Money Wellness
Baby drinking formula from a bottle
category iconcost of living
calendar icon14 Nov 2023

Baby formula companies ‘exploiting vulnerable British families’

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has told Sky News that manufacturers of baby formula are exploiting struggling British families in order to boost profits for shareholders.

Rocketing prices

Over the past two year, UK prices for baby formula have increased by 24%, with the cheapest brand shooting up by 45%.

Desperate measures

In May, Sky reported on the desperate lengths parents were going to in order to feed their babies, including stealing formula, watering down bottles, switching formula for condensed milk and buying on the black market.

It was also reported that baby banks (similar to foodbanks) were having to ration formula because they don’t have enough for all who need it.


Lawrence Grummr-Strawn from WHO said:

“It is shocking to be seeing a high-income country like the UK facing these kinds of problems where mothers can’t afford to feed their babies.”

Exploiting the vulnerable

He added the companies concerned have “huge profit margins” and parents are “in a very vulnerable situation that they have infants that need to be fed and there aren’t many alternatives out there”.

Changing investor behaviour

Grummer-Strawn explained WHO is trying to get investors to consider the ethics of the companies they give money to.

Call for government intervention

He also called on the government to intervene:

“We really need government action to address either on the price end or in ways to help those families directly.”

Avatar of Rebecca Routledge

Rebecca Routledge

A qualified journalist for over 15 years with a background in financial services. Rebecca is Money Wellness’s consumer champion, helping you improve your financial wellbeing by providing information on everything from income maximisation to budgeting and saving tips.

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