Save, make, understand money

Household Bills

Iceland slashes baby formula milk price to cheapest on the market

Iceland slashes baby formula milk price to cheapest on the market
Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

Iceland said it has a “moral obligation” to act and help struggling families as it launches the cheapest price for SMA Baby formula powder, urging others to follow suit and cut costs.

SMA Little Steps First Infant and Follow On Milk are retailing for £7.95 online at Iceland and at The Food Warehouse stores from today before being rolled out across Iceland stores.

The price cut makes the baby formula nearly £2 cheaper than the market price and a lower cost than budget German retailer Aldi’s Mamia range.

It’s not the first time the frozen food favourite has slashed the price of baby formula milk or kept quiet about the move, with charities praising the supermarket’s efforts.

In December 2023, it controversially called for a change in the law as it announced a price cut following feedback from customers that many were struggling to feed their babies due to the cost-of-living crisis.

This year, it has reiterated calls for a change in the law to allow supermarkets greater freedom on baby formula pricing to make it more affordable for families. And, it was the first supermarket to cut formula milk pricing after Danone agreed a 7% price drop on Aptamil products.

The latest price cut comes as the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is currently probing the baby formula market following concerns over pricing and marketing after revealing prices had soared 25% over the previous two years.

‘Families need support now’

Richard Walker, executive chair of Iceland Foods, said: “Families with babies are still struggling with the cost-of-living crisis and we have a moral obligation to take action.

“That is why we are heaping further pressure on the manufacturers, the regulators and the market as a whole to bring prices down, just like Iceland is doing.” 

He added: “I’m pleased the CMA is investigating the baby formula market, but while we await their findings, families need support now. The Prime Minister has said he is ‘sad’ families are watering down formula to try and make it last longer, but again these are just words and Iceland is today taking further action. 

“I welcome SMA’s decision to listen to our call and work with us to deliver an industry-leading formula price. This will be the cheapest available in supermarkets and is a demonstration that we’re committed to this campaign and investing in cutting prices to help our customers.” 

Feeding profit margins

Erin Williams, co-founder and director of charity Feed, said: “The significant price drop in SMA Little Steps highlights just how much profit margin there is in this essential product, and is no comfort to families who have been driven to drastic measures over the past year.”

Williams urged the Government to make “lasting changes” that ensure families have the financial means to make sure no baby goes hungry.

“It’s really not much to ask that, in 2024, British families can feed their children,” she said.

Meanwhile, Justine Roberts, Mumsnet founder and CEO, said: “The current rules around the marketing of formula – however well-intentioned – mean parents don’t have all the information and assistance they need, and we know that despite the nutritional composition of formula milk being strictly controlled, many mums assume more expensive formula is better for their babies.

“Iceland’s work to drive down costs will make an immediate practical difference for many families, and we welcome today’s announcement as well as the wider work they have done to highlight this important issue.”

Earlier this year, Iceland proposed an amendment to the Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill. Under the change, it would allow retailers to advertise in retail premises, promote discounted infant formula, and sell infant formula in exchange for non-cash-based forms of payment. It would also allow infant formula to be given away at food banks.