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Kendamil vs Aptamil: Which formula is better for your baby?

Kendamil vs Aptamil: Which formula is better for your baby?
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Breastfeeding provides optimal nutrition for infants. Our recommendations are based on the products we have personally used or researched; they are not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your pediatrician before making any changes to your child’s diet, especially in cases where your baby has dietary restrictions or allergies.

After reading this article you’ll have all the information you need to compare Kendamil vs Aptamil. It’s important to note though that both of these brands have a couple of different products they offer so our review is going to focus on the overall brand first and then will get into the details of the individual formulas they offer.

We know time is of the essence sometimes when making these decisions so we’ll give you a sneak preview and tell you that we prefer Kendamil over Aptamil in all areas we compared.

See where Kendamil ranks on our best of list

Kendamil made the list of best overall formulas, Aptamil did not.

The Baby Swag best overall formulas

A brief history on Kendamil vs Aptamil

Kendamil and Aptamil are both manufactured by overseas companies. They are currently available in the US now through a special arrangement with the US government after the formula shortage crisis of 2022. The FDA has allowed a number of international brands to be sold directly in the US even those they have technically not finalized their US clinical trials etc. like they normally would have had to do. 

This is great news for parents as these are both high quality formulas that provide more options for parents to consider but also helps ensure there is never another shortage. 

Both brands adhere to the European Commission guidelines which we here at The Baby Swag actually think are better and safer than what the FDA requires of US formula manufacturers. So if you decide to buy one of these formulas you can rest assured you’re choosing something that is very safe for your baby. 

  • Kendamil is a family run business from the UK that has been researching and producing extremely high quality formulas for over 60 years. Their formulas are made using sustainable farming practices that are good for your baby and good for the environment. Even the Royal Family used them recently. 
  • Aptamil is part of a bigger brand called Nutricia. Nurtricia is actually a very interesting company that was founded in the Netherlands in 1896 and has been a leader in various therapeutic food and infant formula research ever since. 

Why are we telling you this? Well, we think it’s important to understand the brand behind the formula you choose. There are lots of companies that manufacture baby formula now and we believe some do it better than others. When comparing Kendamil vs Aptamil, we prefer Kendamil due to their extreme focus on infant nutrition. 

Why we prefer Kendamil over Aptamil

Although Aptamil is a solid formula that is manufactured by a brand that has been in the game for a long time, we prefer Kendamil for several reasons:

Kendamil offers non-GMO farming whereas Aptamil is using more conventional farming practices.

They have the highest levels of natural mammal fat of any other formula and it’s the only whole-milk formula that is vegetarian-friendly and palm oil-free. 

Kendamil includes both omega 3 DHA and ARA without using any fish oil which is awesome.

They have their organic option as well a goat milk formula alternative for babies sensitive to cow’s milk. Aptamil recently announced it would be discontinuing its organic formula in late 2023.

They are a family company that are solely focused on one thing, you and your baby. Aptamil is part of a large conglomerate that is focused on mass producing lots of products. 

The routine cow’s milk formulas are roughly the same price between the two brands, while Kendamil’s far superior organic formula is only slightly more expensive than the Aptamil’s Gold+ premium formula.

Kendamil formula production process

Proteins, carbs and fats

Here at The Swag, we believe your number one goal as a parent is to find a blend of protein, fat, carb that keeps your baby comfortable. These 3 things make up 97% or more of most powdered infant formulas. Below is a quick comparison of Kendamil Organic and Aptamil Gold+:

  • Proteins – Both formulas have the same whey to casein ratio: 60/40 which is as close as you can get to breast milk. But Kendamil wins this race because they use whole milk instead of skimmed milk which more closely mimics breast milk. 
  • Carbohydrates – Both brands have roughly the same nutritional value when it comes to the carbs since they’re both using lactose as the main carb source. But Kendamil wins the carb battle due to their higher standard farming practices and organic options. 
  • Fats and oils – Kendamil uses all-natural, full-cream mammal milk fat rather than skim milk which has a high concentration of medium-chain triglycerides (much like breast milk). Their Omega 3 is also sourced from marine algae which means it’s more environmentally friendly and is vegetarian-friendly. They also avoid the use of palm oil entirely whereas Aptamil Gold+ does not. Winner = Kendamil.

Although Aptamil provides a high quality formula that is trusted by millions of families around the world, when you actually look deeper into the company, the source of the ingredients and the recipe, Kendamil comes out on top. 

Find the best baby formula for your family

Our team of experts spent 100’s of hours pouring through all of the research, the ingredients, the recipes and the companies.

Baby Swag best baby formulas to consider

Kendamil formula range

Kendamil US formula range

Kendamil has 5 different products they produce – Classic Cow’s Milk, Organic Cow’s Milk, Goat Milk, their Comfort blend and their Toddler milk (12+ months). Not all are available in the US right now.

The most popular are their cow’s milk products. The Classic and Organic formulas are exactly the same blend, the only difference is related to the origin of their ingredients. The ingredients in their Organic range, including the milk, must be sourced entirely from organic farms, which in the case of dairy make up only 1% of the world’s farms.

  • All of their Organic products are certified by two of the highest standard bodies in the world, the EU Organic Certification and the UK Soil Association. 
  • The Classic range does not meet these incredibly strict organic certifications but still comes really close to it. And because of that, they can charge a bit less for the Classic range. 
  • Their Goat milk products are also unique as they use Whole A2 Milk as a source of fat. It also contains the A2 casein milk protein which more closely resembles breast milk. It also contains more short and medium fatty acids which create softer curds in the stomach and are linked to easier digestion. 
  • Lastly, their Comfort blend is made up of partially hydrolyzed whey protein which should make it easier for babies to digest. So if you’re already on a partially hydrolyzed formula or looking to switch to one, this would be a great option given the care Kendamil puts into their formulas.

This product range makes Kendamil a rare formula brand and one that we are excited to see now being sold in the US. 

Note on availability – Kendamil is currently working with the FDA to continue to get more clearance for their product range. In addition to their Organic and Classic cow’s milk formulas, their goat milk formula is now available for purchase in the US (last updated Sept 2023). You can still order their entire product range from one of our preferred partners and have it shipped straight to your door.

If you’d like a further breakdown of the ingredients in Kendamil formula, we break it down even further in our in-depth Kendamil review

Jump to our section on where to buy Kendamil if you’re convinced this is the right formula for you.

Aptamil formula range

Aptamil formula range

At the time of publishing, Aptamil was only selling two products in the US even though they have more available in overseas markets. Our assumption is that they will launch more products here over time as they get more comfortable with the FDA regulations and the American consumer. But for now, we’ve got their 2 flagship products that are designed for full term babies from 0-12 months. 

  • Their routine formula is called Aptamil First Infant Milk. This formula features prebiotics GOS/FOS that feeds the good bacteria in the gut, higher levels of DHA and lower levels of iron than most US made formulas, their unique HMO 3’GL blend, while also excluding the use of palm oil.
  • Their premium formula is Aptamil Gold+ 1 Infant Formula which is structurally the same as the First Infant formula but includes an extra probiotic (Probiotic B. breve) that aims to help with digestion. The fat content of Aptamil Gold+ Infant formula is provided by a combination of palm olein, coconut, canola and high oleic sunflower oils. So if you’re looking for a palm oil free formula, this is not the answer. 

Note on availability – The two formulas above are available nationwide but Aptamil does not currently sell an organic formula, a cow’s milk alternative (like goat or soy) or any of other fully or partially hydrolyzed formulas in the US. We will update this article if those products become available. 

If you’d like a further breakdown of all things Aptamil, check out our in-depth Aptamil review

Where to buy Kendamil

You can find some of their range stocked at Target, Walmart and other grocers around the country. But this is limited to the 2 formulas that have been approved for sale by the FDA. You won’t be able to find their toddler or goat formulas in the US (last updated July 6, 2023).

The easiest and most reliable way to get your hands on this incredible formula is through a well respected EU formula supplier. Kendamil does not ship direct to US customers but we’ve partnered with a couple of great suppliers that do. 

One of our favorites
Is Kendamil formula really that good?

Yep, it is. The founders of Kendamil believe that only the cleanest ingredients should be used in making baby formulas. And they've proven it for over 60 years with no preservatives, soy, sugar, maltodextrin, or GMOs.

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Where to buy Aptamil

You can buy Aptamil pretty much everywhere now. They should be regularly stocked at most large supermarket chains as well as large big box retailers like Amazon, Walmart and Target. 

In our research, we found the best deals can usually be found on Amazon but it’s worth checking all of the different stores to ensure you’re getting the best price. 

Alternatives to consider

Kendamil and Aptamil are both high quality formulas that your baby would likely thrive on but if neither brand is quite matching what you’re looking for, here are some alternatives to consider.

Find the best baby formula for your family

Our team of experts spent 100’s of hours pouring through all of the research, the ingredients, the recipes and the companies.

Baby Swag best baby formulas to consider

Bobbie – our top recommended formula

Bobbie is the first American formula that complies with both FDA and European Commission regulations. They are one of the new formula brands that are shaking up the industry and doing things better. Better for you and better for your baby. 

That means that you can expect all of its ingredients to be fully organic, naturally sourced, and in some of the highest recommended amounts on the market. Bobbie is completely free from added sugar, artificial flavors, colorings, gluten, or palm oil. But, on the other hand, it does not provide an alternative for kids suffering from dairy allergies, and it also does not have any added probiotics.

Going above and beyond with their ingredients means this is not the cheapest formula on the market. But if you’re looking to support a brand that is going to offer your baby the best sourced ingredients and continue to push for higher standards in the formula industry then look no further than Bobbie.

Holle – our top European formula

Holle is another well-established (almost 90 years) European known for producing clean, simple, gently processed organic formula for a natural and balanced diet while remaining committed to environmental sustainability. Holle cares about protecting children’s futures which is why they offset the CO2 emissions that occur during formula production. They prove it by ensuring all of their formulas are either climate-neutral or climate positive.

It’s also important to mention that while all of Holle’s formulas are organic, some of them even hold one of the strictest private organic certifications in Europe, the Demeter seal. This is a serious certification. 

Holle has a wide range of baby formulas available. They have formulas based on regular cow milk, A2 cow milk, and goat milk. Holle offers infant formula for newborns, follow-on formulas for babies that are 6 months or older, and toddler formula for kiddos 12 months and up so if your baby likes it they’ll be able to support you all the way. 

Mama Bear – our top budget-friendly alternative

Mama Bear is Amazon’s store brand formula range. The Mama Bear range consists of Standard, Advantage, Gentle, Sensitive, Organic and Soy. All of their formulas come with lots of good stuff, are Non-GMO and come with a much more affordable price tag. 

Mama Bear is manufactured in the US by a company called Perrigo which has been making formula for 35+ years. They resell their formulas to companies like Amazon, Walmart, Target, Kroger, Walgreens, CVS, etc. Expert tip: they are all the exact same formula, just a different sticker on the front.

Our final thoughts on Kendamil vs Aptamil

Quote from the owner of the baby swag website

I am pretty confident saying I could have done a 1,000 piece puzzle faster than I figured out who really owned Aptamil, where their products are produced, and what is in their formulas. This is a stark difference between Kendamil which has a beautiful website that walks you through their mission, their production process, and their ingredients. 

Historically, I think choosing a formula, like many decisions as a parent, has often been driven by personal preferences and constraints around quality, cost and availability. Those are all still important factors to weigh in but there is a new dimension that many new parents are considering which I am calling purpose vs mission

In today’s world consumers are rewarding businesses that are driven by a purpose or a mission. Many people use these terms interchangeably but I think the baby formula industry provides a clear example of the difference between companies that are purpose-driven vs mission-driven. 

Kedamil is the perfect example of a purpose-driven company and Aptamil is a great example of a mission-driven company. 

Kendamil exists solely to provide high quality nutrition for infants. They have started making a few other food products but their entire mission as a company since inception has been producing incredible baby formula. 

Find the best baby formula for your family

Our team of experts spent 100’s of hours pouring through all of the research, the ingredients, the recipes and the companies.

Baby Swag best baby formulas to consider

Whereas Aptamil has been around so long now and has been acquired by one bigger company after another. They are now a single brand in a portfolio of companies that have a broader mission to “bring health through food to as many people as possible.” That is a big mission, and an admirable one. But it means that the company’s focus is spread out over 100’s (maybe 1000’s) of products. There are some benefits of this approach as I mentioned above but some parents are now looking at smaller, more specialized brands like Kendamil as their preferred alternative. 

My personal preference is to work with brands that are as transparent as possible, especially when it comes to something as important as your baby’s health. So even though Aptamil has a strong track record of success and has helped feed millions of babies over the last few decades, I would rather spend just a little bit more and buy from Kendamil.

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