October 25, 2022

Bobbie Launches Research and Development Hub to Evolve Infant Feeding: Bobbie Labs

Bobbie, the mom-founded and led Organic infant formula company announced the official launch of Bobbie Labs, its Research and Development hub, dedicated to evolving infant feeding. Bobbie Labs is a core element of Bobbie's commitment to invest $100 million to increase infant formula access, quality, and options for all U.S. families by 2030, via funding critical research that will reimagine the future of infant feeding through the lens of research and data. Bobbie Labs is led by a team of scientific and academic experts–who also happen to be parents–passionate about evolving the field of infant feeding. This includes: Jeff Moore, PhD, VP of Bobbie Labs, Anthony Porto, MD, MPH, FAAP, Chief Medical Director, and Dina DiMaggio, MD, FAAP, Medical Research Director.

Infant formula, a critical source of nutrition for babies up to 12 months of age, has been neglected, under-researched, and under-funded – U.S. infant formula regulations have not been updated since the 1980s. The Bobbie Labs mission is to attract and engage best-in-class, next-generation talent to help modernize and destigmatize infant feeding for parents and researchers alike. By working with subject matter experts in the field who are also in touch with the realities of modern parenting, Bobbie Labs is evolving infant feeding while shaking the formula stigma within the research community and beyond. In order to drive this mission–and the infant formula industry at large–forward, Bobbie Labs is doubling down on research as a means of diversifying and expanding Bobbie’s future product offering, from metabolic formulas to infant and parent supplements.

Through academic collaborations, independent research, and grant-funded work, Bobbie Labs currently has five active research projects. In the inaugural year of Bobbie Labs’ annual Request for Proposals, through a rigorous external review process, 12.5% of the 2022 proposals were selected. Of the active research projects, 80% of the principal investigators are women and 60% are parents.

Early next year, Bobbie Labs will again solicit research proposals within these critical infant feeding knowledge pillars:

  • Nutrition: Unlock new knowledge about breast milk and infant formula to optimize pediatric health & advance industry-wide quality standards.
  • Society: Examine the impact of infant feeding on social and psychological outcomes such as mental health or gaps in infant feeding support.
  • Planet: Understand traceability of raw materials from farm to bottle and support end-to-end assessments of foods and packaging.

“While the formula shortage may be ending, the crisis isn’t over. In order to reform this industry from the ground up, we must turn to science and data to truly evolve policies and products, adapt evidence-based practices, and advance infant feeding knowledge. Bobbie Labs is proud to support this critical research portfolio – the work being done is for the betterment of the entire industry, no matter how you choose to feed your baby, and it will fuel the future of infant and maternal nutrition in this country for the better,” said Laura Modi, CEO and co-founder of Bobbie and mother of three.

“The research projects we’ve selected will provide critical data on paced bottle feeding, infant protein digestion, iron levels and the infant microbiota, the infant formula shortage, and maternal mental health. In order to drive the innovation this industry so desperately needs, we must start with the science, data, and extensively published thought leaders that know the space better than anyone – the future of infant nutrition depends on it,” said Anthony Porto, Bobbie Labs Chief Medical Director and dad of two.

Active research and current academic collaborators in the Bobbie Labs research portfolio includes:

  1. Does Paced Bottle-Feeding Improve the Quality and Outcomes of Bottle-Feeding Interactions?, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
  2. Survival of bioactive milk protein across digestion in preterm infants fed with fresh human milk plus bovine milk fortifier, Oregon State University
  3. Understanding the impact of the 2022 Infant Formula Crisis, University of California Davis
  4. Effects of Early Iron Exposure on the Gut Microbiota Development in Newborn Infants, University of Colorado School of Medicine
  5. Impact of infant feeding expectations vs. reality on maternal mental health, Collaboration among Bobbie’s Research team and practicing clinicians

Aligning with this year’s White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, Bobbie committed to:

  1. Deploying up to $100m by 2030:
  2. to advance infant nutrition including strengthening domestic manufacturing to increase scale, redundancy, and resiliency in the industry and;
  3. to expand Bobbie Labs, an R&D center focused on
  4. holistic wellness and nutrition for year 1 infants and mothers;
  5. advancements in sustainable sourcing and manufacturing in infant formula;
  6. funding critical research to evolve the nutritional framework for product development and share across the industry.
  7. Increasing formula access, quality, and options for WIC participants, reaching millions of infants across the United States by advocating for new WIC eligibility requirements and developing new product lines to meet metabolic needs.

More about the established scientific experts leading the Bobbie Labs team:

VP of Bobbie Labs: Jeff Moore, PhD is a dad and established thought leader in food science with 15+ years of scientific and business leadership experience supporting different industries from food and nutrition to pharmaceuticals.

Chief Medical Director: Anthony Porto, MD, MPH, FAAP is a dad, board-certified pediatric gastroenterologist, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Associate Chief of Pediatric GI at Yale University, and co-author of The Pediatrician’s Guide to Feeding Babies and Toddlers, AAP spokesperson.

Medical Research Director: Dina DiMaggio, MD, FAAP is a mom, board-certified pediatrician, co-author of The Pediatrician’s Guide to Feeding Babies and Toddlers, and AAP spokesperson.

Scientific Advisory Board: a group of 14 scientific thought leaders whose collective published work has been cited in more than 30,971 peer-reviewed scientific journals and textbooks.

To learn more about Bobbie Labs please visit labs.hibobbie.com.

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