The FOOD giants are inflicting pain on struggling families by raising the price of baby formula.
That means Healthy Start coupons no longer cover the cost of even the cheapest versions on the market.
There are now calls for the competition watchdog to investigate the manufacturers.
According to First Step Nutrition, the price of the cheapest brand – Aldi’s Mamia line – has increased by 46 per cent in two years to £9.39 for an 800g box.
Meanwhile, major brands such as Aptamil, Cow & Gate, SMA and HiPP have increased their prices by 31%.
SMA’s Advanced Milk is available at £17.50 for 800g.
The Healthy Start voucher – introduced in 2006 to help low-income families – has not risen with inflation and, at £8.50 a week, no longer covers the cost of the cheapest tin.
“It is often very expensive to buy formula — and the price gap between brands is huge,” says Vicky Sibson, director of First Step Nutrition.
“This is unjustified, especially when there are clear signs that formula companies have protected their profits while raising prices.”
A spokesperson for Danone, which makes Aptamil and Cow & Gate formula, said: “We’ve tried to keep costs down wherever possible to deliver the best value for parents.”
- SUPPORT struggling families by donating money or baby clothes, diapers, cribs and toys to our Baby, Bank On Us campaign at www.thesun.co.uk/topic/baby -bank-on-us/