“Our goal is to make pregnancy and breastfeeding easier for women,” many of whom want to breastfeed but may struggle with producing enough milk consistently to meet their children’s need during the first six to 12 months of life, company co-founder Liliana Cantrell told FoodNavigator-USA at Rabobank’s FoodBytes! pitch slam in New York City earlier this month.
“One way we are helping is by providing the most complete solution on the market … through our three lines of lactation smoothies and lactation bars,” as well as with our prenatal morning nausea drops, she explained.
The company’s Apple Pear with Fenugreek lactation smoothie offers new mothers “everything they need to boost lactation. It is not only one [active] ingredient, but it also provides nutrition, hydration and galactagogues – all of which contribute to production,” she said.
In addition, she noted, the lactation smoothies “have only six clean ingredients, which are apple, pear, passion fruit, fenugreek – which is a galactagogue and the active ingredient – and that is pretty much it. Plus they are delicious!”
It also has flaxseed, which provides omega fatty acids that many mothers look for to help with their babies’ brain and eye development, she noted.
In addition to the smoothies, the company offers two lactation bars – a chocolate brownie and an oatmeal raisin – both of which claim to help boost lactation without loading mom up with sugar or unnecessary calories, which can be a downside of the many lactation cookies on the market currently.
A highly fragmented market ripe for leadership
As an early mover in the new lactation support category, Cantrell says Sweetie Pie Organics is well positioned to capture a significant share of the currently highly fragmented space.
She explained that using food and beverages, rather than supplements and teas, to boost lactation is a relatively new trend, and therefore there “is a lot of unmet need in the market.”
In addition, she noted, there is significant potential for Sweetie Pie Organics to become a dominate player because the space is currently extremely fragmented with mostly new, small brands.
“Unlike in the baby food area where there are a couple of big brands that dominate the market, in the breastfeeding space it is still growing fast and there is a lot of unmet need” so new mothers are willing to try different brands until they find one they like and helps them, Cantrell added.
Once moms find a brand they like, they tend to be loyal and heavy users, she said. “Twenty percent of our customers are high users, which means they drink one to two smoothies a day during the full period of breastfeeding,” while other mom use the products when they need them because their production suffers due to lack of stress, dehydration or a slew of other triggers, she explained.
Reaching out to new moms through moms
Because the category is so new, Sweetie Pie Organics is aggressively reaching out to new moms through its mom brand ambassador program.
The program involves “real moms who are using our product” recommending it to other moms in their network on or on social media, she said.
The brand is also working with lactation consultants, health care providers and when possible provides free product to hospitals to including in gift bags for new moths.
As the brand builds awareness, it also is expanding distribution, with accounts already secured with CVS, Walmart nationwide, Buy Buy Baby, Whole Foods Market nationwide and Wegmans among others.
To fully support these accounts and continue its outreach to new moms and potential consumers, Sweetie Pie Organics is currently in middle of its first fundraising round. With help from investors Cantrell says she believes that in the next two to three years Sweetie Pie Organics will be able to provide mom with a complete solution for her lactation and morning sickness needs.
Plus, she adds, the brand has several other products in the pipeline all focused on making pregnancy and motherhood easier during the first year of a baby’s life.
[Editor’s Note: If you want to learn more about the potential for brands marketing to parents join FoodNavigator-USA in Chicago for our Food For Kids Summit. Check out the agenda and register HERE.]