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Infant Milk Formula - China - March 2017

“Premium IMF products will become the focus of leading companies who complete the registration of formulas. Adapting to the evolving distribution channels will be one of the key business growth drivers. Brands should find the right way to communicate with mums, probe into their needs in real life, and provide them with solid proof of the advantages of products.”
– Cheryl Ni, Research Analyst, Food & Drink

This Report discusses the following key topics:

  • Respond to the rising breastfeeding trend by targeting pregnant/lactating mums 
  • How can brands appeal to inexperienced mums? 
  • Leverage the impact of milk source

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Products covered in this Report
        • Definitions
          • Figure 1: Mintel’s definition of different income groups, China
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Price war in 2016 had negative influence on market value
              • Figure 2: Best- and worst-case value sales forecast of IMF market volume, China, 2011-21
              • Figure 3: Best- and worst-case value sales forecast of IMF market value, China, 2011-21
            • The Netherlands and Ireland take up 51% of the imported market
              • Second child policy will drive new births, but moderately
                • High-end and niche products have great potential
                  • Key players
                    • Reshuffle of the industry results in a more concentrated market
                        • Figure 4: Leading companies’ value share in IMF market, China, 2015-16
                      • Some local brands are actively taking share
                        • Specialised mother and baby care stores as major channel
                          • Dads are actively taking part in raising babies
                            • Live stream may help increase brands’ credibility
                              • The consumer
                                • IMF is an important supplement even during breastfeeding
                                  • Figure 5: Frequency of using breast milk/IMF, by year, China, 2014 vs 2016
                                • Breastfeeding may not last long
                                  • Figure 6: Frequency of using breast milk/IMF, by age of child, China, December 2016
                                • Having a second child will influence mums’ brand selection
                                  • Figure 7: Penetration of IMF brands, China, December 2016
                                • Organic is widely embraced, no longer a “niche” idea
                                  • Figure 8: Consumption of niche products, China, December 2016
                                • Brands need to develop new claims to promote goat IMF
                                  • Tangible benefits help expand user group
                                    • Figure 9: Triggers for using niche products, by product, China, December 2016
                                  • Building a supportive image to target temporary breastfeeding mums
                                    • Figure 10: Attitudes towards breast milk, China, December 2016
                                  • China’s milk source is gradually gaining its reputation back
                                    • Figure 11: Perception of countries of milk source, by country, China, December 2016
                                  • What we think
                                  • Issues and Insights

                                    • Respond to the rising breastfeeding trend by targeting pregnant/lactating mums
                                      • The facts
                                        • The implications
                                            • Figure 12: Niche products for pregnant and breastfeeding female, China, Vietnam and Indonesia, 2016-17
                                            • Figure 13: Products with low/reduced fat claim, China, 2015-16
                                            • Figure 14: Product claiming to “Leave mum beautiful”, Vietnam, 2016
                                          • How can brands appeal to inexperienced mums?
                                            • The facts
                                              • The implications
                                                • Leverage the impact of milk source
                                                  • The facts
                                                    • The implications
                                                    • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                                      • Slight decline in 2016 because of price war
                                                        • Premium lines as major players’ priority
                                                          • Second child policy and breastfeeding trend affecting the market
                                                          • Market Size and Forecast

                                                            • Price war in 2016 had negative influence on market value
                                                              • Figure 15: Total retail market value and volume of IMF, China, 2011-16
                                                              • Figure 16: Best- and worst-case value sales forecast of IMF market volume, China, 2011-21
                                                            • Premium lines will gain momentum after 2018
                                                              • Figure 17: Best- and worst-case value sales forecast of IMF market value, China, 2011-21
                                                            • The Netherlands and Ireland take up 51% of the imported market
                                                              • Figure 18: Leading countries’ volume share of imported IMF in China, 2016
                                                              • Figure 19: Product imported from Denmark, China, 2016
                                                          • Market Factors

                                                            • Second child policy will drive new births, but moderately
                                                              • Figure 20: New births in China, 2005-16
                                                              • Figure 21: Fertility rate of first and second birth, by age, China, 2005 and 2015
                                                              • Figure 22: Population of women of child bearing age
                                                            • Backing up products with solid proof to survive strict regulations
                                                              • Growing breastfeeding trend may reduce market volume in the long run
                                                                • Figure 23: Breastfeeding trends, by child’s age, China, 2014 vs 2016
                                                              • High-end and niche products have great potential
                                                                • Goat IMF
                                                                  • Figure 24: Proportion of newly launched goat IMF products containing goat’s whey protein, China and Australia, 2016
                                                                • Liquid IMF
                                                                  • Figure 25: New launches of IMF products, by format, China, UK and USA, 2016
                                                                  • Figure 26: Liquid IMF sold with accessories, Hong Kong and UK, 2016
                                                              • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                                                • Reshuffle of the industry leading to concentrated market
                                                                  • Local brands reversing negative image from years-ago scandal
                                                                    • Specialised mother and baby care stores as major channel
                                                                    • Market Share

                                                                      • More concentrated market ahead after industry reshuffle
                                                                        • Figure 27: Leading companies’ value share in IMF market, China, 2015-16
                                                                      • Leading companies gained share moderately
                                                                        • Some local brands are gradually earning consumers’ confidence back
                                                                          • IMF brands look for opportunity in adult health business
                                                                            • More players jump in
                                                                            • Competitive Strategies

                                                                              • Overthrow of channels demands brands’ change of strategy
                                                                                • International brands should pay more attention to lower tier market
                                                                                  • Dads are actively taking part in raising babies
                                                                                    • Comply with the breastfeeding trend
                                                                                      • Figure 28: Products claim to be designed for combination feeding, UK and Vietnam, 2016-17
                                                                                  • Who’s Innovating?

                                                                                    • The clean label trend is spotted in IMF as in other food categories
                                                                                      • Figure 29: Select claims of IMF products, China, 2015-16
                                                                                    • Convenient variants serve as point of attraction
                                                                                      • Figure 30: Proportion of products with convenience claim, china, UK, Germany and Malaysia, 2016
                                                                                      • Figure 31: Products retail in small package, China and Japan, 2016
                                                                                    • Flavoured formula powder for mums
                                                                                      • Figure 32: Flavoured formula milk developed for pregnant and breastfeeding women, Indonesia, Vietnam and Philippines, 2016
                                                                                    • Live stream may help increase brands’ credibility
                                                                                    • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                      • IMF balancing life after six months of breastfeeding
                                                                                        • Having a second child will influence mums’ brand selection
                                                                                          • Niche products seeing expansion, but in need of tangible benefits
                                                                                            • IMF as supplement to breast milk
                                                                                              • Solid proof needed for backing up milk sources
                                                                                              • Usage Frequency

                                                                                                • IMF is an important supplement even during breastfeeding
                                                                                                  • Figure 33: Frequency of using breast milk/IMF, by year, China, 2014 vs 2016
                                                                                                  • Figure 34: Frequency of using IMF, China, by mums who breastfeed at different frequency level, December 2016
                                                                                                • Breastfeeding may not last long
                                                                                                  • Figure 35: Frequency of using breast milk/IMF, by age of child, China, December 2016
                                                                                                  • Figure 36: Frequency of using breast milk/IMF, by tier and age of child, China, December 2016
                                                                                              • Brand Penetration

                                                                                                • Nestlé is winning thanks to Wyeth and Illuma
                                                                                                  • Figure 37: Penetration of IMF brands, China, December 2016
                                                                                                • Having a second child will influence mums’ brand selection
                                                                                                  • Figure 38: Penetration of IMF brands, by number of children, China, December 2016
                                                                                                • Foreign and local brands are embraced by different regions
                                                                                                  • Figure 39: Penetration of select brands, by city, China, December 2016
                                                                                              • Consumption of Niche Products

                                                                                                • Organic is widely embraced, no longer a “niche” idea
                                                                                                  • Figure 40: Consumption of niche products, China, December 2016
                                                                                                • Brands need to develop new claims to promote goat IMF
                                                                                                  • Figure 41: Consumption of niche products, by monthly household income and age of youngest child, China, December 2016
                                                                                                • Promoting products involving new tech requires more education
                                                                                                • Triggers for Using Niche Products

                                                                                                  • Tangible benefits help expand user group
                                                                                                    • Figure 42: Triggers for using niche products, by product, China, December 2016
                                                                                                  • Low pricing strategy won’t work on young mums when going niche
                                                                                                    • Figure 43: Triggers for using niche products, by product and age, China, December 2016
                                                                                                • Attitudes towards Breast Milk

                                                                                                  • Building a supportive image helps attract temporary breastfeeding mums
                                                                                                    • Figure 44: Attitudes towards breast milk, China, December 2016
                                                                                                  • IMF can be positioned as supplement to breast milk
                                                                                                    • Figure 45: Attitudes towards breast milk, China, December 2016
                                                                                                    • Figure 46: Attitudes towards breast milk, by age, China, December 2016
                                                                                                  • Polarised attitudes among tier one cities
                                                                                                  • Perception of Countries of Milk Source

                                                                                                    • China’s milk source is gradually gaining its reputation back
                                                                                                      • Figure 47: Perception of countries of milk source, by country, China, December 2016
                                                                                                      • Figure 48: The “fresh” claim on Feihe’s official website, China, 2017
                                                                                                    • Young mums expect solid proof of product benefits
                                                                                                      • Diverse opinion among tier one consumers
                                                                                                        • Economic conditions and educational level make a difference
                                                                                                          • Figure 49: Perception of China as milk source, by monthly household income, China, December 2016
                                                                                                        • Milk source does have a say in brand selection
                                                                                                          • Figure 50: Perception of China as milk source, by brand consumption, China, December 2016
                                                                                                      • Meet the Mintropolitans

                                                                                                        • Organic and goat IMF are more welcomed by MinTs
                                                                                                          • Figure 51: Consumption of niche products, China, December 2016
                                                                                                        • MinTs embraces IMF as a complement to breastmilk
                                                                                                          • Figure 52: Attitudes towards breast milk, China, December 2016
                                                                                                        • MinTs have critical thinking regarding milk sources
                                                                                                          • Figure 53: Select perception of milk source, by country and consumer classification, China, December 2016
                                                                                                      • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                          • Figure 54: Value sales of China’s IMF market, 2011-21
                                                                                                          • Figure 55: Volume sales of China’s IMF market, 2011-21
                                                                                                      • Appendix – Methodology, Definition, and Abbreviations

                                                                                                        • Methodology
                                                                                                          • Fan chart forecast
                                                                                                            • Abbreviations

                                                                                                            Companies Covered

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                                                                                                            Infant Milk Formula - China - March 2017

                                                                                                            US $3,990.00 (Excl.Tax)