In the fall of 2010, I was invited by a former colleague to meet Dr. Kate Morrison. As I sat in a small condo boardroom in downtown Toronto, she spoke with heart-wrenching honesty about the trauma, depression and guilt she’d experienced when, as a new mother and naturopathic doctor, she hadn’t been able to breastfeed her son. Physiological reasons prevented her from nursing him and then on top of that, cow milk formula gave him severe congestion. Distraught, she’d racked her mind for a solution. She knew from her naturopathic practice that goat milk, with its gentle protein and fat composition, could be an alternative to cow’s milk, but goat milk formula didn’t exist in North America. That’s when she decided to make her own, and her son thrived on goat milk. By that day in 2010, James was a healthy five year-old and Kate stood before us, looking for a team to help her bring goat milk formula to the US and Canada so that other parents could also have a goat milk option. Her passion was tangible and I was sold immediately.
Even with all of the good reasons to get on board with Kate, I knew how challenging launching Kabrita would be. For six years of my marketing career, I worked at Nestle Canada Nutrition, ultimately leading the infant nutrition division. I knew the baby food category was a difficult one to enter, and that formula evokes strong political and emotional reactions. I could see the risks, but standing in front of me was proof of the need.
As a mother and infant nutrition executive, I related strongly to what Kate was saying – I had heard similar stories many times. So many mothers had expressed gratitude for formula when they couldn’t breastfeed, but they also expressed the guilt and frustration that stemmed from the lack of support for their choice. I saw that the way for Kabrita to succeed would be for us to integrate education right into our business model – to empower parents to make the nutritional choices that made sense for their family, with confidence and joy. As a mother, I had experienced first-hand that knowledge was the key to easing the guilt and pain that can come with circumstances beyond our control.
In 2005, my daughter Bryn was born almost seven weeks premature. I spent five days in the hospital preparing for an early delivery and another three weeks with Bryn in intensive care. Bryn needed infant formula to survive, and I was grateful for it. What struck me so powerfully at the time was that because of my experience at Nestle, I was able to have balanced, informed discussions with the nurses and lactation consultants, without guilt. I gradually introduced breast-feeding and happily co-fed Bryn for 10 months, until I went back to work.
Our personal experiences, belief in our product and our authentic desire to support other parents is what has driven us to work so passionately toward the goal of bringing this innovative range of products to North America. In 2013, we partnered with Hyproca Nutrition, a Dutch dairy company with over 70 years of infant nutrition experience, in order to make Kabrita a reality.
Kabrita’s naturally easy to digest toddler formula will be available for the first time in America this summer, with a wonderful line of naturally easy to digest goat milk yogurt and fruit following in July, and more gentle products to come. All of our products are non-GMO, hormone-free, and of course tested on the toughest audience of all, our kids.
Our website and resources are in constant evolution as we add new information, seek new experts and create resources to help parents build their confidence about nutrition and exploring the choices they have for feeding their families.
To learn more about Kabrita visit www.KabritaUSA.com
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Article From The Daddy Issue 2014