UK baby milk producer, Kendamil, becomes first new international manufacturer to export formula to the USA amidst crisis
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LONDON, May 25, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Kendamil is in advanced discussions with the FDA to become the first international manufacturer to export significant quantities of non-medicated infant formula to the USA under Joe Biden's 'Operation Fly Formula' to address the ongoing formula shortage crisis in the USA.
Kendamil is a brand of Kendal Nutricare, a family owned, Queen's Award-winning manufacturing business based out of the English Lake District, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Kendamil is the only British made baby milk, supporting hundreds of dairy farms across the UK by sourcing its milk fresh from Red Tractor Accredited farms. Kendamil is the highest-reviewed baby milk in the UK (Trustpilot, social media) its fame built on viral word-of-mouth from parents praising its British provenance and unique natural recipe, which uses whole milk as its main ingredient and source of fat versus the industry standard of 100% vegetable oils. Kendamil also addresses growing consumer demand for more sustainable, ethical, natural products, through avoiding palm oil in their recipes and using plant based Omega-3 over the conventional choice of fish oil (derived from offal). Kendamil offers organic and conventional cow formulas, along with goat formula (which would be a first in the USA where, unlike in Europe, no goat milk is today certified for sale to infants under 1 year old).
Kendamil has been in discussions with the FDA for a number of weeks since news first broke of the formula shortages and the measures announced from the Biden Administration to bring international brands into the USA. Following a meeting between Ross McMahon, CEO of Kendal Nutricare and the Prime Minister Boris Johnson at a Spring Showcase event at 10 Downing Street on the 9th May, communications were opened between US authorities and the British Department of International Trade. Kendal Nutricare was among the first to respond to the FDA's call for assistance from international manufacturers, with Kendamil's English packaging and fully nutritionally-compliant recipe (including iron levels) ensured the brand was fast-tracked relative to other European brands. The factory in Kendal is capable of producing c. 10 million cans of 900g formula per year and though today is operating at c. 50% of its total capacity, given exponential demand from the UK, Europe, Asia and now the US, plans are in place to more than double the site's capacity by 2024. Kendal Nutricare expects to ship 100 trucks to the USA over the next 6 months, however management have made clear they will continue to prioritise their core markets and existing customers and so do not expect any impact on its existing markets or supply for UK parents, who today can purchase the award-winning Kendamil range in over 5,000 stores nationwide.
Kendamil is the UK's fastest growing formula brand with 900% growth in UK sales over the past 12 months (compared to an overall infant formula market sales decline of 10% - The Grocer). Since its launch in 2016, the brand has rapidly scaled to sell in over 35,000 stores across 40 countries and four continents globally, making it one of Europe's 1,000 Fastest-Growing Companies (Financial Times) and scooping prestigious awards including the Grand Gold Monde Selection Award for Quality, the Queen's Award for International Trade and becoming a Fast50 Food and Drink company. The brand first received international recognition when it was reported that the Royal family had elected to wean Prince Louis using Kendamil formula. Since then, the brand has grown rapidly and organically, driven by word-of-mouth and online testimonials with thousands of parents citing Kendamil's more natural taste and smell relative to other formulations. Although Kendamil started primarily as an export brand, having once accounted for over 10% of the UKs food export business to China, rapid growth in its domestic market mean the UK now accounts for 50% of the company's sales.
Ross McMahon, CEO of Kendal Nutricare commented: "We have received the call for assistance from the FDA and Kendamil stands ready to act. The urgency of the situation and scale of the US opportunity will justify Kendal Nutricare doubling our capacity for Kendamil by 2024, increasing British dairy exports from Cumbria, creating more local jobs and providing long-term security for British dairy farmers."
Kendal Nutricare expects to meet the needs of at least 150,000 US households during the import period, fuelled by a unique, high-quality formulation at a cost competitive price when compared to existing incumbent and start-up brands.
Ross McMahon added: "The relationship between the UK and USA is very strong and we look forward to bringing the highest-quality formula to US parents, while supporting British jobs, local farming and organic dairy".
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