Baby formula company discusses impact of shortages

Published: May. 18, 2022 at 11:17 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The baby formula shortage hits close to home. The Children’s Hospital of Georgia confirms they have seen hospitalizations from nutritional issues stemming from the shortage.

President Biden is taking steps to end the baby formula shortage, invoking the Defense Production Act. The federal government will prioritize key ingredients to get production back up and running.

Military aircraft can now bring in formula from overseas. Relief is on the way, but it’s been a tough road for families.

We spoke with a formula company, frustrated and trying to keep up with demand.

The view from the aisles of a nearby Kroger— the same as they were when we checked exactly three months ago.

“Any time you have a major company like Similac owned by Abbott go offline, and they serve 40 percent of the market. You’re going to see a gap in what’s available on retail shelves,” said Kim Chappell, Bobbie, VP of marketing and communications.

Bobbie is an organic formula company that ships directly to customers. When they saw competitors’ stocks start to deplete and their subscribers skyrocket, they made a tough call.

“What we decided to do is turn off our online store to new customers. To guarantee that our current Bobbie family, our subscribers, would not be faced with a formula shortage. We stopped the growth of our very fast growth startup,” she said.

Chapell says seeing it all hits home for her— a mom herself.

“I have a 7-month-old. I am in this. Our team is in this. We are 70 percent parents who have had a baby in the past two years,” said Chapell.

Bobbie is currently on a waitlist— though they tell us they’ll have an update for families on that list soon.

In the meantime--

“Moms are incredible. Let’s get that straight. When there’s a crisis, we do a fantastic job of showing up for each other.

“I’m so proud of how the Bobbie community has shown up for each other and anybody else they can help,” she said.

Sometimes it does take a village. Pediatricians at CHOG have some advice for parents. They ask you not to hoard formula. They also tell us that if your baby doesn’t have underlying conditions, it’s okay to use a different brand.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says you can use cow’s milk in an emergency for kids over six months, but not for any longer than a few days.

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