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Interview with Dairy Expert (Part I): Pathway to Break Through the Current Sluggish Growth of China’s Infant Formula Market

According to Euromonitor data, although infant formula’s market size keeps increasing in China, its growth rate dropped continuously, from 8.88% in 2018 to 4.38% in 2020. Its import performance is not optimistic, either. The import volume of infant formula in 2020 dropped by 3%, the first import decline in the recent years. Under such circumstances, many enterprises are eager to know if there are still opportunities in China’s infant formula market, and what strategies can be taken to revive the sales performance. With these questions, ChemLinked interviewed Mr. Song Liang, a famous dairy expert in China, to share his unique insight on China’s infant formula industry.

Mr. Song Liang is a leading dairy expert in China. He once worked for Ministry of Commerce for 10 years, dedicating himself to the study of dairy and infant formula industry, dairy products’ international trade, China’s new retail, as well as relevant industry policy, regulations and market mechanism. During his work in Ministry of Commerce, he continued to offer thoughts and suggestions to the central government/the prime minister through specific reports and internal reference, among which some were accepted. He is dedicated to writing industry reports, and what he writes each year serve as the internal references of Ministry of Commerce.

In the recent 10 years, Mr. Song Liang has published multiple articles regarding China’s dairy industry. His main ideas are widely accepted by the government and enterprises. Relying on his professional knowledge and insights, he also serves as leader of expert group of China Agricultural Reclamation Dairy Industry Alliance, committee member of Specialization Nutrition Consumption Committee, and strategy consultant in and independent director of multiple listed dairy enterprises.

1. What development stage is China infant formula market currently in? What is the overall sales performance at present?
2. What prominent problems should be solved at present?
3. What are the pathways to break through the current sluggish growth?
4. Which of the following categories do you think that will catch the next growing trend: liquid infant formula, infant formula goat milk powder, infant formula food for special medical purposes, young children milk powder, adult milk powder, milk powder for the seniors?
5. Do you think high-end products will be the straw for infant formula industry?
6. What do you think of the future of China’s infant formula market? What about its industry structure?

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