Bright Dairy & Food Co, a local state-backed conglomerate, is hatching a plan to expand its fresh milk business by offering a wider range of products including semi-skimmed pasteurized milk and flavored yogurt drinks.
China’s market for fresh milk and dairy drinks stood at 42.7 billion yuan (US$6.3 billion) last year, 6.1 percent up from the year before. Bright Dairy’s fresh milk had a 40-percent market share, while the combined share of those in the second to fourth position stood at only 20 percent, according to Nielsen data.
Bright Dairy plans to publicize the nutritional benefits of fresh milk and has upgraded production and logistics.
«We’ve been striving to enhance freshness and quality assurance. This year’s launch of a number of new offerings shows our latest progress,» said Bright Dairy chairman Pu Shaohua.
Other new products by Bright Dairy, such as frozen yogurt and premium fresh milk under the Zhi You brand, will reach the market later this year.
«As more players compete for the fresh milk market, we’re dedicated to maintaining our leading position through the quality of our supply,» Pu said.
A wide choice of dairy drinks, both locally-made and imported are available online and finding new retail channels for fresh milk has been Bright’s focus in recent years. The dairy has teamed up with convenience stores and on-demand delivery platforms.
Urbanization was an important factor when expanding into other regions and markets, Pu added.
According to research firm Mintel, last year the pasteurized milk market grew 10.8 percent while the UHT market was up only 3.4 percent.
Loris Li, consumer research director at Mintel China, said that as much as 83 percent of new products in the dairy market had been UHT milk in the past three years, creating huge potential for chilled fresh milk.