Aussie Bubs Formula Review & Analysis
Your little one will love this organic baby formula, and you'll love its certifications!
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Now FDA-compliant and registered for import and sale in the United States, parents are flocking to Aussie Bubs formulas!
To review this Aussie Bubs organic baby formula, we tested the Stage 1 and 2 varieties with an infant and toddler and then consulted with a developmental nutritionist to assess ingredients and nutritional contents relative to USA guidelines.
- Aussie Bubs Comparison Table
- Take-Home Message
- About Aussie Bubs
- Aussie Bubs Formula Review
- Australian Organic Farming
- Aussie Bubs Ingredients
- Bubs Stage 1 Ingredients
- Bubs Stage 2 Ingredients
- Aussie Bubs Stages: Ingredient Differences
- Aussie Bubs Nutritional Analysis
- USDA Formula Recommendations
- Bubs Stage 1 Nutrition
- Bubs Stage 2 Nutrition
- Bubs Testing in Infants
- Aussie Bubs Formula Review Conclusions
- Where to Buy Aussie Bubs
- References Cited
Spoiler alert, we love Bubs! We have been continually impressed with the quality and certifications, and our test kiddos were similarly impressed, showing excellent acceptance and tolerance. Not only does the Bubs formula show excellent basic ingredients and nutrition, but it also goes above and beyond to include Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, prebiotics, probiotics, and biotin.
As you know from our annual reviews of the best organic baby formulas, we rarely say such positive things about a baby formula!
Most people don't want to read this entire article to see what we found. So here is the summary of what we loved, and what we didn't.
✔️ High-quality formulation.
✔️ NASAA Certified Organic.
✔️ ACO Certified Organic.
✔️ Nutrition at FDA & USDA standards.
✔️ Milk from New Zealand farms.
✔️ Grass-fed, free-range cows.
✔️ Clean Label Project purity award.
✔️ Prebiotics & probiotics.
✔️ Nothing artificial.
✔️ No Maltodextrin.
✔️ No colors or preservatives.
✔️ No sucrose or corn syrups.
✔️ No palm oil.
✔️ Omega-3 via DHA & ALA.
✔️ Omega-6 via ARA & LA.
✔️ Amino Acids (via whey protein).
✔️ High infant acceptance, good taste.
✔️ No gas, indigestion, or constipation.
❌ Contains soy.
About Aussie Bubs
Aussie Bubs was founded in 2006 by a mom of three who wanted to produce a premium organic formula for her own children.
Starting in her own kitchen in northern Sydney, Australia, Kristy Carr grew Bubs into a multinational company with a very impressive range of baby foods and formulas.
Bubs believes strongly in the importance of animal husbandry and well-being, sustainable and organic farming practices, ingredient quality, and maintaining very high food safety standards and manufacturing practices.
The result is a baby formula that your baby will love and you can feel great about buying!
Don't just take our word for it, this is backed up by the Clean Label Purity Award, a result of passing one of the most rigorous tests for contaminants and toxins in the world!
From their humble roots in Australia, Bubs has branched out into several international regions, including the United States. Their local office in the USA is located in San Francisco at 1390 Market Street, Suite 200.
Credentials and Certificates
The Aussie Bubs formulas are made in Australia using organic milk from New Zealand farms.
Bubs owns and operates its manufacturing facilities in Australia, which comply with all state and federal regulatory and export quality control requirements of Australia.
Here are some of the Bubs manufacturing certifications:
✔️ US FDA Certificate of Registration.
✔️ Dairy Industry License (Victoria, Australia).
✔️ Food Safety System Certificate 2200.
✔️ NASAA Organic Certificate.
✔️ DAWE Export Establishment Certificate.
✔️ Australian Certified Organic Certificate.
✔️ Clean Label Project Certificate of Compliance (cow).
✔️ Clean Label Project Certificate of Compliance (goat).
✔️ Clean Label Project First 1,000 Days Certificate of Compliance.
You can learn a little more about Bubs, its founder and CEO, and its manufacturing and farming practices in this video:
Bubs Farming Practices
The cows on the Bubs farms can graze outdoors, all year round, eating fresh green grass.
This lifestyle affords certain intangible benefits such as lower stress and higher well-being. It also affords certain tangible benefits such as higher naturally occurring levels of Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin A and E, and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).
In terms of organic certifications, the Aussie Bubs formulas are certified by two organizations:
The Australian Certified Organic (ACO) organization. The ACO is a widely respected and highly rigorous certification standard that monitors and certifies organic production, led by the non-profit group Australian Organic. They pride themselves in thinking about organic as not just a chemical-free certification, but rather a holistic assessment of the soil, plants, animals, food, people, and environmental impacts.
The National Association for Sustainable Agriculture Australia (NASAA). This is one of the most widely respected standards in the world, and the highest standard available in Australia. NASAA certifications guarantee that the product's entire supply chain, from farm to production, conforms to strict organic standards.
The ACO and NASAA organic certification standards are very similar to the USDA's certification process, requiring a minimum 95% organic content.
Bubs formulas contain very high-quality ingredients and go beyond basic British, EU, and US requirements by including a fuller profile of Omega fatty acids.
The use of locally sourced and organic ingredients from Australian farms that allow for free-range grass feeding will provide some intangible benefits for the quality of their infant and toddler formulas.
While some of these benefits may not appear on an ingredients label, this usually means that there is a lower risk of the products containing all the nasty stuff you don't want to occur (even in trace amounts), like pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, or heavy metals.
Here are the ingredients in the Bubs organic grass-fed infant formula (as of the mid-2023 manufacturing date):
Bubs Stage 1 Ingredients: Organic Lactose, Organic Vegetable Oil Blend (High Oleic Sunflower, Coconut, Soy, Canola), Organic Whole Milk Powder, Organic Whey Protein Concentrate, Organic Skim Milk Powder, Organic Galacto-Oligosaccharide (GOS), Emulsifier (Soy Lecithin), Docosahexaenoic Acid (HDA, from Algae), Arachidonic Acid (ARA), Probiotic Bifidobacterium longum BB536. Minerals: Potassium Phosphate, Calcium Phosphate, Magnesium Chloride, Sodium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Chloride, Ferrous Sulphate, Potassium Citrate, Sodium Citrate, Zinc Sulphate, Copper Sulphate, Manganese Sulphate, Potassium Iodide, Sodium Selenite. Vitamins: Ascorbic Acid, dl-α-Tocopheryl Acetate, Vitamin A Acetate, Niacinamide, Calcium Pantothenate, Cholecalciferol, Thiamine Hydrochloride, Cyanocobalamin, Phytonadione, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, D-Biotin. Allergens: Contains Dairy and Soy.
Bubs Stage 2 Ingredients: Organic Lactose, Organic Vegetable Oil Blend (High Oleic Sunflower, Coconut, Soy, Canola), Organic Skim Milk Powder, Organic Whole Milk Powder, Organic Whey Protein Concentrate, Organic Galacto-Oligosaccharide (GOS), Emulsifier (Soy Lecithin), Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA, from Algae), Arachidonic Acid (ARA), Probiotic Bifidobacterium longum BB536. Minerals: Potassium Phosphate, Magnesium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Sodium Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Ferrous Sulphate, Potassium Citrate, Sodium Citrate, Zinc Sulphate, Calcium Phosphate, Copper Sulphate, Manganese Sulphate, Potassium Iodide, Sodium Selenite. Vitamins: Ascorbic Acid, dl-α-Tocopheryl Acetate, Vitamin A Acetate, Niacinamide, Calcium Pantothenate, Cholecalciferol, Phytonadione, Thiamine Hydrochloride, Cyanocobalamin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, D-Biotin. Allergens: Contains Dairy and Soy.
Here are some ingredients that we did not find in any stages of Bubs infant formula: food starch, maltodextrin, corn syrup or corn syrup solids, palm oil, artificial colors, artificial flavors, preservatives, sucrose, gluten, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), carrageenan, or high fructose corn syrup.
Some ingredients to highlight:
There weren't any ingredients we were unhappy with, but here are a few things that stood out:
Probiotics via Bifidobacterium longum BB536: This is a probiotic that naturally occurs in human breast milk and is thought to indicate a healthy human milk microbiota. By supplementing Bubs infant formula with this probiotic, it adopts a more similar microbial profile to breast milk.
Prebiotics via GOS: These are galactooligosaccharides, which are dietary prebiotics that help promote a healthy gut microbiome through benefits to intestinal microbiota and gut barrier function. Research shows that the prebiotics in infant formula are beneficial for digestion and reducing the rates of gas and colic (and they are more effective than probiotics, see references). They also promote bifidobacterium feedings and dominance in the gut of breastfed infants.
Plant-based DHA Omega 3: Docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, is commonly sourced from fish. While some parents don't mind this, some prefer a vegetarian option, and some with very sensitive noses don't appreciate smelling a hint of fish oil in their baby formula. Bubs uses a plant-based DHA, sourced from algae (this is how fish get DHA into their bodies too because algae is in their food chain).
Ingredient Differences Between Stages
Bubs Organic Grass Fed Formula, Stage 1 versus Stage 2
There are very minimal ingredient differences between the two Bubs stages. First, there are some minor changes to the relative content of skim milk powder, whey protein concentrate, and whole milk powder. This change increases the protein in stage 2, reduces the carbohydrate content, and alters the whey-to-casein ratio.
In the Bubs stage 1 formula, the whey:casein ratio is 60:40, similar to the whey-dominant protein ratio found in early breast milk. In the Bubs stage 2 formula, the whey:casein ratio is even at 50:50, which is more similar to the protein ratio found in later breast milk.
The second minor change is that stage 2 Bubs formula contains more probiotic content while maintaining a similar prebiotic profile.
To examine whether Bubs organic grass-fed infant formula meets the stringent US nutritional recommendations put forth by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA, see references), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), we consulted with a dietician nutritionist with expertise in infant feeding.
The US FDA publishes minimum infant formula nutritional requirements (see references), and they are only relevant for 0-6 months.
The Bubs formulas are registered with the FDA and therefore meet their minimum requirements.
The USDA does not publish recommended daily allowances (RDAs) for infants between 0-6 months. Instead, they publish information about Adequate Intake (AI), which is used when there is not enough evidence to make a formal RDA. The AI is set at a level assumed to provide nutritional adequacy.
Here are the USDA's AIs (per day) for infants aged 0-6 months, and 6-12 months. Units are grams (g), milligrams (mg), and micrograms (μg).
USDA Nutritional Recommendations:
|Carbohydrates||0-6mo: 60g||6-12mo: 95g|
|Proteins||0-6mo: 9.1g||6-12mo: 11g|
|Fats||0-6mo: 31g||6-12mo: 30g|
|Omega-3||0-6mo: 0.5g||6-12mo: 0.5g|
|Omega-6||0-6mo: 4.4g||6-12mo: 4.6g|
|Vitamin A||0-6mo: 400μg||6-12mo: 500μg|
|Vitamin B1||0-6mo: 0.2mg||6-12mo: 0.3mg|
|Vitamin B2||0-6mo: 0.3mg||6-12mo: 0.4mg|
|Vitamin B6||0-6mo: 0.1mg||6-12mo: 0.3mg|
|Vitamin B12||0-6mo: 0.4μg||6-12mo: 0.5μg|
|Vitamin C||0-6mo: 40mg||6-12mo: 50mg|
|Vitamin D||0-6mo: 5μg||6-12mo: 5μg|
|Vitamin E||0-6mo: 4mg||6-12mo: 5mg|
|Vitamin K||0-6mo: 2μg||6-12mo: 2.5μg|
|Folate||0-6mo: 65μg||6-12mo: 80μg|
|Niacin||0-6mo: 2mg||6-12mo: 4mg|
|Calcium||0-6mo: 210mg||6-12mo: 270mg|
|Iron||0-6mo: 0.27mg||6-12mo: 11mg|
Given that the Stage 1 Bubs formula is intended for use from birth to 6 months, we evaluated its nutritional content against the USDA 0-6 month recommendations. For Stage 2, we evaluated against the USDA 6-12 month recommendations.
Because the USDA recommendations are for daily intake, we considered the daily intake recommended by Bubs in their "Feeding Guide." Stage 1 suggests an average of about 120 grams of formula per day for the first 6 months; of course, this is lower (about 90 grams) for the first month, then increases with age to over 170g/day.
To derive an estimate of how much nutritional content a baby would receive each day when using Bubs Organic Stage 1, we used the average recommended serving for the first 6 months (about 120 grams of formula per day). This will overestimate nutrients in the early months, and underestimate them in later months. As you will see from our analysis, this isn't cause for much concern.
Does Bubs Organic Grass Fed Infant Formula - Stage 1 Meet USDA Nutritional Recommendations?
Yes, very similar to US-made baby formulas.
Here is a table comparing the USDA recommendation for 0-6 months to what the Bubs Stage 1 provides (in about 120g of formula):
|Carbohydrates||USDA: 60g||Stage 1: 64.7g|
|Proteins||USDA: 9.1g||Stage 1: 13.8g|
|Fats||USDA: 31g||Stage 1: 32.8g|
|Omega-3||USDA: 0.5g||Stage 1: 0.74g|
|Omega-6||USDA: 4.4g||Stage 1: 4.7g|
|Vitamin A||USDA: 400μg||Stage 1: 647μg|
|Vitamin B1||USDA: 0.2mg||Stage 1: 0.74mg|
|Vitamin B2||USDA: 0.3mg||Stage 1: 1.0mg|
|Vitamin B6||USDA: 0.1mg||Stage 1: 0.6mg|
|Vitamin B12||USDA: 0.4μg||Stage 1: 2.9μg|
|Vitamin C||USDA: 40mg||Stage 1: 86mg|
|Vitamin D||USDA: 5μg||Stage 1: 10.6μg|
|Vitamin E||USDA: 4mg||Stage 1: 16.8mg|
|Vitamin K||USDA: 2μg||Stage 1: 62μg|
|Folate||USDA: 65μg||Stage 1: 144μg|
|Niacin||USDA: 2mg||Stage 1: 6.9mg|
|Calcium||USDA: 210mg||Stage 1: 620mg|
|Iron||USDA: 0.27mg||Stage 1: 8.8mg|
Bubs meets or exceeds all USDA nutritional recommendations for infant formula, and the proportions are also very close to the recommendations.
USDA guidance for fat is 31g per day, which precisely matches how much fat is in breast milk (about 4.2g per 100mL, or 30.8g per 100g).
Does Bubs Stage 2 Meet USDA Nutritional Recommendations?
In looking at the USDA recommendations for infants 6-12 months of age, you realize that they recommend about 140-150g/day of formula. That equates to about 17 scoops (8.8g/scoop) per day of Bubs, which is about 1072mL per day of the prepared Stage 2 formula.
Clearly, that's a ton of formula and unlikely to be the case with your 6-12 month-old baby, since you'll likely be supplementing formula with at least some oatmeal and/or rice cereal.
Here is a table comparing the USDA recommendation for 6-12 months to what the Bubs Stage 2 provides (in 150g of formula):
|Carbohydrates||USDA: 95g||Stage 2: 76.2g|
|Proteins||USDA: 11g||Stage 2: 25.4g|
|Fats||USDA: 30g||Stage 2: 37.6g|
|Omega-3||USDA: 0.5g||Stage 2: 0.87g|
|Omega-6||USDA: 4.6g||Stage 2: 5.4g|
|Vitamin A||USDA: 500μg||Stage 2: 895μg|
|Vitamin B1||USDA: 0.3mg||Stage 2: 0.83mg|
|Vitamin B2||USDA: 0.4mg||Stage 2: 1.8mg|
|Vitamin B6||USDA: 0.3mg||Stage 2: 0.75mg|
|Vitamin B12||USDA: 0.5μg||Stage 2: 3.4μg|
|Vitamin C||USDA: 50mg||Stage 2 107mg|
|Vitamin D||USDA: 5μg||Stage 2: 13.3μg|
|Vitamin E||USDA: 5mg||Stage 2: 19mg|
|Vitamin K||USDA: 2.5μg||Stage 2: 106μg|
|Folate||USDA: 80μg||Stage 2: 152μg|
|Niacin||USDA: 4mg||Stage 2: 8.4mg|
|Calcium||USDA: 270mg||Stage 2: 850mg|
|Iron||USDA: 11mg||Stage 2: 13.3mg|
For Stage 2, Bubs comes in over the protein and fat recommendations of USDA, and slightly under the carbohydrate recommendation. In other words, the Stage 2 formula is shifting towards a higher protein and fat diet, with lower sugars.
From 0-6 months to 6-12 months, the USDA shifts the relative proportion of carbohydrates up, and proteins and fats down. This is a difference in European (and Australian) versus American feeding recommendations, with proportions shifting in opposite directions as babies move from Stage 1 to Stage 2.
Which is the right guideline to follow? Our opinion is that the EU standards are more in line with current research, whereas the USDA guidelines are relatively dated. But that's just an opinion, and research is constantly changing!
It's also important to realize that you'll likely be supplementing formula with your baby's first solid foods, which will likely be carbohydrate-rich (such as oatmeal and rice cereal).
Testing in Infants
Stage 1 and Stage 2 varieties of Bubs organic grass-fed baby formula were donated to us for testing (thanks, Bubs!).
We tested Stage 1 in a 2-month-old formula-fed baby (he typically feeds with Kendamil), and tested Stage 2 in an 8-month-old breast-fed baby (mom has supplemented a few times with formula).
Mixing and Taste-Testing
All of the Bubs organic grass-fed infant formulas come in 800g containers. Opening them up, we love how there is a leveling edge inside the container, and the scoop has a nice long handle.
Another thing worth mentioning is that the Bubs formulas have an expiration date that is about 23 months after their manufacturing date. In other words, it has a great shelf life!
You can see a good example of that here:
We prepared a few bottles of each stage and found that they both mixed extremely well with room-temperature water.
Bubs does not provide guidelines about water temperature. Some formulas require you to mix the powder with hot or boiling water, but Bubs only asks that the water is previously boiled.
Here are the preparation instructions:
- Wash hands first. Sterilize bottle and teat in boiling water or a sterilizer.
- Potable, previously boiled water should be used. Pour the required amount of cooled boiled water into the bottle.
- Add the required number of softly packed level scoops according to the feeding guide, using the provided scoop and the built-in leveler on the can. Always add 1 scoop of powder for each 60mL of water.
- Shake well until powder is dissolved. Test the temperature on your wrist before feeding. It should feel lukewarm, not hot. Once prepared, serve immediately.
Here is what the bottle looks like once it's prepared:
Notice how we didn't experience any bubbling or excessive foaming near the top. There is also no residue on the inside walls of the bottle, which we love to see!
Looking at the bottom of the bottle, we were also happy to notice that there was no clumping:
While we're showcasing Stage 1 in the pictures, both stages mixed very nicely with water.
In terms of texture and taste, we found it to be very rich and creamy. It had a slightly sweet taste, most similar to Kendamil but not quite as rich.
Bubs demonstrated very good flow through slow-flow or medium-flow nipples.
Safety First: Never prepare powdered formula with anything but water. If you're interested in fortifying your breast milk with formula you must ask your doctor for guidance first, as this can be very dangerous for your baby.
Feeding with Bubs Formula
As a reminder, we had a 2-month-old infant test the Stage 1 Bubs, and an 8-month-old infant test the Stage 2 Bubs.
Both of them took to the Bubs formula very quickly. Neither of them rejected the bottle or seemed at all displeased with its flavor or texture.
This was surprising for the mom of the 8-month-old, who usually breastfeeds. She assumed her child wouldn't like any baby formula but was pleasantly surprised.
Neither of them developed any gas, reflux, constipation, or any other signs of gastrointestinal distress. This might be due to the prebiotic and probiotic content, which can make Bubs a little gentler on sensitive tummies.
The older baby was already eating some baby cereals and purees, so his mom decided it was probably time to begin the transition away from breastfeeding. She was excited to find a formula that might help ease that transition!
This was our first time trying out the Aussie Bubs organic grass-fed baby formulas, and we were really excited to give them a shot.
The organic baby formula market is expanding rapidly, especially in the US and European markets, but it's challenging to compete with companies like HiPP and Holle having ruled this market for several decades.
European baby formulas are becoming increasingly common in the US, as parents look internationally to find high-quality, organic baby formulas that they can trust (and afford!). As a result of Operation Fly Formula, we now have Australian and European options widely available in the US!
Overall, we are happy to report that we're excited by several aspects of the Bubs organic formulas:
- We loved the farming principles they use with their cows, including the free-range and grass-fed attributes.
- We loved the quality of the ingredients, especially all of the nasty stuff they managed to keep out of the formulation.
- We loved that the Stage 1 formula uses a 60:40 whey-to-casein protein ratio, similar to breast milk and also similar to most of the best organic baby formulas on the market.
- The nutritional composition, including macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals, was all excellent and we appreciate that Bubs uses an FDA-registered manufacturing facility and is FDA-cleared for distribution in the USA.
- Preparation was simple and the formula was mixed readily with water to reveal a smooth and tasty formula without any clumping or excessive foaming.
Finally, both of our test babies accepted and tolerated the Bubs formula without any difficulty.
That said, the Bubs organic grass-fed infant formula is an excellent option for parents seeking a high-quality, organic, non-GMO baby formula that provides excellent nutrition at a reasonable price (about 4.5 cents per gram).
Speaking of price...
Where to Buy Aussie Bubs?
Aussie Bubs has a location in San Francisco, California, that manages the US distribution of their formulas.
Order a couple of tins and get free shipping on orders over $80.
The Bubs website also offers a subscription service that consistently saves you 10% off each order. Highly recommended!
For the price, Bubs organic grass-fed infant formulas are typically sold for $40 per tin. Given that each tin is 800g, this means it costs about 5 cents per gram.
With discounts, you can get that down close to 4 cents per gram. In comparison to other popular organic formulas, such as the Bobbie organic baby formula, which is about 40% cheaper. Bobbie formulas are about 7 cents per gram.
Disclaimer: To our knowledge, all ingredient and nutritional information contained in this article was accurate at the time of publication. We make no guarantees regarding the accuracy or timeliness of the information. Always read the packaging and instructions, and consult with your child's pediatrician before making nutritional and feeding decisions. Baby formulas manufactured and labeled for sale in Europe may or may not be approved for sale in the USA by the FDA or other regulatory bodies, so consumer discretion is advised.