HiPP vs. Holle Formula Comparison Guide

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" It’s always a top priority to opt for a premium and trustworthy brand when choosing a baby formula for your infant's nourishment. "
hipp vs holle guide

In Europe, there are currently two famous formulas that parents prefer: HiPP and Holle. As go-to-providers of European baby formulas, we can help you find fundamental differences between HiPP and Holle so you can decide which infant formula is best for your baby's needs.

HiPP and Holle: Brands That Stand the Test of Time

HiPP and Holle are among the most trusted and established brands in Europe that have been manufacturing nutrient-rich formulas for a very long time. HiPP was launched in 1899 in Germany by Joseph HiPP. Joseph HiPP was a talented baker with a family of many children suffering from nutritional issues. His wife, Maria Oster, had problems with breastfeeding. So, Joseph HiPP made rusk flour and added it to the milk. His children later grew up to be strong and healthy.

HiPP then started making nutrient-rich baby formulas and later expanded the brand globally. Today, the brand provides healthy baby food sourced exclusively from organic farms.

Holle appeared as Holle Food AG in 1933 in Arlesheim, a small town in Switzerland. Soon afterward, the company produced the first Holle organic baby food and Holle whole-meal bread. Holle became one of the finest baby formula manufacturers in Europe known for its strict organic farming practices.

Both brands have been approved by the European Commission, which has stricter quality standards compared to the American formula. Since every mom's top priority is the best formula for their infant, this article helps review the differences and similarities between HiPP and Holle formulas.

HiPP vs. Holle: Macronutrients

  1. Carbohydrates
carbohydrates

Carbohydrates serve as the main reservoir of energy and help your baby's growth metabolism. For babies, lactose is the most vital form of carbohydrate that plays an integral role in:

  • Calcium absorption
  • Maintains good gut bacteria
  • Encourages physical and mental development [1].

Infants are naturally born with the lactase enzyme that aids in the easy digestion of lactose. Both HiPP and Holle offer at least 30% of their carbohydrate content in lactose form.

HiPP:

Almost all HiPP infant formulas are lactose-based, except for HiPP anti-reflux formula that contains maltodextrin. As maltodextrin sits heavier in the stomach, it prevents reflux and aids digestion in sensitive tummies.

Holle:

Compared to HiPP organic formulas, Holle organic formulas are a combination of two carbohydrates: maltodextrin and lactose (except for 2 lactose only formulas Holle Goat Pre and Holle Cow Pre). Maltodextrin makes babies feel full for longer.

  1. Protein
protein
Proteins act as the basic building blocks for your baby's growth. Proteins play a significant part in:
  • Healthy development of baby's brain
  • Nail and hair growth
  • Muscle development

Whey and casein are two very different kinds of protein. Breast milk contains 60% whey and 40% casein proteins, while cow's milk contains 20% whey and 80% casein [2].

For babies with sensitive tummies, it is important to choose a formula that contains more whey or is using hydrolized protein.

HiPP:

All HiPP baby formulas mimic the blended whey ratio of breast milk, except for specialized formulas. HiPP Anti-Reflux contains 100% whey and HiPP Hypoallergenic series is using hydrolized protein.

Holle:

All Holle formulas have added whey to bring the proteion ratio closer to the breast milk. If your baby is sensitive to Holle cow's milk protein, you should opt for goat milk options. Goat milk protein is smaller and in general is easier to digest.

HiPP vs. Holle: Micronutrients & Supplements

  1. DHA & ARA
dha ara

The development process of an infant's immunity, nervous system, and vision requires essential nutrients such as omega-3s (DHA & ALA) and omega-6 fatty acids (ARA) [3].

Unlike European formulas, most US organic baby formulas do not include these supplements.

HiPP:

HiPP baby formulas have long been offering DHA and ARA. In 2020 following the guidelines of the EU commission, HiPP has increased the amount of vitamin D, choline, and DHA. DHA is safely obtained from fish and vegetable oils.

Holle:

Before 2020, Holle baby formulas did not contain DHA. Now, Holle's all recent formulas contain DHA derived from algae (goat's milk formulas) and fish oil (cow's milk formulas). The new formulation of Holle's products now contains linoleic acid, alpha-linolenic acid, and DHA.

  1. Prebiotics & Probiotics
prebiotics probiotics

Prebiotics and probiotics are essential for strengthening the immune system and maintaining the gut microbiome in the baby's digestive tract. Probiotics not only improve immune response but also prevent eczema and reduce colic [4].

HiPP:

HiPP formulas, including Dutch, Anti-Reflux, Comfort, and HiPP Hypoallergenic. HiPP German formula contains both probiotics and prebiotics.

Holle:

Holle formulas do not contain prebiotics or probiotics. However, you can complement Holle's formulas with additional supplements yourself.

HiPP vs. Holle: Cost Comparison

Here's what you can expect from both HiPP and Holle manufacturers in terms of pricing.

HiPP Formula Cost

Below are the prices of different HiPP formulas per fluid ounce:

Holle Formula Cost

Holle offers formulas based on goat's milk and cow's milk. Below are the prices of different Holle formulas per fluid ounce:

The following tables highlights differences between HiPP and Holle in terms of macronutrients, micronutrients, and other considerations (cost, specialty options):

Carbohydrates Most HiPP Formulas: Lactose-based
Anti-Reflux: Lactose + Maltodextrin
Most Holle formulas: Lactose + Maltodextrin
Cow PRE & Goat PRE: Lactose-based
Protein Most HiPP Formulas: Protein mix similar to breast milk
Hypoallergenic: Protein hydrolysates
Anti-Reflux: 100% whey
All Holle formulas: Casein and whey protein ration mimics breast milk
Goat: Smaller proteins compared to cow + extra casein
DHA & ARA All HiPP Formulas All Holle formulas
Prebiotics & Probiotics All HiPP Formulas: Prebiotics & Probiotics All Holle formulas: No pre or probiotics
Cost Cost effective: HiPP German, HiPP Dutch
Specialized: Comfort, HA PRE, HA, RA: A bit more expensive
Goat formulas: Most expensive
Cow: Similar price as HiPP
Specialty Options Hypoallergenic: Protein hydrolysates for easy digestion
Anti-Reflux: 100% whey for preventing reflux and easing digestion
Goat formulas: For infants with sensitivity to cow's milk
Organic Comfort, Anti-Reflux, Hypoallergenic: Contain organic ingredients but not EU certified organic
Most HiPP formulas: EU certified organic
All Holle formulas: EU certified organic + Demeter biodynamic certified. Meets highest organic requirements.

Pros & Cons of HiPP and Holle Formulas

Now that we have highlighted most of the details about both formulas let's delve into the pros and cons of HiPP and Holle.

  • Has a wide range of different formulas for different babies
  • Contains prebiotics and probiotics
  • Specialty formula options for sensitive babies
  • Added DHA
  • NO soy, wheat, or peanut ingredients
  • Gluten-free
  • GMO-free
  • High in essential amino acids
  • No preservatives, steroids, or hormones
  • No corn syrup
  • Contains palm oil
  • High quality simple and pure organic formulas
  • Demeter biodynamic certified (organic ++)
  • Option to choose goat's milk or cow's milk
  • Added DHA
  • NO soy, wheat, or peanut ingredients
  • Gluten-free
  • GMO-free
  • High in essential amino acids
  • No preservatives, steroids, or hormones
  • No corn syrup
  • Goat formula options are pricey
  • No pre or probiotics

The Final Verdict: Which Formula Is Best for Your Little One?

Both HiPP and Holle maintain all nutritional characteristics following the strict guidelines of the EU commission. Both formula brands are organic-certified and share many similarities, but they also have some key differences that make them stand apart.

Choose Holle if:

  • You prefer a high quality, simple & pure organic formulas.
  • You prefer exceptional biodynamic organic practices.
  • You want to choose goat milk formula.

Choose HiPP if:

  • You prefer baby formula that contains both prebiotics and probiotics.
  • You prefer a cheaper, but organic and nutritionally complete formulation.
  • You're looking for specialty formulas to treat digestion issues, anti-reflux or allergies.

You can also go through the pros and cons list mentioned above to make an informed yet healthy decision for your baby.

Most popular HiPP Formula

  1. HiPP Combiotic Dutch Formula
  2. HiPP Combiotic German Formula
  3. HiPP Comfort Formula

Most popular Holle Formula

  1. Holle Goat Formula
  2. Holle Cow Formula
  3. Holle Goat Dutch Formula


References:

  • Mainstone A. Essential nutrition for babies. Br J Midwifery 2008;16:612–6. https://doi.org/10.12968/bjom.2008.16.9.30892.
  • Martin CR, Ling P-R, Blackburn GL. Review of Infant Feeding: Key Features of Breast Milk and Infant Formula. Nutrients 2016;8:279. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8050279.
  • Akobeng TGOGSBRTK. Probiotics to prevent infantile colic. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2019. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD012473.pub2.
  • Mun JG, Legette LL, Ikonte CJ, Mitmesser SH. Choline and DHA in Maternal and Infant Nutrition: Synergistic Implications in Brain and Eye Health. Nutr 2019;11. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11051125.
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