Chinese Turn To Foreign Brands

The Financial Times reports that China’s is showing almost insatiable demand for baby milk produced abroad. Consumers in the People’s Republic have been increasingly turning to what they feel are safer products for their babies after 2008’s melamine contamination scandal, which left six infants dead and hundreds of thousands ill. Since then more scandals have continued to weaken consumer trust in domestically produced food products, opening up a market of 82 million young children worth some $12.5 bn. Another statistic making foreign milk and formula makers’ mouth water is the fact that just 28% of Chinese mothers breastfeed. Euromonitor has forecast that the value of the market will rise to $25 bn over the next 4 years, effectively doubling, with China accounting for half of worldwide sales. Some local milk powder producers have even tried to market “European-style” formulas in an effort to buck the trend. But it seems that the Chinese government is doing much to help their counterparts from other countries by lowering import tariffs on it from 20% in 2012 to 5% this year. International producers have already spearheaded the market, will Italian companies follow suit?