Fertility

HiPP Vs Holle Baby Formula: Which One Is Better For My Baby?

Updated on 4 October 2021 • 9 minute read
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Overview 

Are you trying to find the best baby formula? HiPP and Holle are among the most popular organic brands available today.

These certified organic baby formulas are made in Europe, adhering to the stricter standards of the EU (European Union) compared to those followed by American formulas.

These two brands offer high-quality organic cow’s milk. HiPP has milk with prebiotics and probiotics, but Holle also sells goat milk.

Which of these two has more options, more nutrients in its milk products, and better milk for your baby’s formula? Can they also help with colic and constipation? Find out in our review below.

 

HiPP Vs Holle: Main Similarities & Differences

Similarities

  • Both brands are made in Europe, following stricter measures than US formulas.
  • Both brands have organic milk made from grass-fed cows sourced from strictly monitored farms free of pesticides and other harmful chemicals.
  • Both add whey so their products can closely resemble the milk protein ratios of breast milk
  • Both brands use sweeteners in place of sugar: HiPP uses a lactose sweetener, while Holle uses a natural plant-based sweetener called maltodextrin.
  • You can only buy these products online if you’re in the US.

 

Differences

Why HiPP Is Better

  • Some HiPP formulas have prebiotics (food for good gut bugs) and probiotics (good gut bacteria) to promote a healthier digestive system. It may help prevent constipation and colic.
  • HiPP has an anti-reflux formula for babies with sensitive tummies.
  • HiPP organic formulations can be cheaper than Holle.
  • Aside from milk, HiPP also sells organic baby food.
  • HiPP analyzes all their ingredients for over 1,000 different substances that could potentially be harmful. It can ensure the quality of the milk produced.

 

Why Holle Is Better

  • Holle sells both cow’s milk and goat’s milk.
  • Holle promotes sustainable manufacturing practices and has undergone a CO2 (carbon dioxide emission) audit in 2012. Today, their milk products are CO2-neutral.
  • Holle’s formulation comes from Demeter biodynamic farms, following the strictest standard for organic agriculture worldwide. Products from these farms aren’t just EU-certified organic; they’re also certified for GMO-free agriculture and biodynamic animal practices.
  • According to a 2013 study, the aluminum content on some HiPP formulations (Hipp Organic First Infant Milk and Hipp Organic Follow-On) might exceed the EU recommendations. The list didn’t include Holle products. HiPP refuted the study, stating that their laboratory tests have not found the same levels as those published. The company also pointed out that very little aluminum is absorbed in the digestive system. (1)(2)

 

Learn more about the baby formulas made by HiPP and Holle below.

 

Milk Products by HiPP

HiPP produces baby formulas that meet the different health standards set by various countries. The UK label is their gold standard and is considered as their best overall formula.

The German Combiotik and other products made for other countries have corn starch for a creamy consistency.

The German “Bio” line doesn’t have the Combiotic (probiotic + prebiotic) ingredient.

The following are the milk products that you can buy from HiPP:

  • HiPP Dutch Organic Combiotic, Stages 1 to 3
  • HiPP German Bio, Stages 1 to 3
  • HiPP German Organic Combiotik, Stages PRE to 2
  • HiPP German Organic Combiotik (no starch), Stage 2
  • HiPP HA German Hypoallergenic Organic Combiotik, Stages PRE to 2
  • HiPP UK Organic Combiotic, Stages 1 to 3
  • HiPP AR Germany Anti-Reflux Formula
  • HiPP Special Comfort Milk

 

In choosing the right HiPP formula for your little one, you can follow these recommendations:

  • HiPP Stage 1: For babies up to six months old
  • HiPP Stage 2: From six months and above
  • HiPP Stage 3: From 10 months and above
  • HiPP Stage 4: For toddlers over 12 months

 

HiPP Dutch Organic Combiotic Infant Milk Formula (Stage 1) 

Pricing/Packages

These are the prices from Little Bundle, one of the US importers of HiPP (one can is 800 g or 28.22 oz):

  • Four packs: $46.99 each
  • Six packs: $45.99 each
  • Ten packs: $42.99 each

 

Best Features & Safety

  • This formula is made from certified organic, non-GMO cow’s milk.
  • It doesn’t contain synthetic preservatives.
  • It contains natural ingredients that are similar to those found in human breast milk.
  • It has galacto-oligosaccharides as prebiotics and Lactobacillus Fermentum as probiotics.
  • It has a stable shelf life, with the expiration date at least six months away.
  • It’s manufactured in Germany and packaged in the Netherlands.
  • The company only sources its milk from farms that strictly follow EU organic farming guidelines.

 

Milk Sources & Farm Practices

  • Grass-fed cows from EU-certified organic farms

 

Certifications

  • Certified to meet EU (European Union) Standards

 

Age Range

  • Zero to six months old

 

Ingredients Can Include

  • Organic skim milk
  • Organic whey
  • Organic vegetable oils (organic palm oil, organic sunflower oil, or organic rapeseed oil)
  • Organic lactose
  • Organic galacto-oligosaccharides (from organic lactose)
  • Whey protein
  • Fish oil
  • Choline
  • Mortierella alpina oil (ARA)
  • Lactic acid culture (gut bacteria Hereditum® Lactobacillus Fermentum CECT5716)

 

This milk is free from:

  • Corn syrup
  • Gluten
  • Soy
  • Peanuts 
  • Artificial preservatives, colors, flavors, or other unnatural ingredients
  • Additives

 

Nutritional Facts (per 100 ml or 3.4 oz)

  • Total fats: 3.6 g
  • Total carbohydrates: 7 g
  • Added sugars: 0 g
  • Fibers: 0.3 g
  • Proteins: 1.25 g
  • Vitamin A: 54 mcg
  • Vitamin B6: 10 mcg
  • Vitamin C: 8.9 mg
  • Vitamin D3: 1.5 mcg
  • Vitamin E: 0.7 mg
  • Vitamin K: 5.1 mcg
  • DHA: 13.2 mg 
  • ARA: 13.2 mg
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: 0.06 g
  • Omega-6 fatty acids: 0.4 g
  • Iron: 0.5 mg
  • Calcium: 51 mg
  • Other nutrients: this product also has magnesium, zinc, selenium, copper, manganese, chloride, folic acid, and choline

 

Product Recall

On August 8, 2021, Able Groupe recalled several baby formulas from HiPP, Holle, Bioland, and Kendamil for failing to meet the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) requirements and having low iron content. (3)

According to the announcement, the FDA has not received the pre-market notifications for these products. (3)

Also, several formulas from these brands don’t meet the FDA’s iron standards and labeling requirements. (3)

The FDA requires that all baby formulas should have at least 1 mg of iron per 100 calories. It’s because inadequate iron intake during infancy could lead to iron deficiency anemia, a condition that may lead to irreversible cognitive and functional development outcomes if left untreated. (3)

If an infant formula contains less than that amount of iron, the FDA further requires manufacturers to add a label to indicate that additional iron may be necessary. (3)

Many products included in this recall have less than 1 mg of iron per 100 calories but didn’t include the required label. (3)

These are the HiPP baby formulas included in the recall: (3)

  • HiPP Anti-Reflux Milk Formula (from birth)
  • HiPP Comfort Milk Formula (from birth)
  • HiPP Dutch Combiotic Infant Milk Formula (Stage 1; 0-6 months)
  • HiPP Dutch Combiotic Follow-on Milk Formula (Stage 2; 6+ months)
  • HiPP HA Germany Hypoallergenic Stage PRE Combiotic Infant Milk Formula (0-6 months)
  • HiPP HA Germany Hypoallergenic Combiotic Infant Milk Formula (Stage 1; 6+ months)
  • HiPP HA Germany Hypoallergenic Combiotic Follow-on Milk Formula (Stage 2; 6+ months)
  • HiPP German Combiotic Infant Milk Formula (Stage 1; 0-6 months)
  • HiPP German Combiotic Follow-on Infant Milk Formula (Stage 2; 6+ months)
  • HiPP UK Combiotic First Infant Milk Formula (Stage 1; 0-6 months)
  • HiPP UK Combiotic Follow-on Infant Milk Formula (Stage 2; 6+ months)

 

Consumers are advised to stop using these infant formulas and to safely dispose of these items. They’re also advised to message recallquestions@ablegroupe.com if they have questions. (3)

Pros

  • Produced with minimal processing using organic ingredients
  • Stable shelf life
  • It has fish oil for DHA.

 

Cons

  • There’s a product recall in the US for this product due to insufficient iron levels.

 

What Customers Say: Positive Reviews 

I feel comfortable my baby is receiving the best formula ingredients that mimic breast milk components so I don’t feel guilty having to partially supplement with formula.” – Reviewer on My Organic Company.

What Customers Say: Negative Reviews 

My son did not do well on this formula.” – Reviewer on Shopper Approved.

 

Milk Products by Holle

These are the milk products that Holle offers:

  • Holle Organic (Bio), Stages PRE to 4
  • Holle Goat Organic (Bio), Stages 1 to 3
  • Holle Cow Milk Toddler Drink (Non-GMO), Stage 3
  • Holle (A2) Cow Milk Toddler Drink (Non-GMO), Stages 1 to 4

 

In choosing the right Holle milk for your little one, you can follow these recommendations:

  • Holle Stage 1: For babies up to six months old
  • Holle Stage 2: From six months and above
  • Holle Stage 3: From 10 months and above
  • Holle Stage 4: For toddlers over 12 months

 

Holle Bio Cow’s Milk Organic Infant Milk Formula (Stage 1)

Pricing/Packages

These are the prices from Little Bundle, one of the US importers of Holle (one pack is 400 g or 14.12 oz):

  • Four packs: $26.99 each
  • Six packs: $25.99 each
  • Twelve packs: $23.99 each

 

Best Features & Safety

  • It’s a shelf-stable, organic baby formula with protein ratios close to the milk of breastfeeding moms.
  • It has DHA from fish oil.
  • It’s gluten-free, preservative-free, and GMO-free.

 

Milk Sources & Farm Practices

  • Demeter-certified biodynamic farming sources

 

Certifications

  • Certified organic to European standards 

 

Age Range

  • Zero to six months old 

 

Ingredients Can Include

  • Demeter skim milk
  • Organic whey powder (partly demineralized)
  • Organic vegetable oils (organic rapeseed oil, organic palm oil, or organic sunflower oil)
  • Organic maltodextrin
  • Organic lactose
  • Demeter skim milk powder
  • Fish oil
  • Biodynamic skim milk powder

 

This milk is free from:

  • GMO
  • Soy
  • Gluten
  • Corn syrup
  • Artificial preservatives, chemicals, flavors, or colors

 

Nutritional Facts (per 100 ml or 3.4 oz)

  • Total fats: 3.4 g
  • Total carbohydrates: 7.7 g
  • Added sugars: 0 g
  • Proteins: 1.4 g
  • Vitamin A: 58.9 mcg
  • Vitamin B6: 0.056 mg
  • Vitamin C: 14 mg
  • Vitamin D3:1.3 mcg
  • Vitamin E: 1.7 mg
  • Vitamin K: 6.3 mcg
  • DHA: 19.4 g
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: 52 mg
  • Iron: 0.54 mg
  • Calcium: 55.8 mg
  • Other nutrients: This product also contains L-carnitine, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, fluoride, choline, and niacin.

 

Product Recall

These are Holle’s cow milk products included in the Able Groupe recall: (3)

  • Holle Bio Organic Infant Milk Formula (Stage PRE; 0-6 months)
  • Holle Bio Organic Infant Milk Formula (Stage 1; 0-6 months)
  • Holle Bio Organic Follow-on Milk Formula (Stage 2; 6+ months)

 

Pros

  • It’s manufactured and packaged in Germany.
  • It has a stable shelf life of at least six months.

 

Cons

  • It doesn’t have prebiotics or probiotics.
  • There’s a product recall for this milk in the US. (3)

 

What Customers Say: Positive Reviews 

My baby boy loves Holle Bio and been eating it since month old with no stomach issues or acid reflux that he was supposedly diagnosed with.” – Reviewer on Little Bundle.

What Customers Say: Negative Reviews 

My baby hates it, spits it up.” – Reviewer on Formula Land.

 

Holle Organic Goat Milk Formula (Stage 1)

Pricing/Packages

These are the prices from Little Bundle (one pack is 400 g or 14.12 oz):

  • Four packs: $32.99 each
  • Six packs: $30.99 each
  • Twelve packs: $28.99 each

 

Best Features & Safety

  • This GMO-free milk has a stable shelf life.
  • It may be better than cow’s milk because its proteins can be easier to digest.

 

Milk Sources & Farm Practices

  • Goats raised in organic farms.

 

Certifications

  • Certified organic to EU standards

 

Age Range

  • From birth to six months

 

Ingredients Can Include

  • Organic full cream goat’s milk powder
  • Organic maltodextrin
  • Organic lactose
  • Organic vegetable oils (organic sunflower oil or organic rapeseed oil)

 

This milk is free from:

  • Soy
  • Gluten
  • Added sugars
  • Artificial preservatives, chemicals, flavors, or colors

 

Nutritional Facts (per 100 ml or 3.4 oz)

  • Total fats: 3.6 g
  • Total carbohydrates: 7.5 g
  • Added sugars: 0 g
  • Proteins: 1.4 g
  • Vitamin A: 54.1 mcg
  • Vitamin B6: 0.038 mcg
  • Vitamin C: 9.2 mg
  • Vitamin D3: 1.5 mcg
  • Vitamin E: 1.3 mg
  • Vitamin K: 5.1 mcg
  • DHA: 13.9 mg
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: 54 mg
  • Omega-6 fatty acids: 510 mg
  • Iron: 0.67 mg
  • Calcium: 60.7 mg
  • Other nutrients: This product also contains potassium, fluoride, manganese, selenium, magnesium, phosphorus, and choline.

 

Product Recall

These are Holle’s goat milk products in the recall: (3)

  • Holle Goat Organic Infant Milk Formula (Stage 1; 0-6 months)
  • Holle Goat Organic Follow-On Infant Milk Formula (Stage 2; 6+ months)
  • Holle Goat Organic Toddler Formula (Stage 3; 10+ months)

 

Pros

  • This milk can be a good option for babies who are allergic to cow’s milk.
  • It has DHA from algae.

 

Cons

  • It can be more expensive than the cow’s milk formula.
  • There’s a product recall for this milk in the US. (3)

 

What Customers Say: Positive Reviews 

No more eczema, constipation or diaper rash since switching to this product. I’m amazed.” – Reviewer on Little Bundle.

What Customers Say: Negative Reviews 

The smell and taste of goats formula is much stronger than cows milk but bubs gulps it down! Formula has caused some constipation but my understanding is that most formula does this regardless of brand.” – Reviewer on Formula Land.

 

Summary & Recommendation 

Both HiPP and Holle are European baby formula brands made from certified organic milk sources. They have many similarities but also excel in different ways. So, which one should you choose?

Choose HiPP if

  • You prefer a formula with prebiotics and probiotics.
  • You need an anti-reflux formula for babies with sensitive tummies.
  • You prefer an organic formulation that’s cheaper.

 

Choose Holle if

  • You want options for both cow’s milk and goat’s milk.
  • You prefer a brand with sustainable manufacturing practices and the highest quality standards.
  • You want a brand that doesn’t have a high aluminum content.

 

HiPP Vs Holle Baby Formula FAQs

What’s The Meaning Of Combiotic?

HiPP trademarks “Combiotic,” a term that describes the combined value added by the presence of both prebiotics and probiotics in some of their milk products.

Some HiPP formulas have L. Fermentum probiotic (Lactobacillus), a probiotic naturally found in a mother’s breast milk.

Probiotics feed on prebiotics to best survive and become beneficial in your baby’s tummy. HiPP uses galacto-oligosaccharides, prebiotics found in breast milk, in some of its formulas.

Which Formula Is Closest To Breast Milk?

The Stage 1 products from both brands have the formulation that’s closest to breast milk

Can I Mix HiPP Or Holle With Other Formulas For My Baby?

Yes. But it’s best to consult your pediatrician before mixing these formulas.

What Is The Difference Between Holle PRE and Holle Stage 1?

Both have similar formulations, but PRE uses lactose while Stage 1 has maltodextrin.

Is Goat Formula Safe For Babies?

Yes. Goat formula can be lighter on your baby’s stomach and doesn’t cause constipation.

 

REFERENCES

(1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3851493/

(2) http://hippformulausa.com/hipp-formula-aluminum-study/

(3) https://www.fda.gov/safety/recalls-market-withdrawals-safety-alerts/able-groupe-recalling-products-labeled-infant-formula-formulas-have-insufficient-iron-levels

 

 

 

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