As a leading company in its category, Danone Nutricia has a passion for promoting good early life nutrition and in 2011 decided to tackle the lack of information and support for parents on weaning. This also gave the company a chance to increase the relevance of its Cow & Gate brand with its target audience.
Health professionals and researchers have frequently cited poor weaning practices as a factor in childhood obesity. Yet it's acknowledged that there is a lack of consistent and supportive advice available to parents on when and how to wean their babies.
Danone Nutricia found that their own consumers were echoing these concerns, demonstrating that weaning is a tricky time for parents. Parents find it an exciting time, but are also anxious about getting it right. They wanted a clear, step-by-step guide to help them navigate the weaning stage.
Danone Nutricia's response was to create the Cow & Gate 5 Step Weaning Guide through its leading baby brand Cow & Gate. This practical booklet offers a step-by-step plan guiding parents from their baby's first spoonful through to three meals a day. It contains easily digestible tips and advice, such as goal setting, shopping lists, do and don'ts and recipes, as well as coupons. It also features Cow & Gate's customer careline, so parents can speak to trained advisors about their personal circumstances.
Three years ago, Danone Nutricia expanded on the printed guide by creating a bespoke website, allowing the company to reach a wider audience amongst the Cow & Gate consumer community.
Since 2011, Cow & Gate has been sending out 5,000 guides a month. Parents spend an average of 20 minutes reading the guide, and 93% say they felt more confident about weaning after using it. In April 2016 Cow & Gate sent out its millionth guide.
As a result, Cow & Gate has become recognised as the number one company for expertise on weaning, with over one-third of parents ranking them in third place.
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