During the most recent Sino-Dutch economic and trade talks, Hein Schumacher, CEO of FrieslandCampina, who took office this January, as a member of the Dutch business delegation, accompanied Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte to visit China and had a friendly meeting with Chinese media.
Schumacher said FrieslandCampina has been consistently optimistic about the development of the Chinese market. The company will increase investment in China, expand its product line, and introduce more high-quality Dutch dairy products to meet the demand of Chinese consumers, he stated.
Schumacher stressed that Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged to expand the country’s opening-up and promote global prosperity through specific measures unveiled at the annual Boao Forum for Asia. Royal FrieslandCampina, as the largest dairy company in the Netherlands, will be committed to promoting multilateral trade and globalization, and further speed up the pace of development in the Chinese market. In 2018, the dairy company will invest 100 million euros in China for its existing plants, brands, as well as expansion and upgrading of distribution.
In response to the new infant formula registration policy, further expanding to Blue Sea markets in fourth- and fifth-tier cities is an important market strategy for FrieslandCampina in 2018. Rahul Colaco, president of FrieslandCampina China, pointed out that FrieslandCampina began its business operation in China just a decade ago. Initially focusing on 40 first-tier cities, it has since expanded to 120 cities and plans to reach 180 cities in 2018. With the average increased income among Chinese, there is great potential in third- and fourth-tier cities, and 50 percent of future growth will come from third- to sixth-tier cities. FrieslandCampina is currently in talks with offline partners and e-commerce platforms develop new service models to reach consumers in small- and medium-sized cities.
FrieslandCampina has made great achievements amidst the steady development of the global dairy sector. In 2017 the company’s operating revenue rose by 10.1 percent to 12.1 billion euros. Global sales of the Friso brand exceeded 1 billion euros. Friso ranked first in terms of China sales in 2017, according to data from consulting firm AC Nielsen. Friso’s sales in China were nearly 30,000 tons in 2017 and are expected to exceed 30,000 tons in 2018.
As for the future, FrieslandCampina remains confident in the Chinese dairy market where competition is increasingly fierce. Schumacher said, “There are still more than 1,000 infant formula brands in the Chinese market now. It remains the most competitive market. I want to reiterate that our work focuses on showing consumers our quality is consistent, and our products are continuously upgraded so as to realize organic growth and development. We will do it step by step, one city after another, to gain the market.”
Royal FrieslandCampina is one of the five largest dairy companies in the world and the largest dairy company in the Netherlands. Established in 1871, it is the only dairy company that has been awarded the Royal title. Every day FrieslandCampina provides dairy products with valuable nutrients to more than 1 billion consumers all over the world. It now owns more than 10,000 farms and cooperates with 20,000 member dairy farmers in Europe, and its products are available in more than 100 countries and regions worldwide. In China, its Friso IFT products, which are wholly imported from the Netherlands, and Dutch Lady IFT products, which are locally produced, are well received by consumers. Also, it provides raw dairy to large and medium-sized enterprises in China, as well as operates and sells Black & White evaporated milk, Black & White pure milk, cheese, butter and other products.