Do you like coffee or smoothies? Or maybe you’d prefer some bone broth…

In New York, London and other trendy cities, people are now descending in droves on new hip “broth bars” and ordering a cup of bone broth to go. In Germany, the drinkable bone-broth snack trend has not yet really taken off. But there are some companies here already that are promoting and successfully marketing bone and meat broths as healthy drinks. Is there potential for the nonalcoholic beverage industry to branch out into this new line of business and explore new horizons?

“Brodo” – the trendsetter

The buzz around bone broth began when Italian Marco Canora decided to stop drinking fatty calorie bombs and began serving up hot broths in a cup near the end of 2014 in his shop “Brodo” in New York’s East Village. In no time, he had crowds lining up to sample the new “in” drink, despite the fact that a cup of this broth – made primarily from organic beef and poultry combined with fresh vegetables, herbs, spices, chili oil, fermented beans and ginger – would set back patrons a good eight euros.

So what is this bone broth all about?

What’s so great about New York’s latest “in” drink, which is being heralded as a possible alternative to smoothies and coffee, and is even seen as a sort of medicinal beverage in China? A lot, according to health experts.

First, let’s take a look at what bone broth actually is: a concentrated brew made by cooking down beef or chicken bones in water. It’s essential that the broth simmer for an absolute minimum of two to three hours. But the longer the bones are cooked, the more health-benefiting substances can be drawn out while dissolving the bones entirely.

One of its main virtues is collagen, which is an essential component of bones, teeth, tendons and connective tissue. “Bone broth is also rich in minerals such as calcium and magnesium, which are important for muscles, bones and nerves, as well as trace elements such as silica, which is important for skin and hair,” says Health Coach Nadine Hüttenrauch. One of the particularly important health benefits of bone broth that Hüttenrauch is keen to highlight is its positive effect on the gut: “The harmonizing effect of bone broth on the gut can lead to improved nutrient supply, stronger immune defense and more effective detoxing,” says the health expert.

Overall it’s enough to convince Hollywood stars such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Salma Hayek and Shailene Woodley to convert to this “new cure all,” which can be refined with the addition of various ingredients, such as vegetables, herbs and spices.

Grandma’s got the cure

For most people, bone broth is often linked to their childhood. Many grandmas cooked it and extolled its virtues for dealing with colds and flus. This could go a long way in convincing people to take the leap of faith – and might even open many a door in the future by encouraging a wide range of consumers across the country to give it a go.

So would you rather opt for bone broth?

What’s the bone broth scene like in Germany? Bone Brox, a Berlin-based start-up, took the idea of selling bone broth to go and ran with it, serving up the hot drink during the winter of 2016 at an ice-cream parlor on Weinbergsweg in Berlin.

Founders Konrad Knops and Jin Woo-Bae now market their broths, for which they say they use only the bones of organic free-range chickens and grass-fed cattle, primarily online and through retail. Bone Brox now supplies more than 450 organic stores in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. A pack of six 530-ml jars costs around 50 euros.

Another German player on the organic bone-broth market is Jarmino from Munich. The company sells “Beam” and “Boost”, which are also organic beef and chicken bone broths and which, as with Bone Brox’s products, have been simmered for a staggering 18 hours. The price per 350-ml jar is just under five euros.

Or would you prefer a “premium meat snack”?

What’s interesting is that even butchers seem to be cashing in on the trend for meaty drinks. Master butcher Peter Klassen from Temmels in the district of Trier-Saarburg, for example, has been selling chicken- and beef-based drinks under the brand name Pete & Phil’s since 2017.

Unlike the previously mentioned companies, he sells his products in bottles and not in preserving jars, which really reinforces the idea that this is a drink. He’s even blazing a trail in terms of his product’s name and its ingredients. He markets it as a “premium meat snack.”

According to Klassen, the meat-based drinks are made from meat, fresh vegetables and mixtures of herbs and spices. Klassen currently fills between 1,500 and 2,500 0.33-liter bottles a day and plans to increase capacity to 3,000 bottles a day by the middle of the year. Three bottles will set you back just under 12 euros. Klassen says that interest in these “liquid meals” is “huge,” even though his meat-based drinks are very polarizing: “People either love the idea or they hate it, there’s nothing in between,” says the master butcher.

Will the drink go mainstream?

Only time will tell if bone broths and meat-based drinks will ever go mainstream. But what the new segment does have in its favor is the fact that the products boast numerous health benefits. Besides, making your own broth at home is extremely time-consuming, so it only seems logical that consumers will be more than happy to opt for brand-name products they trust if, in fact, they find this “in” drink appealing. In any case, it’s high time the beverage industry gave this product – which is often claimed to be an alternative to smoothies – some thought.

Matcha, the new healthy pick-me-up: powder with potential

Matcha is a green tea powder that was originally used in Japanese tea ceremonies. However, this emerald powder has gradually been finding its way into various products in the food and beverage industry. Now numerous beverage producers are on the look-out for innovative, healthy beverage concepts, but the real question is whether it also has the potential to generate impressive sales figures.

During the production of matcha tea, black nets or bamboo mats shade the tea shrubs well in advance of being harvested, helping promote concentrations of compounds such as theine, chlorophyll and theanine, changing the taste and intensifying the light-green color. Once the tea leaves have been harvested, they are steamed and dried. The tender parts of the tea leaves are then processed into powder in granite mills. This offers a healthy little pick-me-up, which is derived from the combination of theine, the amino acid theanine and tannins. The tea also contains a wide array of important trace elements, vitamins and minerals, and is said to have positive health benefits. Some even claim that drinking matcha regularly could prevent the onset of serious illnesses.

Global growth trend

With all of these benefits, it’s no wonder that the number of new products containing matcha being launched in the food and beverage industry has grown globally by almost 250% over the last five years. According to Caroline Roux, Global Food & Drink Analyst at the market research company Mintel, these impressive developments are not only because of its health aspects, but also its taste and striking green color. Fona International Market Research says that pastries account for 40% of the world’s newly developed matcha products, followed by desserts and ice cream (20%), chocolate (12%), confectionery (5%) and dairy products (4%). Most new products (around 80%) are being launched in the Asia-Pacific region, while the North American and Western European markets represent potential areas of future growth. Yet Grand View Research has the most promising statistic, that the global market, which in 2016 was valued at USD 2.62 billion (approx. EUR 2.35 billion), is expected to experience 7.6% year-on-year growth until 2025.

Beverage industry already capitalizing on matcha

The soft drinks industry is already benefitting from these impressive growth rates. There are even some examples of successful non-alcoholic beverages in the same market as established brands. For example, the Austrian beverage “Milfina Wohlfühlmilch Matcha Guarana Traubenzucker” (“Milfina Wellness Milk with Matcha, Guarana & Dextrose”) combines “wellness milk” containing matcha with an additional energy boost from dextrose. According to Mintel, these carbonated soft drinks (CSDs) with dairy ingredients, which have a creamy texture from the combination of carbon dioxide and milk, are one of the next major trends in the dairy industry. So why not venture into this field with some matcha experiments? The trends toward interesting new textures and intense colors could be married together to form a new super trend.

Quite a few German companies are already producing matcha-based products. Voelkel, the German natural food juicing company, has been launching numerous new products. Back in 2014 it released the organic lemonade “BioZisch Matcha” (“Organic Fizz Matcha”), as well as the more recent “Fairer Eistee mit Matcha demeter” (“Fair Trade Iced Tea with Matcha demeter”) and “Kraftprotz – Quinoa + Matcha” (“Powerhouse – Quinoa + Matcha”) under the umbrella brand “vegan to go.” Austrian fruit juice company Rauch Fruchtsäfte has released its “Carpe Diem Matcha Sparkling Green Tea.” The product’s press release states: “Centered on brewed green tea and refined with nashi pear and ginger, this premium green tea drink works just like the heart of the color spectrum itself: green, harmonizing and stimulating.” Zeekei, the German company based just outside of Munich in Dornach, boasts a broad range of products, for example “MatchaMagic Energy Drink,” which is not only popular in Germany but also in Switzerland and Japan.

International success stories

Many success stories have taken place on the other side of the pond as well, often involving start-ups. And they’re not all that dissimilar to the success stories of the American craft beer scene. Take “Motto” for example: a carbonated drink full of healthy ingredients such as honey and apple cider vinegar, which good friends Tom Olcott and Henry Crosby created in 2010 and launched onto the market in Nantucket and Boston in 2012, claiming it to be the world’s first bottled matcha drink. And “MatchaBar,” a brand started in 2014 by brothers Max & Graham Fortgang with the creation of their first café. Today their company has cafés in New York and Los Angeles and sells “Original Matcha,” “Mint Matcha,” “Hint of Honey” and “Apple Ginger,” along with the energy drinks “Hustle Original” and “Hustle Unsweetened.”. Then there’s Pop & Bottle with its “Matcha Green Tea Almond Latte,” made from water, almonds, dates, Himalayan salt, green tea, spirulina and, of course, the green powder. It all began when friends Blair & Jash moved from London to California and started testing out drink recipes using healthy ingredients in their home kitchen. In addition to its drink, their company now also makes numerous other “superfood lattes,” namely “Cold Brew Coffee,” “Vanilla Bean,” “Cacao,” “Golden Turmeric” and “Mocha.”

German start-up scene is alive and kicking

Several German start-ups have also recently jumped on the non-alcoholic matcha beverage bandwagon. Brothers Benjamin and Felix Böning founded the Hamburg-based company Seicha in 2015, which currently makes lemonades in three varieties: “Matcha Lime,” “Matcha Grapefruit” and “Yuzu-Ginger.” These are available not only in Germany from food retailers and the catering industry, but also in Austria and Switzerland. Doyobi entered the market in 2015 with its “Matchaty” iced tea infused with all organic matcha tea, pear juice, raw cane sugar, lemon juice and vermouth extract. In 2016, Martin Dieckmann invented “Ma-Tea,” a combination of organic matcha, water, agave syrup, lime juice concentrate, green tea extract and lime extract. But Dieckmann’s dreams came true when Sebastian Deutsch and Eray Basar, both Managing Directors of Bochum-based digital agency 9elements, offered to invest a fairly substantial five-figure sum in his drink at the end of 2017, half in the form of agency services provided by their own marketing firm. Dieckmann quit his food laboratory job, founded the company “just green” in Dortmund and has been devoted entirely to “Ma-Tea” ever since. It’s currently available in the Ruhr area and Berlin. A second flavor, “Ma-Tea Beere” (“Ma-Tea Berry”), consisting of water, agave syrup, blackcurrant juice concentrate, matcha, raspberry juice concentrate, green tea extract and natural raspberry distillate, was launched recently.

Just like Dieckmann, Ola Klöckner and Franziska Schetter, friends and founders of Munich-based start-up Liquid Matter, are certain that the matcha beverage market has a bright future. Though perhaps this is because the media corporation ProSiebenSat.1 is investing EUR 1.3 million in their beverage company through its Accelerator program – though not in cash, rather in the form of an advertising budget. They now expect their start-up, founded in 2016, to be profitable by the end of 2019. The root of this success story is that in addition to their drink “Matcha You,” they sell a whole set of promotional items featuring the motto “See the world through matcha eyes,” including gift wrap, notepads and pin sets. The founders think that their drink could be quite successful in large part because they believe that many people simply don’t know about the green powder, and hence there should be a decent-sized market of as-yet untapped customers.

Is the market on the edge of a fresh impetus?

If you believe the potential global growth rates for matcha products mentioned above, the founders of Liquid Matter may be on to something big. Especially when you consider that the category of bottled non-alcoholic beverages remains rather underrepresented at both the national and global levels. On the other hand, this could be a sign that consumers want to see much more information on the positive effects of bottled non-alcoholic matcha drinks. That’s where ProSiebenSat.1 will play a major part in the near future, then perhaps this niche market will really gain some momentum, at least in Germany. How and if that actually happens will perhaps become clear at the next drinktec, taking place from September 13 to 17, 2021.

Trend: Reduced sugar in soft drinks

“The age of sugar is coming to an end” stated a recent headline in the Süddeutsche Zeitung relating soft drinks without sugar. And the Weiss-Institut, which calls itself “an expert in treating addiction,” now offers treatments for withdrawal from sugar addiction, in addition to cigarettes and alcohol.

Needless to say, the perception of sugar is rapidly changing. An increasing number of studies have identified sugar consumption as a problem, with sweetened beverages, particularly soft drinks, being one of the main culprits. According to the World Health Organization, they are one of the key causes of obesity and type 2 diabetes. In turn, some 6.7 million people in Germany alone now have type 2 diabetes, and approx. every fourth adult is considered obese. Obesity alone results in €63 billion in secondary costs in Germany.

foodwatch: “Every second soft drink is oversweetened”

“There is almost no other European country where people consume as much sugar in soft drinks as in Germany,” warns the consumer organization foodwatch. They back up this statement with figures from the market research institute Euromonitor International, which recently announced that the per capita consumption of sugar in soft drinks on average in 2016 totaled 26 grams per day, or approx. 9.5 kilograms per year. This puts Germany in third place behind the Netherlands and Slovakia as one of the European markets with the highest consumption levels of sugar in soft drinks. As compared with the rest of the world, Euromonitor International puts Germany in 11th place behind markets such as Argentina, Chile, the U.S. and Mexico.

According to a foodwatch market study published at the end of 2018, approx. every second soft drink in Germany is oversweetened. This means that 345 out of the 600 beverages evaluated contained more than 50 grams of sugar per liter. Therefore, the consumer organization is calling for a sugar tax that follows the example set by Great Britain. In April 2018, the British government introduced a levy charge: Companies will have to pay 18 pence (almost 21 cents) per liter for products that contain more than five grams of added sugar per 100 milliliters. And the tax is even higher, 24 pence per liter, for drinks that have more than eight grams of sugar per 100 milliliters. Other countries that impose a tax on highly sweetened soft drinks include Portugal, Estonia, Belgium, Norway, France, Hungary, Mexico, South Africa and some U.S. states.

Beverage industry to independently reduce sugar by 2025

In Germany, the Federal Minister of Nutrition, Julia Klöckner, is now implementing a national reduction and innovation strategy which was adopted by the cabinet at the end of 2018. It is aimed at sugar, fat and salt, with a clear focus on convenience products. The food and beverage industry has pledged to meet specific reduction targets by 2025, and Klöckner announced that the first results will be evaluated by experts in the fall of 2019.

The Association of the German Non-alcoholic Beverage Industry has said it will work to reduce the sugar and calorie content of soft drinks sold in Germany by 15 percent by 2025, as compared to 2015. “We are confident that our category will be able to reach this target with additional reformulation and innovation,” said CEO Dr. Detlef Groß. “The key basis for the success of the strategy is and will remain the public’s acceptance of the products.”

However, their acceptance may signify more than what many of the classic soft drink manufacturers expect. This is because the trend toward a healthy diet that helps people of all ages stay fit is continuing to grow stronger. “We see an upward trend for products with less sugar,” said Petra Ossendorf, AFG expert at Nielsen, “as well as zero products that are now in focus due to the discussion surrounding their impact on health.”

Innovation and strategies that work

In fact, there are already several successful products in the industry. For example, granini had a smash hit with the “Leichte Limo.” Just eight months after its launch, every fifth granini lemonade sold was the version with 50 percent less added sugar. At Sinalco, CEO Heino Hövelmann confirms this positive trend toward its zero varieties: “The sales performance shows that sugar-free products satisfy consumer tastes.”

Even the industry giant Coca-Cola is actively producing and promoting sugar-free and reduced sugar beverages. At the beginning of the year, they started a money-back campaign throughout Germany for consumers who were unhappy with the taste of the sugar-free products. Furthermore, in terms of liter per beverage, Coca-Cola invests approx. 90 percent more in advertising for beverages with reduced and no sugar than for products with normal sugar content. The company is also taking greater strides into the organic market in pursuit of the health trend, with products like Honest organic tea, among many others. For example, in 2019, Coca-Cola Deutschland expanded its brand to include Honest Bio Limonade. This non-sparkling soft drink contains concentrated fruit juice and 30 percent less sugar than comparable products.

Austria is the forerunner

When it comes to soft drinks without sugar, the Austrian market has nosed out ahead of Germany. Once again, the idea is to reduce sugar content in conjunction with beverage producers rather than impose a new tax. According to the preventative medicine institute Sipcan, over the last eight years the average sugar content of beverages in Austria was reduced by 13.5 percent. Nutritional scientist Manuel Schätzer maintains that pressure on the industry remains high thanks to regular analyses. He also opposes a rapid-effect sugar tax because, in his view, consumers require a gradual reduction in sugar to become accustomed to the change. Products such as Pure Tea’s Ingwer Tee, a new and completely unsweetened tea beverage from Pfanner, will work with this familiarization effect.

Soft drinks without sugar – Already a given in Japan

Looking at the beverage market in Japan helps develop an understanding of the future of this health trend. Sugar-free beverages are the focus there starting in childhood. As a result, every vending machine, convenience store and supermarket in Japan has a large selection of cold beverages that are entirely devoid of sugar. Sugar-free tea beverages are particularly popular.

Responding to consumer preferences

Gathering ideas through food retailers has also proven to be useful. For instance, the Cologne-based retailer Rewe has deployed an interesting strategy for reducing sugar: In just one year they lowered the sugar content in 100 of their private label products. Now the recipes are being adjusted for more than 400 items. By 2020, the retail giant wants to reevaluate all of its relevant private brands and offer at least half of them with reduced sugar content. But most importantly, Rewe has involved its customers in this strategy from the very start. For four weeks, customers could select their favorite chocolate pudding among four versions, each with various levels of sugar. The winning pudding contained 30 percent less sugar than the current version – it was added to the selection and remains very popular to this day. This was a clever marketing move that also helped promote the consumers’ acceptance of reduced-sugar products. Perhaps it can serve as a guiding example for the beverage industry to boost customer involvement in the planning and decision-making around reducing sugar.

Rethinking traditional beverage categories?

One question that the industry should ask itself is whether the traditional categories of beverages either help or hinder this shift toward sugar reduction. The trendy maker Lemonaid’s case gives cause for thought. Hamburg’s central district office admonished Lemonaid because one of their drinks didn’t contain the specified minimum sugar content. The authority suggested that they either rename the product or raise the sugar content. Lemonaid declined both options with the remark that the drink had been sold since 2009 without any complaints. In this instance, the Association of the German Non-alcoholic Beverage Industry referred to clearly defined categories and specific rules.

Less sugar can result in natural sweetener solutions

Reducing sugar in soft drinks generally corresponds with the current health trend. However, researchers warn that sugar is often simply being replaced by sweeteners. According to a study conducted by the Canadian Medical Association, consumers who ingested increased amounts of sweeteners had a higher risk of stroke and heart attack and didn’t lose weight. Ingredient manufacturers such as WFSI, Döhler and SVZ International also offer natural sweeteners that are customized for particular beverages throughout the industry. Drink manufacturers will need to consider how they can navigate these sweeteners if they’re going to keep up with the health trend in a sustainable way.

The Lowdown on NOLO Beverages

Both beverage brands and consumers are tuning in to see what is next for NOLO (No and Low) alcoholic products. Seedlip made a splash as it entered the market in 2015 with the world’s first distilled non-alcoholic spirit. The company reported a 200% year-over-year volume growth across UK grocery sales in 2018. Heineken CEO, Jean-François van Boxmeer, recently said that the ongoing success of Heineken 0.0, Heineken’s zero alcohol product, “helped deliver the strongest growth by volume to the Heineken brand in over a decade.” What trends lie behind these successes and is it sustainable in the long run?

What are NOLO beverages?

In the UK, producers can only label a product as “low alcohol” if it has an ABV below 1.2%. Alcohol-free products must be 0.05% ABV or lower, and anything with an ABV of 0.5% should be called “de-alcoholized.” In the EU, Regulation (EU) 1169/2011 (EU 2011) on the provision of food information to consumers requires that the ‘actual alcoholic strength by volume’ of an alcoholic beverage containing more than 1.2 % by volume of alcohol is given. The same regulation exempts alcoholic beverages containing more than 1.2 % abv from having a nutrition declaration and a mandatory list of ingredients. In the U.S., numerous regulationsdictate the labeling of no and low alcohol beverages including dealcoholized wine and malt beverages. Due to the complexity, it is best to have no and low alcohol labels reviewed by a lawyer who specializes in food and beverage labeling compliance.

The trends behind no and low alcohol

Total alcohol volume in America dropped 0.8% in 2018 after a 0.7% decline in 2016, according to the IWSR U.S. Beverage Alcohol Review. UK alcohol consumption also fell from 3.07 units per day in 2003 to 2.57 units per day in 2018, while the number of people in the UK who do not drink at all rose 35% in 2013. It’s a trend that seems likely to continue as 52% of consumer surveyed in the IWSR’s study reported that they are trying to reduce their alcohol intake.

Underneath these statistics are a few driving forces that are gaining momentum. The rise of the wellness movement means that consumers are increasingly aware of the risks of excessive alcohol consumption and more inclined to avoid or reduce their intake as a result. Global campaigns to encourage moderate alcohol consumption are also influencing consumers’ drinking habits. The idea of intentionally lowering or cutting out alcohol consumption has even been marked by new terminology like “sober curious,” and “mindful drinking.”  While consumers are more health conscious, they are also seeking more exceptional experiences, meaning they will pay more for a quality product that is memorable and increases enjoyment and wellbeing.  In fact, two distilled nonalcoholic products, Seedlip and Ish, sell for $36 and $37 respectively, despite neither product being subjected to standard alcoholic export fees.

A YouGov poll revealed that 7% of respondents have already switched some of their alcohol intake with low or no alcohol substitutes. The survey also revealed that 9% of respondents between the ages of 18 and 24 had already switched to low­- or no­-abv alternatives.

The Future of NOLO

The trends supporting the rise of no and low alcohol beverages tend to point towards success with recipe innovation with a focus on quality, enhanced experience, and distinctive ingredients.

Even with all of the recent entrants, there is plenty of room for growth in the NOLO category. In the UK, low-/no-alcohol brands represent only 1.3% of the country’s total beverage alcohol market. In the US that number is even smaller at 0.5%.

Fitch Solutions projects that global non-alcoholic drink spending will expand by 4.0% year-over-year in 2019, up from 3.9% year-over-year in 2018 and that the category will gain steam over its medium-term forecast to 2023.

As the NOLO space gains more attention and momentum, we are sure to see beverage entrepreneurs rise to the challenge, growing the demand for these products with a steady stream passion and innovation.

From the Beginning

If you’re reading this and are about to have a baby or have just had a baby, a massive congratulations are in order.

Now that you’ve decided to pack in a life of blissful freedom and independence you have a choice to make over how to approach the parenting thing – be super calculated or wing it. Both come with their strengths and weaknesses but have one thing in common – a wreckless abandonment of reason and logic, understanding and perspective, when it come to baby products!

Zac & I experienced an intense amount of pressure ourselves on what to buy for our first baby. We wanted to buy everything … and I mean everything! We bought things that we never used, things that never worked and things that didn’t even fit in our pokey London flat.

I was overwhelmed with everything out there and there was an information overload! Where do I start, what can I rely on?

I should’ve bloody listened to my mother

I was ahead in my group of mums-to-be and so eventually become a go to place but until that point I was sailing through choppy waters. My maternity leave slowly became a withdrawal from everything I knew into the parenting jungle.

I should of bloody listened to my mother “you don’t need much” and saved for child care instead. There’s lots of those moments like that by the way, and as you become a mum it really is a case of ‘mummy knows best’.

Zac was even more clueless and his attempt at getting his head around things was humorous at best. Most of the time he was trying to not upset me, and had his trusted wallet to his side at the first sign of trouble, like a gun slinger in bandit country.

We started sharing information on what was and wasn’t useful with other new parents. A lot of us were time poor, still thinking about work and how are careers might be salvaged, so having punchy lists were really helpful.

As we tell our kids after all, ‘sharing is caring’, so why don’t we as adults do the same

So Zac and I thought wouldn’t it be great if we could help create a peer recommended platform for parents. A place where people can have an easier experience. As we tell our kids after all, ‘sharing is caring’, so why don’t we as adults do the same – create a list that is easy, simple and without all the noise, that really helps save energy, time, money and sanity!!

best baby product

We also believe that brands need to know what we’re thinking because they’re often creating these amazing products for us parents and its no easy feat. There’s a lot of regulations and hormone crazed parents with high expectations and they can’t rely on brand awareness or any pre-established loyalties.

it’s about making the best decisions for our newborns

Thus The top 100 baby products is here to help. Our aim is to create a place for parents to understand the best baby stuff. Speak to Zac and he’ll tell you about a choice architecture, for me it’s more about an emotional connection. Either way, it’s about making the best decisions for our newborns.

This year marks our second year and boy are we excited!! A bit like our real life kids, the platform has grown and adapted. We’re very excited about the upcoming launch and hope you will be subscribing and keeping in touch. If you are a parent or know any parents who would be interested in receiving top products as a Reviewer then let us know.

In the mean time, you can always check us out at The InsideEdit – our blog where we look at life London and how parenting can be made more fun!

Here’s why you should review baby products

So if you’re anything like me and not a natural at writing then reviewing baby products is a great way to start!

I don’t know about you but after I had my first I was an expert in all things baby, I could talk about the things that helped me and the things that didn’t, I knew it all! Like someone you ask for directions, I was earnest in explaining the fastest and the shortest route – offering my very best answer to any question.

Maybe it was because I was needing to speak to someone (after having kids your brains go to mush like the baby food you get used to mashing up), so after kids it’s a good way to get back to speaking like an adult again.

In re-launching Top 100 Baby Products Zac and I have decided that it’ll be great to have parents reviewing products. Last year we did things a little differently, we had over 10,000 votes come in from parents on their favourite products but I remember speaking to mums who for the most part couldn’t remember what they bought. I believe whilst we may forget what we bought, we know what is good for us and our baby at the time.

So for 2017 we’re reaching out to you guys for reviews – good or bad – to help other lost parents make the right decisions. So that you may guide and inspire, inform and entertain!

Authenticity vs Monetisation

When you think of Top 100 Baby Products I bet you’re thinking of an awards-type site… a magazine, a directory or a listing of some sort right?

Nope! Far from it in fact. It’s an honest and independent ranking – a guide to help parents and parents-to-be without compromise.

In re-launching the guide we thought to create something where products are first entered by brands basically. This was to allow us monetise the concept in a more streamlined way and quite genuinely allow brands to put their best stuff forward that parents might not know about.

But we can’t do it! Sorry, we won’t compromise on this…just doesn’t feel right.

It has to be different to everything out there … it has to be true to our mission to help save time, money and confusion by presenting the best stuff out there. It must be honest and incorruptible.

So we’ve made a decision that our ranking will be independent and unbiased, brands cannot pay to enter the Top 100 Baby Products.

Our every intention is to offer valuable information to parents who could do with saving an immense amount of confusion, time and money. We look to the information out there, scanning and listening to what parents are talking about, like us, those that have a lot to share on what counts.

Of course, we do have brands that love what we’re doing and share the vision to help and inspire. These guys do get some extra airtime on the blog and via or social channels but we are very selective with who and why.

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The same dilemma and conflict every blogger, content creator or creative faces – how can you maintain authenticity whilst sustaining the costs

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And therein lies the problem. The same dilemma and conflict every blogger, content creator or creative faces – how can you maintain authenticity whilst sustaining the costs. If you know the answer please share, because we’re still trying to figure it out.

Having spent a fair amount of time in the media world with Top 100 and The Inside Edit to us it’s glaringly obvious with other businesses and blogs where there have been compromises made. But we don’t hold it against them – that’s just the way it is in most cases. I guess the most important thing for us is to deliver something of value.

I remember being pregnant and thinking, hoping, praying that my baby was well. That he will arrive healthy and I would be able to become the mother I hoped to be. ‘Things’ come second to this maternal instinct.

But undoubtedly, we must take care in the decisions we are making – look to those who have been on the path travelled and understand what products might be best for our us and our beloved newborns.

Top 100 Baby Products I 2017 will be Forbes (with it’s power, influence and simplicity) mixed with Which? (trust, information and authenticity). Offering our ever dwindling attention span some punchy, easily digestible content.