Pallet loads of baby formula is being guarded and secretly transported as parents around Australia desperately try to get formula for their babies.

According to The Daily Mail, new mum Kerry Frangos witnessed first hand the high level of secrecy and security surrounding the coveted products.  Returning from a shopping trip in West Melbourne, Kerry and her husband Paul, spotted large boxes stacked in a nearby back alley. Kerry told The Daily Mail that she was ‘shocked’ when she recognised there were allegedly ‘200 tins of A2 Platinum baby formula’ hidden inside the boxes.

Formula stack that Paul & Kerry Frangos. Image Source: Facebook
Formula stack that Paul & Kerry Frangos.
Image Source: Facebook

“I saw a man who had a couple of boxes in his hands rushing away with them and when I looked into one of the open boxes I saw a silver tin with a blue lid,” said Kerry told the publication, “I was shocked…I was like ‘no, no way’ after a closer look I realised it was baby formula,” she continued.”I had my son there, so I didn’t want to get confrontational but I was shocked to see so much in one place,” she said.  Kerry went onto describe the guards that were posted in front of the formula pallets and how ‘strange’ it felt.

“I have friends who haven’t been able to breastfeed and they’ve told me that some places limit formula to one to two tins per person,” Kerry said, “I kept thinking how did they get, what looked like a supermarket load, delivered to them and how did they get a truck to deliver that much,” she continued.  “It’s bloody formula, I was really shocked, I didn’t really know what was going on, they were just guarding this formula” he continued.

Kerry and Paul took some photos which they posted to Facebook.  The woman guarding the stack of boxes can be seen in the photo.  Kerry asked her repeatedly how they go so much formula.  “When we went to take the picture she said “no, no, no pictures.”  Kerry said, “’They could be doing something legit, my question was just how did they get so much.”

According to The Daily Mail, the picture that Kerry and Paul shared on Facebook fueled discussion on limited supply of formula throughout Australia. One user said,

The picture of the incident spurred discussion of the limited supply of formula on Facebook and one user according to the publisher said: ‘We have mothers crying here in Geelong because they can’t find formula for their babies. This is disgusting.’

Another user, Christine Bruse said: ‘So wrong this should not be allowed…it’s sold on the black market for $AUD150 to $AUD200 back in China per tin.’

Have you or anyone you know been finding it hard to buy formula in Australia? Share your thoughts here.


Image source: Facebook

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  • My daughter-in-law has had calls from he sisters asking if she can get hold of certain baby formula for them as they are finding it nearly impossible.
    I was at Costco a few months ago and they had a limit on how much you could buy. I saw a man (the same one each time) go in and out at least a dozen times while we were there, and each time he had the limited amount. he was still doing it when we were leaving. You wonder what he was going to do with all the formula


  • I know a baby interstate that has to have a special Lactose Free Formula which is almost impossible to get in their home city and long distance around them. She got to the stage that she was going to the supermarkets every day in the hope of getting just one can of formula before she ran out completely. When they went to another state for few days they bought some each day they were there and packed it in their luggage and took it home with them. It makes you wonder if that stock is being sold in the black market. Maybe it has “fallen off the back of a truck” as they saying goes. If a Supermarket made a legitimate purchase I am sure they would use a forklift to take it into their warehouse. They certainly wouldn’t leave it in an alley.


  • It’s not fair but short of demanding proof that customers have children there’s not a lot that stores can do beyond limiting numbers per customer. I do know that people working at stores are very frustrated by the people who buy them to send overseas. It seems like the only winners are the people buying here to sell there at an inflated price.


  • This should not be allowed to happen, I have a friend that due to illness can not feed and they have struggled to find the right formula some times


  • I’ve said before this is a disgusting thing to happen especially here. All babies need to be fed. I hope something gets done about this quickly.


  • Supermarkets and suppliers want to make money, as most businesses do, and I don’t feel we should be blaming them and nor is it necessarily their responsibility to monitor who buys what. But I also understand the angst that mums who rely on formula must be feeling. It’s a tough situation.


  • I think it’s disgusting that people are having trouble buying formula


  • You can make your own formula and healthier versions too. But it seems a taboo to do so. What did mothers do before tin formula?


  • If you have the money you can order the tins in bulk. You can buy them online at the same or cheaper or a little more than supermarket prices depending on where you go. Who really cares if someone decided to buy a bulk lot of formula? They were resourceful. Good on them. Maybe they are starting a new online business to fill a gap the supermarkets are leaving. Who knows. But it’s their business and I wouldn’t want someone taking photos either! It is not like they are taking the formula away from other Mums. It wasn’t one big Coles Online order ffs. Clearly it came from the factory or similar. Chill out, Mummy’s!


  • It’s hard to believe this is happening and both retailers and wholesalers are not putting a stop to this sort of stock piling.


  • It could be someone making a drama out of nothing. I wouldn’t want my photo taken by a stranger either!


  • wow this just seems so insane! i don’t know, i hope those mums can still get what they need for their bubs.


  • Very interesting. Sounds like more investigation needed. Thanks for sharing.


  • This situation is getting worse and more should be done to ensure this sort of thing stops happening the shortage of formula is getting worse maybe it come to the stage it should be sold behind the counter which yes is ridiculous but the shortage of formula is getting out of hand


  • I’d like to know the full story behind this! I have a lot of friends who have struggled to find formula or their babies and have had to drive sometimes 2 hours just to get 1 tin. Its bloody terrible!

    • Poor them! In a country like Australia it should not be difficult.


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