Negotiamini Media
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Editorial: A hopeful sign for economy, a new Pa. formula factory breaks up a consolidated industry


The baby formula shortage has receded from the headlines, but not from the lives of families who continue to find bare shelves that should be stocked with formula. In fact, at the beginning of July, out-of-stock rates hit a new high of around 30%. But a new Pennsylvania company is helping fix the problem.

In March, the Byheart company opened a new infant formula plant opened in Reading. The company was founded by a pair of siblings — University of Pennsylvania graduates Mia Funt and Ron Belldegrun — who combined their expertise in tech and nutrition. They created one of the first new American formula companies in many years.

Byheart will provide much needed competition in an industry that is too consolidated. Only four major companies produce 90% of baby formula: Abbot, Mead Johnson, Nestle/Gerber and Perrigo Nutritionals. (The last produces most store-brand versions.) The closure of just one of Abbot’s plants led to the national shortage that has caused, and continues to cause, so many problems to so many parents and children.

Byheart’s emergence — and the high quality of its product — should show them that they can’t rest on their dominance of the market.

But there’s a barrier. Government policies […]

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