said by June/July (slow FDA).
I was one of the first to get my hands on Enfamil Lipil in PA, (because my wife wants ready-to-feed) after a month, my son rashed on his behind and pooped several times a day??? We went back to SMA and his poops are more like 1 a day and the rash is gone.
I've read DHA needs to carefully balanced, maybe Mead rushed it to the shelves.
I'm getting Wyeth formula from Kmart for $11 for 2lbs.(powder)
Coupons don't beat that, stop paying for sales reps.!

04-10-2002, 04:53 PM
All the Mom's in my neighborhood use Target brand and haven't had any problems.

trish :)

04-10-2002, 06:01 PM
The best fomula to use is the one that you and your pediatrician feel is best for your baby. Nutritionally, they are all complete, and meet all FDA guidelines for infant formulas. That being said, not all formulas agree with all babies (just like not all foods agree with all adults). This is why it is fortunate we have choices. For instance, Similac did not agree with my baby. She tolerates Enfamil very well. I am not anxious to try other formulas unless I need to.

Also, formula prices vary pretty dramatically around the country based on local market conditions (even store brand prices). It pays to shop around in your area.


04-18-2002, 12:33 PM
If you are using Similac, Carnation, Enfamil, etc. you are paying the higher prices to pay for the sales reps and advertising marketing, overpaying approx $10/ week.
Pediatricians are being taking out to lunch/dinner/sproting events by sales reps so they recommend their product to uninformed mothers.
My wife is a sales rep.
Do your own research!!!

04-18-2002, 07:50 PM
Deciding what to feed your infant can be a complex decision. Price is certainly an important part of that equation, but not the only part. There are many valid reasons why an informed consumer may choose to feed their infant a more expensive formula over a less expensive one. As folks have said, all formulas are nutrionally complete (most certainly including the store brands), but they are not, however, all identical. Most notably, their protein compositions vary from brand to brand. Some protein blends agree with some infants and others don't. It can pay to experiment with different brands to find the one that best suits your infant.

It also seems to me that an ethical pediatrician wouldn't allow sales reps to unduly influence the feeding advice they give new parents. I know that my peds strongly encourage exclusive breastfeeding to all their new moms. If you chose to formula supplement or formula feed, their advice was to use any commercially available milk based formula that agreed with your baby. They never mentioned brands to me. They were happy to load me up with stacks of free samples of whatever brand I chose if I asked for them. If a ped strongly pushes one brand over all others, I would certainly be very sceptical unless there was a valid reason. And I would certainly ask them why.

I have also worked in the pharmaceutical industry, and the pricing of drugs, medical devices and regulated foods (like infant formula) is also very complex. Higher marketing costs by Mead Johnson, Ross Labs and Nestle are indeed a large part of the reason why these formulas are more expensive. However, other factors also come into play. Here is a report to Congress http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/efan01006/ published last year that examined infant formula prices. It mostly relates to the WIC program, but I still thought it was interesting. It also gives you a good feel for the price variability around the country.


04-19-2002, 07:54 AM
Thanks for the link, and the charts illustrate the higher prices for the big advertised brands.
On a side note, alot of people word it as, "if you choose to formula feed".
In alot of instances, that's incorrect, as is my wife's medical condition, there was no choice, she is unable to breastfeed.
As far as doctors and ethics, well that's another topic, but this is the USA, and sales reps is the foundation of the land of oppurtunity.
Ross coudn't sell the identical formuala as Wyeth and justify $10 increase, so they add a mg of Iron or Protein (which passes through the infant anyway)
They market it in Parenting magazine, on the cans, etc. as "Iron provides your baby the energy she needs" and "Protein is the essential building block growing babies need".
This helps define the phrase "The American public", just check out how filled the parking lots are at churches and synagogues every week!