French Player Lactalis Looks to Actively Expand in the Chinese Infant Formula Market

The Lactalis Group, a France-based dairy maker, which is also the world’s largest by sale, announced on Friday its decision to launch a baby formula brand in the Chinese market. The decision comes shortly after the company bagged an approval from China’s Certification and Accreditation Administration, granted in April.
The company now has plans of exporting high-end products under the up market Celia brand, with a focus on Southern China. The company will eventually target pan-China exports, said officials from the company. Among the products being planned for the Chinese market are two Celia products which will be manufactured entirely in France and be exported to China for sale. This information was provided by Lactalis Group’s general manager for China, Jiang Xia. He also said that in addition to the high-end infant formula brand, the company will also be actively engaged in the promotion of infant health care and nutrition approach targeted at Chinese parents. According to Jiang, the company’s key area of expansion will also be via e-commerce sales channels targeted at Chinese customers.
 When asked about the company’s plans to produce infant milk formula in China, the company said that it could be an option if it gains access to qualified and safe sources of milk.
According to the company’s sales director for overseas nutrition business Brigitte Joseph, there exists a booming demand for high-quality infant formula from Chinese consumers. The demand provides an ideal vehicle on which the company hopes to ride towards enhanced market share and profitability.
According to the estimates of the company, the value of the Chinese market is USD 16 billion despite the fact that China recently announced new regulations in May so as to streamline dairy product imports as well domestic enterprises in the dairy industry.