The United Nations Population Division placed the birth rate for Nigeria in 2019 at 37.684 births per 1000 people and considering the population it is expected to grow in coming years this makes Nigeria a viable market for baby food and products.
In this review, we will analyse the two prime baby milk produced and consumed by Nigerians, Peak 123 and Dano Gold 123 Growing up Milk for babies of ages 1-3 years. Note that this review doesn’t rule out other well-known food brands like Frisco, Gerber, Enfamil, Aptamil or similac, but the aim of this research is to provide as much information as possible to mothers on these two Nigerian household brands to help them in selecting the ideal milk for their toddler.
Introducing Dairy milk to Toddlers
Making a switch from breastfeeding to cow’s milk is usually a mother’s biggest concern, while official guidelines recommend that parent hold off formula milk until babies approach their first year, to allow them sufficient time to build up their digestive and immune system and also helps reduce the likelihood of any serious allergic reaction on introducing cow’s milk. This stage and age for most toddlers is a time their immune systems are developed and their peak bone mass for lifelong habits are built.
What type of milk is best for Toddlers?
According to the Pediatric Association of Nigeria, toddlers ages 12 to 24 months are advised to drink whole milk which provides calcium, vitamin D, protein, vitamin A, and zinc which are all essential for healthy growth and development.
Flavoured milk: Chocolate, strawberry and other flavoured milk that contain added sugar should be avoided at this stage. Most toddlers develop a preference for flavoured milk such that it becomes difficult to accept the regular milk without the flavoured taste.
Plant-Based Milk: For some toddlers with milk intolerance or dairy allergy that constantly experience troubling symptoms such as gas and bloating once fed with cow’s milk, plant-based milk is not an option over cow milk since it is not nutritional equivalent to cow’s milk, rather soy milk over plant-based is recommended for toddlers as it contains the important nutrients such as protein, vitamin D and calcium.
What is the best type of milk for one-year-old babies and Toddlers?
Though milk comes in many varieties from fat-free (skim) to whole, organic and lactose-free, this review explains thoroughly what each term means.
Most Nigerian parents may not be familiar with this term, grass-fed dairy simply means milk that comes from cows fed with grass all year round rather than those fed with a processed diet. Which makes its milk rich in Omega-3 fats, vitamin E, beta-carotene and a beneficial fatty acid named conjugated linoleic acid which is associated with a wide variety of health benefit including immune and inflammatory system support, improved bone mass, improved blood sugar regulation, reduced body fat and maintenance of lean body mass.
Most brands of non-organic milk, organic milk is usually pasteurized, fortified with vitamin D and is an excellent source of calcium. Though this can be a good option for toddlers. When you buy organic milk, you’re basically buying milk from a cow that was not given bovine growth hormone, didn’t eat feed that was treated with pesticides, not given antibiotics and met animal health and welfare standards.
Goat’s milk contains a similar amount of protein, calcium, and vitamin A to cow’s milk. It has the equivalent lactose as cow’s milk, when it is whole, pasteurized and fortified with vitamin D and folic acid, then it can be considered an alternative to cow milk for toddlers
Locally made milk
Locally made milk like the unsweetened yoghurt is a wonderful option for toddlers. While the sweetened ones may contain too much sugar and not healthy for toddlers, the unsweetened variety mixed or blended with natural fruits like apples, bananas and strawberry can be considered.
Friesland Campina formerly known as Wamco Nigeria Plc is Nigeria foremost dairy company and a market leader known to produce high-quality dairy nutrition through its brands, Peak, Three Crowns and Frisco. Over 60 years in Nigeria, Peak has become a household name for most Nigerians’ choice of a healthy dairy product. Peak isn’t just known for its quality dairy nutrition but has most of its product in a smaller sachet to meet the needs of the average Nigeria who cannot afford the bigger-sized dairy product. When choosing an all in one product packed with quality dairy nutrients, fortified with the required nutrients and a healthy choice, Peak milk remains the number one choice of many Nigerians
Review of Peak 123
Peak 123 comes in a refill pack of 380g, Just as the name suggests it is formulated specifically for kids between the ages of 1 to 3 years. The shelf price of Peak 123 in most roadside stores and major supermarkets is 1,150 naira and it contains essential minerals that support the growth of kids. Here is a breakdown of each mineral component:
Dano Milk is produced by Arla Foods, a farmer-owned company based in Denmark. Over the years, the Dano brand has evolved tremendously and remains locally relevant in the Nigerian market and benefits from its international footprints across an array of markets in the Middle East, Africa, Bangladesh and parts of Latin America. Dano was launched in the early 1980s and till today, remains one of the fastest-growing milk brands in Nigeria.
Review of Dano Gold 123 Growing up Milk
Dano Gold Growing up milk also comes in a refill pack of 380 grams, it has a smooth creamy taste filled with the essential minerals formulated to support the growth and wellbeing of kids. The retail price is 1000 Naira in most roadside stores and major supermarkets, slightly cheaper than Peak 123. Here is a breakdown on the essential mineral component:
Comparing Peak 123 and Dano Gold 123 Growing up Milk
For most Nigerian mothers who intend to switch their toddlers’ milk from formula to cow’s milk, Peak 123 primarily comes to mind, mostly because of its strong brand equity but also due to affordability when compared to the foreign varieties which are usually more expensive. Dano Gold 123 on the other hand, is relatively new to the toddler market but currently holds the second position over Peak 123 that have dominated the market for years.
What Consumers Say
To further establish good research, we conducted a survey in which 60 mothers were asked to make a pick between the two baby milk brands, 27 mothers went for the new Dano Gold 123, primarily due to the cost difference as they considered both milk brands to be ideal and couldn’t clearly identify a difference. 22 mothers picked Peak 123 reasons being trust in the Peak brand and unwillingness to switch brands, the remaining 11 were undecided.
At the end of the survey the milk brands had total ratings as follows:
Dano Gold 123 Rating: 63% like
Peak 123 Rating: 55% like
In my personal opinion, Peak 123 and Dano Gold 123 are both good and reliable brands that I’d give my children. I’m very particular about both nutrients my babies consume and both brands offer a fair proportion of that and did well to outline them on their packaging.
However, while both baby milk manufacturers group their milk by ages numbering from 1-3 Growing up Kids, both are made from skimmed milk which I feel may not be ideal for toddlers below 24 months but rather for children from age three that require less fat in their diet.
Though in the absence of whole fat milk, a dairy product that contains soy would be an ideal alternative. Only Dano Gold 123 provides this option along with rapeseed, an important source of Omega 3, and palm kernel oil, both essential for healthy growth and development in babies.
In conclusion, while the choice of baby milk is at every consumer’s discretion, and factors like prices and availability can easily influence buyer decisions, it is important that parents keep a mindful eye on the nutritional content of products their infants consume. After all, it is our dream as parents to raise strong and healthy children that would outlive us.
So tell us which of these two will you recommend and why?