Mengniu believes China dairy growth lies in RTD protein innovation


The interest in dairy amongst Chinese consumers has grown since the Chinese government and local industry associations identified this as a crucial source of nutrition​ in line with the national Healthy China 2030 objective several years ago

That said, this interest has thus far seen the most development in categories such as milk, drinking yoghurt, yoghurt, ice creams and the like, and over the next few years Mengniu believes that consumer demand for products focused on protein will trump other considerations.

“Protein is the most important component when it comes to dairy as it applies across all the life stages,”​ Mengniu Nutrition and Health GM Ben Wu told us at the Food and Beverage Innovation Forum (FBIF) in Shenzhen, China.

“This is especially pertinent here in China because local diets are very high in carbohydrate content, considering how rice is such an important staple, so local consumers need more protein in their diets to cut down risks of diseases such as diabetes.

“Moving forward we believe that dairy will go beyond dairy, and that RTD protein is going to be the major driver of the category – this is something that is already quite mature overseas with high penetration rates, but not so much in China yet, and this also means that products marketed as protein-rich here also tend to be more expensive on average than in many other markets.”

Wu stressed that the market opportunities in China are at a turning point for locally developed products due to this as well, with the majority of existing protein products being imported at the moment.


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