Mead Johnson launches its first A2 protein milk powder in Chinese market 10-29-2019

Mead Johnson launched its first A2 protein milk powder in China on October 18, 2019. The company also launched its A2 protein milk powder products on major online cross-border e-commerce platforms in October and will provide continuous service for the online sale of these items.

According to a representative from Mead Johnson, the milk source comes from European cows which can provide A2 protein. In addition, Mead Johnson A2 protein milk powder also retains the milk fat globular membrane MFGM and DHA omega-3 additives that support brain health. The formula specially adds a PDX+GOS prebiotic combination, which is beneficial to intestinal health and nutrient absorption in babies.

In fact, Mead Johnson is not the first milk enterprise to bring A2 protein milk powder to the market. In recent years, there have been various brands of A2 protein milk powder. In March 2018, Nestle’s subsidiary company Wyeth launched a baby formula product, Atwo, which contains A2 protein. Additionally, the multinational food corporation Danone launched Cow & Gate A2 beta-casein protein milk powder to mainland China in July 2019, after successfully introducing the product to New Zealand. Some dairy experts in China said that with the increasing number of companies developing their own A2 protein milk products, the competition is becoming much fiercer.

Rapid increase in A2 milk powder demand in China

Analysts in the dairy industry think that one of the reasons that the number of dairy enterprises is increasing is that the demand for A2 milk powder has risen rapidly. According to data from Smart Path, in February 2019, the demand for A2 milk powder in the Chinese market was 37% higher than the demand at the same time last year.

According to food industry analysts in China, the reason that makes A2 milk powder products special is that the products contain A2 beta-casein.

From a competitive perspective, milk powder products that contains A2 protein additives hold a great advantage and will likely lead the industry in the near future. The technological barrier for the production A2 milk products is relatively low. As a result, dairy enterprises with a strong scientific research team and sufficient funds can enter this area of the market.

The A2 Milk Company thrives despite sluggish dairy market

The A2 Milk Company, an Australian dairy company, was the pioneer of the A2 milk powder market. In 2019, even though there was a decline in the dairy industry, The A2 Milk Company still made a profit, which attracted more companies to focus on the A2 milk powder market. According to the annual financial report of 2019 from The A2 Milk Company, the company’s revenue in China was NZD 406 million, which was a 73.6% increase compared to the same period in 2018; the earnings before interest and tax was NZD 124 million, which was an increase of 52.4%. The income from the company’s A2 baby formula milk powder in China was NZD 393 million (about RMB 1.8 billion).

However, the history of A2 milk powder formula is short, goes back less than six years. Some data shows that the A2 milk powder formula was originally developed and brought to market by the Australian company The A2 Milk Company. In 2013, the company expanded its business to the infant milk powder industry and its A2 Platinum products were sold mostly in New Zealand and Australia. In November 2013, the company launched its A2 Platinum products in China for the first time.

Despite the growing demand for A2 milk powder products, dairy companies other than The A2 Milk Company have had trouble in selling their A2 milk powder products in China. Due to the fact that The A2 Milk Company has registered the trademark for all the A2 products in China, other companies like Mead Johnson currently have been limited to the internet market. Overcoming the difficulty in entering the general Chinese market has become a problem for most dairy companies.


For more information about China’s dairy market, please have a look at our monthly newsletter Dairy Products China News.

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