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This in-depth, parent-friendly guide will help you find and buy the best German baby formula. You will learn why you should consider European (and specifically, German) formula, which formula brands are the best, and where you can reliably purchase the German baby formulas.
If you are a parent or someone who keeps up to date with the latest infant trends you may have noticed the growing popularity of European baby formula brands in America.
There are many reasons why parents, not only in America, but all over the world are choosing to feed their babies with formula from Europe!
From the mindfully sourced ingredients to European formula brands’ philosophy, the quality of European organic baby formulas is setting new standards in the organic food market.
You might have also noticed that this turn to European organic baby formulas has been heightened for American parents, due to the recent US formula shortages.
The severity of the shortage was caused by the temporary closure of the largest infant formula manufacturer in the US. And because of this, the FDA has decided to introduce more relaxed measures and flexibility around the importation of certain formula products, making the European formula market more accessible for those living in the United States!
Why Is European Baby Formula Better?
European baby formulas are better than many US brands, because many European formulas are free from unwanted additives such as sucrose and corn syrup and are made without the use of GMOs, antibiotics, pesticides, chemicals, and preservatives.
Our favorite European infant formulas come as natural as possible, with some even containing nutrients that are found in breast milk, such as prebiotics and natural probiotic lactic acid cultures.
On top of this, some of the most popular European formula brands have made the push toward organic and regenerative agriculture for the betterment of our health and the environment. All of these standards are upheld by the European Union, which has protective measures in place to ensure that baby formulas are safe and nutritionally complete.
Keep reading to learn more about why so many parents are choosing German organic baby formulas, the certifications and tests that uphold the standards of European formulas, and some of our favorite Organic German baby formula brands and products that you can purchase starting at affordable prices!
The Benefits Of German Baby Formula
When it comes to baby formula, Germany is a world leader. German brand formula such as HiPP, Holle, and Lebenswert Bio are known for their innovative products making them some of the leading European infant formula brands.
Their formulas are constantly improving to provide babies with the optimal nutrition to aid in their growth and development. These brands recognize that quality and sustainability go hand in hand, by creating great baby formula products, while also prioritizing sustainable agriculture that benefits both babies and our planet.
We have already talked a lot about the quality of German formulas, but you’re probably wondering how these European standards are monitored and how we can guarantee the quality of these products.
These standards are upheld by several safety tests and organic certifications in Europe, each with its own product qualification process that involves quality assurance tests and product performance tests.
These certifications impact all aspects of formula manufacturing from the very beginning. Starting with how ingredients are grown and processed to how the products make it into the hands of consumers through storing, shipping and packaging.
What Does EU Organic Mean?
The most well-known and widespread certification in Europe as of July 2010 is the EU organic certification. The European Commission made the EU-wide label to provide consumers with trustworthy organic goods. For a product to become EU organic certified at least 95% of the agricultural ingredients must be organic, and the other 5% follow additional strict conditions set by the EU.
The EU organic certification aims to limit the environmental impact of farming practices by controlling the use of energy and natural resources responsibly, maintaining and conserving biodiversity, and preserving the quality of soil and water.
They also respect animal welfare and encourage agricultural practices such as raising grass-fed cows and offering time to graze outdoors. If animal welfare is an important value to you, then opting for EU organic products is a great choice!
What Is The Bioland Certification?
The Bioland certification came to life in Germany in 1971 as an association dedicated to organic farming and goes above and beyond the already strict standards set by the EU.
Their “seven principles of agriculture for the future” are developed with future generations in mind and are practiced by over 8000 producers of organic goods including farmers, gardeners, beekeepers, and winegrowers.
On top of that, they have an extensive group with upwards of 1,400 processors who use these products in their bakeries, butchers, restaurants, and more.
What Does Demeter Certified Mean?
Demeter’s roots go way back, as one of the first organic associations in Germany and they are continuing to grow every year with over 19 Demeter organizations worldwide.
They enforce regenerative biodynamic organic farming methods with a holistic approach that recognizes the connection between agricultural practices and our health. They adhere to strict standards and principles which include regenerated soil fertility, GMO-free agriculture, and respect for all animals.
With the strictest organic standards, Demeter is the gold standard for organic certification.
Determining The Best German Baby Formula
So when it comes to finding the best German baby formula, how did we determine that? Luckily, there are already a few different tests and certifications that Europe and Germany submit formulas for, which gives us plenty of information to assess which formulas are the best.
Here’s a quick overview of the testing process, and below you’ll find the top 5 baby formulas from Germany.
Overivew of The Stiftung Warentest
The Stiftung Warentest foundation was created with support from the German Parliament in December 1964 to provide objective advice and recommendations to consumers based on comparative testing.
As of 2022, The Stiftung Warentest conducts more than 200 tests each year, covering products from all areas of life.
With so many products on the market, choosing a single product in any given category can be a challenge.
This is why the Stiftung Warentest foundation goes through several steps to ensure the tests that they conduct are unbiased and objectively evaluated to be a reliable and trustworthy tool for consumers.
Winner of The Best German Baby Formula 2022
This month, the latest winner of the Stiftung Warentest in the category of first-stage organic infant formula was chosen. The tests were conducted on some of the best German formula brands such as HiPP, Holle, and Löwenzahn Organics.
Some of the factors that helped determine the winner range from nutritional quality and contaminants to packaging, microbiological quality, and more.
This year’s winner was Löwenzahn Organics for their Stage Pre German Infant Formula with its high-quality nutrition that surpasses European formula strict regulations and prioritizes environmental welfare.
What Is Löwenzahn Organics?
We have covered why we love their products, but now let’s take a closer look at the brand as a whole.
Löwenzahn Organics is a female-owned organic company founded by Liz Sauer Williamson and Alice Mrongovius. As mothers themselves, they struggled to find a baby formula that met all of each of their baby’s needs, so they decided to create their own formula that met all infant nutrition needs and was of the highest quality.
Their goal began with creating a formula that would have a positive impact for generations to come and that gives babies the best start in life. Although it is a relatively new company, it has quickly become one of the fastest-growing German baby food companies in the DACH region, growing in popularity both online and with German retailers.
Löwenzahn Organics understands that having optimal nutrition in the early stages can have long-lasting positive effects on babies’ health. Given that many infants rely on formula in the first 12 months of their life, they designed their formula to meet infants complete nutritional needs.
Löwenzahn offers some of the best formula which surpasses EU nutritional standards in organic quality and is backed by the most up-to-date scientific findings.
The increased flexibility surrounding importing certain formula products into the US is allowing Löwenzahn Organics to have their formula reviewed by the FDA for official approval. Currently, Löwenzahn already has EU approval and meets the nutritional requirements for infants in the EU.
Here are some of the other reasons we love Löwenzahn Organics formulas.
- Their formula has a 1:1 ratio of DHA (omega-3 fatty acid) and ARA (omega-6 fatty acid) to support brain development
- They add prebiotic galactooligosaccharides (GOS) – which is also present in breast milk and works to improve gut health and digestion
- Their use of sustainable palm oil is certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)
- They Add Omega-3 (DHA) sourced from algae which is a tastier and more sustainable option compared to fish oil, and it’s also vegetarian friendly
- Their products are made without the use of GMOs, antibiotics, pesticides, chemicals, artificial sweeteners, and preservatives
What Are The Top 5 Best German Baby Formulas?
In addition to Löwenzahn, these are some of the top formulas on the market, known for their superb quality that set them apart from the rest. Scroll down to see some of the best German baby formula brands.
Löwenzahn formulas are made with the perfect mix of EU organic skim milk, milk proteins, lactose, and organic vegetable oils as their base. A feature of their formulas’ main ingredients that sets them apart from other European infant formula brands is their use of Omega-3 (DHA) sourced from algae which is a tasty and sustainable alternative to fish oil that still supports brain development. Their formula is enriched with prebiotics and contains NO harmful chemical fertilizers, pesticides, antibiotics, or GMOs. Costs $31.49 per 500 grams of formula.
This German milk formula is certified EU organic and contains natural probiotic lactic acid cultures originally extracted from human breast milk. It is free from many common allergens like gluten, soy, peanuts, and eggs and is free of artificial sweeteners and GMOs. It is enriched with high-quality ingredients including probiotics and prebiotics that help to support immune system function. Stage PRE has lactose as the sole carbohydrate (no starch). Other important components that support infant nutrition include essential fatty acids (DHA and ARA), minerals, and vitamin E, D, and C. Costs $37.99 for 600 grams of formula (equivalent to $31.66 for 500 grams).
Lebenswert Bio Cow’s Milk Formula
This German organic formula is made with only simple and clean ingredients and their milk is sourced from Bioland farms. These strict Bioland regulations surpass that of the EU organic label. The base of this formula is made with organic skim cow milk, organic whey, organic vegetable oils, and lactose. This formula is made without the use of harmful chemicals, pesticides, antibiotics, or GMOs. Costs $27.99 for 500 grams of formula.
Holle Cow Milk Formula
Holle cow’s milk formula goes above and beyond using ingredients produced at Demeter-certified organic farms which is the highest organic certification in Europe. Their process prioritizes animal welfare and environmental sustainability through the use of chemical & hormone-free agriculture and manufacturing. This formula is free from artificial sweeteners and GMOs and contains essential vitamins and minerals. Costs $25.99 for 400 grams (equivalent to $32.49 for 500 grams).
Holle Goat’s Milk Formula
To many parents, this formula is the best choice for sensitive tummies. It comes in 4 stages and is an alternative to cow’s milk, which is a common allergy. It is easier to digest due to being formulated with A2 goat milk protein which is composed of smaller fat molecules and less lactose. This formula is EU organic certified and includes vitamin C, D, and E, minerals, and essential fatty acids (DHA and ARA) while being free from artificial sweeteners and GMOs. Costs $31.99 for 400 grams of formula (about ~$40 for 500 grams).
Each of the German infant formula brands mentioned above are changing the formula market as they continue to introduce innovative products known for their outstanding quality.
Placing one formula above another does not diminish the high quality of other contenders, it is simply used as a way to make objective recommendations to consumers.
It is up to each parent to determine the best baby formula for their little one. A good choice is based on factors such as lifestyle, the price tag of the product, your pediatrician’s recommendations and guidance, and your baby’s needs.
Where Can I Find And Buy German Baby Formula?
Organic’s Best is my #1 pick for where to find and buy baby formula from Germany. They are based in Germany, and are passionate about making organic baby formula and baby food available internationally (to any family who wants it!) Not only do they carry all of the German baby formulas, but they also carry other top organic formula options like HiPP Dutch, HiPP UK, HiPP HA, HiPP Comfort, and HiPP AR.
Organic’s Best chooses baby formula brands based on their high quality and carefully chosen organic ingredients that place them at the top of the formula market.
Some of these brands have been around for decades, whereas others are bringing innovative new products to the market. No matter how long they have been around, each brand is paving their own path and finding creative ways to mindfully source ingredients and pack their products full of the essential nutrients that growing babies need.
If, while pursuing their organic formula shop, you find yourself struggling to choose the best formula for your little one that perfectly suits your baby’s needs, Organic’s Best’s customer service team is happy to help answer any of your questions.
You can rest easy knowing that all of their formula is fresh and their supply chain is robust – all of their products come with a long expiration date of 6 months or more into the future to help you stock up while dealing with the ongoing formula shortage.
And, when you buy in bulk, you can receive free shipping with express delivery!
Organic’s Best TOP German Baby Formulas Brands
Organic’s Best has you covered once your little one is ready to start on solid foods too as they offer a wide range of healthy organic cereals, pouches, and snacks!
HiPP Baby Formula
With almost 100 years of experience, this family-run company has become one of the leading brands in Europe’s organic baby food industry. Hipp Formula is known for its top-quality products that accommodate a range of dietary needs. They have a wide range of products, including their HiPP German Cow Milk Formula and Goat’s Milk Formula, HiPP Hypoallergenic Formula, HiPP Dutch Formula, HiPP Comfort, and Anti-Reflux Formula, and Hipp Ready To Feed Formula. Parents and healthcare professionals alike regard HiPP as some of the best baby formula in Germany.
There are so many additional reasons to love HiPP formula, from their chemical-free agriculture practices to the inclusion of essential fatty acids ARA (Omega-6) & DHA (Omega-3) in many of their formulas.
Not only do they contain beneficial ingredients, but they are also free from unwanted ingredients such as GMOs, artificial colors, aromas, flavor enhancers, and preservatives.
Additionally, they are one of the only formulas that contains Metafolin – a premium form of folate known for its high bioavailability. HiPP is unique in offering this high quality ingredient for infant nutrition in their German organic baby formula. For these reasons, HiPP’s products stand out as some of the best organic formulas.
Here is a summary of HiPP formula’s qualities that are worth celebrating:
- They make a variety of products ranging from German cow milk and goat milk formula, Hypoallergenic formula to ready-to-feed formula. Their products are likely to accommodate infants with a range of nutritional needs.
- Hormones are prohibited in their products and antibiotics are only permitted when necessary for animal health
- They use chemical-free agricultural practices
- Many of their products contain essential fatty acids ARA (Omega-6) & DHA (Omega-3)
- Their products are free of GMOs, artificial colors and preservatives, aromas, and flavor enhancers
Holle Baby Formula
Holle has been around since 1933, making them not only one of the first organic formula manufacturers in all of Europe but also one of the first certified Demeter companies on the market.
Holle formula goes above and beyond with their efforts to prioritize environmental welfare by making all baby porridges, organic milk cereals and goat’s milk formula products CO2e neutral since 2016.
Their organic products include Holle Cow’s Milk Formula and Goat Milk Formulas, Holle Dutch Goat Milk Formula, and Holle A2 Milk Formula. What’s not to love about European formulas that are made with simple ingredients with the use of chemical & hormone-free agricultural practices?
Here is a summary of Holle Formula’s qualities that are worth celebrating:
- Highest organic standards in Europe: Demeter
- They prioritize chemical & hormone-free agriculture and manufacturing
- Their products are free of GMOs, artificial colors and preservatives, aromas, and flavor enhancers
- Two-thirds of Holle’s packaging materials are glass and paper and many of their products are CO2e neutral
Lebenswert Bio Baby Formula
If you’re a fan of Holle products, then you will probably also be a fan of their sister company, Lebenswert Bio which was introduced to the European market in 2009. They create great quality products without breaking the bank.
As for goals, this German company aims to offer parents formulas at more affordable prices for formula compared to other leading brands, without compromising on quality. This quality is shown through the Bioland certification on their products, which is one of the strictest organic regulations in all of Europe.
Here is a summary of the Lebenswert Bio qualities that are worth celebrating.
- They only use untreated seeds when producing ingredients
- Their products do not contain soy, gluten, or corn syrup
- Their milk is produced at Bioland-certified organic farms in Germany and Austria
- They use chemical-free agricultural practices
- Their high-quality baby formulas are packed full of nutrients like vitamins A, D, and E, minerals, and essential fatty acids (DHA and ARA)
German Baby Formula FAQs
Looking for more information about baby formula made in Germany? We have got you covered! Here’s a brief run-down of some of the most common questions American parents have about German baby formula.
Unlike some American formula, European / German formula for babies is staged to meet your little one’s changing nutritional needs across various stages of development.
Here’s how it breaks down:
Stage PRE and Stage 1 are infant formulas intended for babies 0 to 6 months of age
Stage 2 is a follow-on formula for babies 6+ months of age
Stage 3 formula is toddler formula for little ones 12 months and up.
There are slight variations in stages between European brands so always make sure to read the label to see what age the formula is suitable for.
For a product to become EU Organic Certified at least 95% of the agricultural ingredients must be organic, and the other 5% follow additional strict conditions set by the EU. Furthermore, the use of GMOs and hormones is prohibited. Finally, strict limits are set out for the use of chemical fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, and antibiotics.
DHA is legally required to be added to all baby formulas in Europe but it is an optional ingredient in American formulas. DHA supports brain development and thus plays an important role in infant nutrition.
HiPP and Holle are market leaders in Germany and much of Europe but there are many smaller German infant formula brands such as Löwenzahn Organics that are rising in popularity. Of all of these brands, Löwenzahn Organics is the best German formula, with a close follow by HiPP, Lebenswert and Holle. You really can’t go wrong with choosing any of these formulas for your baby!
Finding a high-quality product for your baby is easier than ever with products becoming more readily available as the demand for European formulas continues to increase. European formulas are pushing the baby food market in a healthier and more sustainable direction that will have a positive impact for generations to come.
While breastfeeding is still recommended as a primary source of nutrition for your baby, it doesn’t have to be the only way you feed your baby, especially if breastfeeding doesn’t come easily to you (and that is totally ok!) The brands and products mentioned above are great alternatives for parents who’ve chosen formula feeding for their baby.
Just keep in mind, not every baby is going to have the exact same nutritional needs, and not every family is going to have the same priorities when choosing a formula for their little one.
But just remember: it’s not about only breastfeeding or only formula feeding. You might end up supplementing, or exclusively formula feeding, or exclusively breastfeeding – and all of these are equally healthy and viable options for your baby. FED is best, breast is not necessarily best!
If you’re considering switching to an organic German baby formula, be sure to speak with your pediatrician first!
The most important thing is that you choose a formula that your baby seems to tolerate well and does well on. A happy, healthy baby (and your own happiness & health) is all that matters.
And if you have any questions about German baby formula, don’t hesitate to reach out or leave a comment below. I respond to every question and comment I get!
I saw your list ratings on formulas and seems like Loulaka did not have palm oil or any other additives compared to HIPP and other top formulas, but it does have t-carnitine. What that be a bad additive to have in formula?
Hi Masha! Did you mean L-carnitine? The main reason this can be a problem in formula is because of how it’s extracted (typically using hexane or other solvents). My understanding is that Loulouka doesn’t use hexane or other solvents to extract L-carnitine, which makes it perfectly ok to include in formula (L-carnitine naturally occurs in breastmilk, so including it in formula is meant to more closely match what breastmilk provides). Hope that helps!