Bibado has been honoured with the first ever King’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation. The prestigious award recognises the Bibado Coverall Weaning Bib, an award-winning product designed and developed by former British Army Dentist and mum of twins, Rachel Wood.

Bibado Ltd is one of only 148 organisations nationally to be recognised with a prestigious King’s Award for Enterprise. Announced on Friday 21 April, Bibado has been recognised for its excellence in innovation. 

The Bibado Coverall was initially conceived to solve a problem that all parents face when they embark on their weaning journey; how to give growing mealtime adventurers the freedom to enjoy their food exploration without limits, while containing the mess.

The light bulb moment for the concept came to Wood while enjoying a messy meal of spaghetti bolognese with her 6-month-old twin daughters. She noticed that existing bibs on the market were uncomfortable to wear for the child and were not fit for purpose. They offered inadequate coverage and kept neither her daughters nor the highchair clean, and failed to prevent food from falling onto the floor.

Wood was exasperated with the post-meal clean-up process, which would routinely involve a complete outfit change and an ever-growing washing pile, not to mention wasted food and ruined clothes! With three meal times a day, she estimated that she was spending at least one hour per day on the clean-up alone. This was not only time-consuming and stressful, but fuelled the parental guilt of dreading mealtimes because of the mammoth size of the task.

Rachel scoured the market looking for an alternative, but it didn’t exist. She knew that she couldn’t be the only parent feeling this way, so she got to work with an old umbrella, a pair of scissors, a sewing machine and lots of optimism. She also turned to her personal sporting pursuits for inspiration, incorporating ideas from a kayak’s spray deck. The patented strap was inspired by the elasticated cuff on ski salopettes. The first Bibado Coverall Weaning Bib prototype was born. Two years of rigorous market research and safety testing ensued and the Coverall Weaning Bib was launched to the market in 2017.

Commenting on the receipt of the King’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation, Wood says, 

“Mealtime mess is one of the biggest barriers to successful weaning. Children learn from the behaviour parents model at the dinner table and highchair, so if parents are anxious and nervous about the mess, babies and toddlers will pick up on this”.

She continues, “We’ve worked closely with Paediatric Occupational Therapists and Nutritionists in our product development and we know that it’s really important for babies to explore as many different food types and textures by the time they’re around 10-12 months old.  Our products genuinely support babies and parents in their taste adventures, preventing picky eating and helping to nurture safe and independent little eaters.

I am beyond thrilled for Bibado and my invention to be awarded this accolade. It’s particularly special to receive the award in the year of the King’s Coronation”.

Wood will attend a winner’s reception at Buckingham Palace in June 2023.

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