CEO Spotlight: Meet the Men Disrupting the Multi-Billion Dollar Baby Feeding Industry – Ayal Lanternari and Asaf Kehat
Lifelong best friends, Ayal Lanternari and Asaf Kehat are two men on a mission to revolutionize the multi-billion-dollar infant feeding industry by drastically improving the baby bottle as we know it.
Driven by a lofty goal to create products that promote health and safety without compromising on convenience and style, these two biomedical entrepreneurs are building a brand that has changed the course of infant nutrition for breastfeeding moms, their families, and above all… baby.
Lanternari and Kehat met at age five; they grew up surfing, traveling, and creating innovative ideas together. Both attended the esteemed Technion Institute of Technology where they both received degrees in Biomedical Engineering. When asked about this renowned program, Lanternari expressed that “the program not only provides you with top-tier science education but also every tool needed to become an outstanding entrepreneur.” This paved the entrepreneurial path toward award-winning innovation.
One late night in 2013, Laternari was warming a bottle of frozen breast milk for his newborn son. As his son grew more impatient with hunger cries, he wished he could heat up the milk faster without compromising the essential nutrients.
This was the lightbulb moment that sparked a revolutionary bottle. For generations, the traditional cylindrical shape of the baby bottle has been settled upon but is basically a simple vessel for liquid that doesn’t consider the actual composition of the liquid it holds. The shape and function were in need for an update, Laternari and Kehat decided to transform the baby bottle for the modern day parent – something that didn’t compromise on nutrition or convenience.
Lanternari and Kehat put their minds together and created nanobébé, the first bottle made specifically for breastmilk and its unique biological composition. The dome-shaped bottle spreads the milk across the increased surface area which helps warm the milk 2-3 times faster than the average bottle on the market today. More importantly, it preserves the vital nutrients for baby that are often lost during the warming and cooling process. For a smooth breast-to-bottle transition, the bottle is shaped like mom for when she goes back to work, or baby is in the care of a loved one or caregiver. The shape also received an extraordinarily high acceptance rate with babies who will not accept other bottles, as it reminds them of mom. The two then went on to create a full infant feeding line for modern day families, which not only looks great, but makes transitioning into parenthood easier, functional and nutrition focused.
Their products have been making coveted headlines that are unprecedented for new start-ups. After only a year on the market, nanobébé has been on the cover of TIME magazine for Best Inventions of the Year (winning the Health and Wellness Category), named the “Smartest Bottle Ever Made” by Business Insider, stocked in every major retailer and recently featured on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. “Hearing the incredible feedback from parents is an unparalleled feeling,” said Lanternari. Kehat added that they were “passionate and driven to create solutions for the next generation.”
Their journey wasn’t without hurdles. At the time of their launch in Babies-R-Us, the largest baby retail chain at the time, nanobébé products sold out completely – twice! When Babies-R-Us declared bankruptcy, a financial crash that impacted the entire baby care industry, the two CEOs had to restrategize. “We quickly had to adjust our sales and marketing strategies accordingly,” said Lanternari. These moves panned out well for the company, as nanobébé didn’t just survive… They thrived. The CEOs emphasize that they wouldn’t have made it without their dedicated team. They worked tirelessly to find a team of people that believe in the company’s mission, feel fulfilled in their work, and consider nanobébé their second home. “Your team always needs to anticipate surprises that may come up along the way and implement a system of problem solving based on strong communication and attention to detail,” Kehat added.
Lanternari and Kehat have a mission to create legacies for their employees that they are proud to be a part of. “We want to groom our employees to withstand any challenge, grow in confidence, and succeed,” said Kehat. Lanternari reveals that they “create an efficient infrastructure to execute and accomplish milestones on a scale of a much larger team.” They stressed that teamwork and motivation to work are collectively crucial to the organizational structure.
So. what’s next for these two dad entrepreneurs?
Even with their resounding success thus far, Lanternari and Kehat are motivated to keep growing and innovating, while sustaining the DNA of the company. They want to create a better world, and it starts with the next generation. Their advice to other CEOs: “Don’t compromise or settle. Maintain your drive and consider that you can always do more. Stay humble and keep a clear head about where you started, while staying confident in your mission.”
Global baby feeding bottle market forecast 2017-2025
To identify the total value of baby feeding bottle market size worldwide, CEOWORLD magazine reviewed numerous national and international media reports. Forecasts for 2018 to 2025 was produced using a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.7 percent. In 2017, the baby feeding bottle market was worth approximately $2.47 billion. The table below presents the size of the baby feeding bottle market worldwide in 2017, with forecasted figures to 2025.
- 2017: $2.47 billion
- 2018: $2.59 billion
- 2019: $2.71 billion
- 2020: $2.83 billion
- 2021: $2.97 billion
- 2022: $3.11 billion
- 2023: $3.25 billion
- 2024: $3.41 billion
- 2025: $3.56 billion
Written by Nadine Hanley.
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