Name Brand Vs. Generic Formula

Updated on May 04, 2010
J.K. asks from Waukee, IA
16 answers

My daughter has been on Similac formula since the hospital. I continued to buy the Similac because that is what she started with. I've heard from others that the generic (Parent's Choice, Up and Up, etc.) are the exact same make-up of all the major formula brands at half the cost. What have been your experiences with name brand vs. generic?

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answers from Cleveland on

Compare the ingredients, most are identical. Especially if the label says "compare to...." My pediatrician also said they were just as good as name brand, and you save a TON!



answers from St. Louis on

I compared the back of the container for ingredients and amounts and they were the same. I used Parents Choice and never had an issue with any of my 4 children. The cost is significantly less.

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answers from Denver on

Hi J. - I would just check the labels to make sure the ingredients are the same and the nutrition information is comparable. I personally wouldnt touch any generics that are produced in China because of their history of modifying products with dangerous substances like melamine.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

absolutely no difference. yet another way they try to screw new mom's out of as much $$$ as they can. after a few months we used generic formula, diapers, and wipes, and never looked back. it's a racket.

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answers from Cincinnati on

Apparently pediatricians have different opinions.... Mine told me to "please don't waste your money on name brand formula. It's all the same with a different label". I used kirkland from Costco, for half the price, and my kids did very well.

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answers from Savannah on

We used Members Mark (the Sam's Club brand) our pediatrician informed us too that generic was the same.



answers from New York on

All formulas must have the same basic nutritional components, there are minimum requirements for what is nutritionally adequate so the generic or store brand will have that.



answers from Atlanta on

Both my kids were raised generic. We asked our peditrician and he stated that all formula is required to have the same standards.



answers from Burlington on

I used Parents Choice after using Enfamil for about a month. We had no problems at all with it. I made the change after her ped. suggested it as it had not even occured to me. I've heard people say that they are all most likely made in the same factory. I wasn't sure I believed that necessarily until I was talking with my dad who worked for Revere Sugar back in the 80's and he told me that they bagged several different brands of sugar at his factory. It was true!! Different brand sugars were coming from the same place! I'd buy a small container of the generic brand and see how your child does and if it goes well....make the change! You'll save a bundle!



answers from Missoula on

We used Kirkland brand from Costco and were happy with it.


answers from Lexington on

They are right. Another way to save big is to register, if it's available, w/ the company that makes the formula. I know I did with Nestle Good Start w/ DHA & ARA. I would get about one can of formula a month. Plus vouchers & coupons to help buy more.

If you haven't already, check with the local WIC office to see if you qualify for that. More people qualify than realize. It's a HUGE help until age 5. When your pregnant it helps supplement food for the mom to be, when the child is an infant it helps w/ formula, and as once out of formula it helps buy cheese, cereal, peanut butter, produce, milk (it depends on what your state decides). I don't understand why, but each state can vary in what it helps cover. Anyway, its a good thing.


answers from Richmond on

What a great question! I was wondering about this myself, thanks so much for asking... I'm looking forward to all the feedback you'll get :)



answers from Indianapolis on

The generic formulas are not the same!

We had to ask the pediatrician a few years ago when I had to switch to formula during chemo. His response was that, although the ingredients are the same and in the same order, they may not be in the same quantities. Most brand name formulas are protected under patent, so a generic company can not exactly duplicate the formula.

Having worked for pharmaceutical companies for the past 10 years, I can verify that generic does NOT equal brand. The active ingredient may be the same, but inactive ingredients may differ as well as delivery system (capsule vs. pill, etc).

What he did tell us was that he could guarantee, from vast, large-scale clinical trials ALL of the claims made by the manufacturers of Similac, Enfamil, Good Start, etc. He couldn't guarantee anything with the generic brands regardless of how reputable the manufacturer.

We used both Similac and Enfamil while we had good coupons - we moved to the Kirkland brand shortly thereafter because the cost difference was substantial enough. Our daughter thrived and just made it back onto the growth chart after having been off for most of her first 2 years (on the high end).


answers from Denver on

After I stopped BF at 3 months and a few cans of the name brand stuff, we found that the Member's Mark brand from Sam's worked wonderfully for my son. In fact we didn't live near one for a while and would actually travel about 30 minutes every 2-3 months and stock up! I definitely thought I would have BF for longer but it just didn't happen and what an expense formula can be!



answers from New York on

Generics are not the same! May have the same ingredients listed, but the quality is no where near the same. Some of these may be made in the same plants, but the ingredients change. Most formulas contain Palm Oil a fat that is not good, check it out. Everyone complains of the cost, it doesn't get cheaper, think of the price of a Happy Meal! I would find a formula that works, and stick with it. They are only on formula a short time, and in my opinion it is worth the cost to feed my baby a high quality, researched based product!



answers from Los Angeles on

I used generic formula for my son. I used Parent's Choice in the beginning and then Sams Club's brand Members Mark when I got a membership there. I had absoultely no problems with either of them and my sons pediatrician told me it's the same thing. So I ended up spending $45 a month on formula rather than double that using a name brand. Just like someone else said ALL formula is required to have the same standards.

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