High pressure processing (HPP) is a method of preservation which extends the shelf life of fresh foods without affecting the natural flavors of ingredients or adding harmful preservatives. It’s an ideal way to receive the maximum amount of nutrients from fruits and vegetables without actually having to consume them fresh. It’s allowed for cold-pressed juices like Suja and Evolution to become widely available in stores everywhere.
Naturally, parents want their children to consume the most quality foods with the best nutrients possible. Pre-packaged baby foods have traditionally been restricted to jarred, heat pasteurized options, but HPP is shifting the category. Though HPP products require refrigeration, parents (millennials in particular) are driving the demand for the nutrient rich, bacteria free baby foods that are afforded by this method. According the Huffington Post, “the future of baby food is in our chillers”.
For now, it’s a new and unexplored category, and a few brands are already leading the charge. Many parents have taken to cooking from scratch for little ones rather than offering something that they wouldn’t eat themselves – food that doesn’t look, smell or taste fresh. The founders of Pure Spoon are two such parents who recognize that providing naturally delicious foods at an early age can usher in a lifetime of healthy eating habits. While created with the intention to target babies not yet capable of eating solid foods, the cold pasteurized purees quickly proved to be a success with older children – particularly, picky eaters who could be coerced into eating vegetables if they were tastier and less recognizable.
Reinforcing the notion that eating habits are formed early in life, Once Upon a Farm uses HPP to deliver farm fresh ingredients to babies. They stand by the belief that “…the food babies eat now is the food they will prefer when they are older”. An attractive feature of this brand is that it’s packaged in pouches are 100% recyclable, and 100% transportable for families on the go. In this product, freshness, convenience and eco-consciousness have meshed to make parenting just a little easier.
An adult who tasted conventional, jarred baby food would likely comment first on its blandness. Peas, sweet potatoes, and carrots are common staples in the diets of babies and adults alike. The staggering difference is that humans capable of making their own food choices will often opt for a dish with more flavor. The Latin Baby’s mission revolves around expanding palates at a young age. Instead of masking the flavor of vegetables with sugar, this brand has embraced savory flavors with bold herbs and spices. With seasonally themed offerings, the availability of fresh and delicious food allows for children to be adventurous with food, even from a high chair.
This growing movement in the baby food category is pushing retail stores to install refrigerated sections. Target is a major player already adhering to this, and many more are bound to follow suit. As to be expected, we are already seeing big brands like Gerber and Beech-Nut expanding their product base to accommodate this growing demand. While brands like Pure Spoon, Once Upon a Farm and the Latin Baby are providing something new to the category, it may take some encouragement from trusted companies to convert brand loyalists – and even so, price and availability will likely be remain determining factors.