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New Survey Reveals Ongoing Pandemic Hits Moms Hard Emotionally and Financially

Store Brand Infant Formula Continues Mission to Educate All Families on Safe and Affordable Nutrition

2020 Pandemic Survey Highlights

Charlottesville, VA, March 16, 2021 – The ongoing pandemic continues to impact families across the country, but its lasting effects on women, especially new moms with infants and toddlers, are still being measured. Moms are often the keeper of their families’ emotional well-being, but how has the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic taken its toll on moms of babies and toddlers one year later?

Perrigo Nutrition, makers of Store Brand Infant Formula, in conjunction with OnePoll, released findings today from a nationwide survey* of 2,022 moms with babies and children under the age of two to gain insights into the incredible emotional and financial impact that the pandemic has had on this vulnerable population. Not surprisingly, 68 percent of moms surveyed stated 2020 was the most stressful year they have ever experienced, with top emotions being stress, exhaustion, depression, anxiety and isolation.

The survey also found 64 percent of moms had to sacrifice a lot because of financial reasons with nearly two in three (65 percent) cutting costs just to feed their family. Three in 10 moms said the ability to afford enough food for the family was causing the most financial stress, and 30 percent revealed they have skipped meals so their children could eat. Although moms are accessing resources like The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), a staggering 77 percent of moms enrolled in WIC reported they run out of infant formula before the end of the month. In fact, nearly half (49 percent) were left without WIC-supplied formula for three to five days. Even with money tight, 77 percent of moms enrolled in WIC said they purchased the more expensive nationally advertised name brands over generic store brands.

"You don’t have to cut back on nutrition or jeopardize your family’s well-being to make ends meet; instead, families should focus on making wise choices to stretch their dollars further and safely," says financial expert and founder of Clever Girl Finance, Bola Sokunbi. "If you use infant formula, consider using Store Brand Infant Formulas because they provide complete nutrition and meet the same FDA standards as the big-name brands but cost up to 50 percent less**. That’s an average of $64 a month in savings—which is huge, especially right now."

More than half of moms (54 percent) agreed they had to make difficult decisions just to feed their baby in 2020. Some of these decisions could be harmful to a baby. For example, 52 percent of all moms stated they have used more water than required by the instructions to save money and to make infant formula last longer. Formula over-dilution is dangerous because it dilutes critical nutrients in formula at a time of rapid growth. In addition, more than half of surveyed moms agree that if they had known that the lower-cost option, Store Brand Infant Formula, provides complete nutrition just like the nationally advertised brands Enfamil® and Similac®***, they would have been more likely to purchase. This number is even higher among WIC-enrolled moms, at 65 percent.

"Caregivers experiencing food insecurity are often met with unimaginably tough decisions when it comes to feeding their family," said Perrigo Nutrition Marketing Director Jeremy Jones. "At Perrigo, we strive to provide families access to complete and affordable nutrition. There’s no need for parents to take unnecessary risks such as over-diluting formula to save money when they can trust that Store Brand Infant Formula is a no-compromise, safe solution."

With all the emotional and financial stress, mothers found themselves turning to a patchwork of resources for help, such as the local food bank or charity, WIC, family members, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or a pediatrician/HCP. In fact, 40 percent of moms surveyed applied for WIC or SNAP to help support their family within the last year.

"WIC and SNAP are amazing supplemental programs that help millions of families across the country, but many will still run out of benefits before the end of the month," added Jones. "This is why it’s so important for families to understand their options and make informed financial decisions. For example, many don’t realize that when using SNAP dollars to buy Store Brand Infant Formula instead of the nationally advertised brands, you can get twice as many days of safe, complete nutrition, so you can buy more of the other nutritious foods you need to feed your whole family."

Store Brand Infant Formula wants to help educate families on all available options to ensure vulnerable infants are receiving complete nutrition, safely. Store Brand Infant Formulas were recently featured in "The Best Baby Formula" guide by Wirecutter, a New York Times product review website, which has helpful information for parents.

About Store Brand Infant Formula

Store Brand Infant Formula is manufactured in FDA-inspected facilities in Vermont and Ohio, U.S.A. Dairy ingredients are sourced from leading dairy markets, including the United States, Canada, Europe and New Zealand. Perrigo is also fully compliant with the Safe Quality Food (SQF) Code, which certifies that a supplier’s food safety and quality management system complies with this international and domestic food-safety standard.

*The Perrigo Nutrition "Reassess-ion" Survey was conducted between January and February 2021 among 2,022 American mothers of babies and children under two years old using an e-mail invitation and an online survey. Fifty-five percent of the moms surveyed are on the WIC program. Margin of error is +/- 3 percent.

**Calculation based on December 2020 IRi Market Advantage annual retail sales data of national brand infant formula powder compared to store brand infant formula powder cost per week based on an average weekly usage of 1.5 pounds of powder.

***Enfamil® is a registered trademark of Mead Johnson & Co. Similac® is a registered trademark of Abbott Laboratories. Store brand infant formula is NOT made by or affiliated with Mead Johnson & Co. or Abbott Laboratories.

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