Although suffering a current value decline from 2014, other milk alternatives registered slow recovery in 2018, mainly thanks to multiple launches by various leading players to adapt to the growing demand for premium products featuring innovative flavours and fashionable packaging. For instance, Hebei Yangyuan Zhihui Beverage introduced a new walnut milk series made by CET cold brewed technique in 2018, which used the walnut seed and peel to strengthen the nutritional value.
Noting the high lactose intolerance rate in China, to better satisfy the need of Chinese consumers Fujian Dali Food launched a premium soy milk brand, Dou Ben Dou, in April 2017, initiating a strong wave of premium soy milk across China. Following Dali, other local packaged food giants, including Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group, also successively entered soy milk by introducing premium-positioned brands in late 2017 and early 2018.
Fresh milk, benefiting from its fresh and accordingly premium positioning, continued to register strong growth in 2018, and noticeably outpaced shelf stable milk. Fuelled by consumers’ pursuit of fresh and nutritious drinking milk products, fresh milk experienced rapid growth and growing popularity across the country.
Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group continued to lead drinking milk products in 2018, primarily owing to the strong growth of its premium shelf stable milk brand Satine. Responding to the stronger demand for premium dairy products with guaranteed quality, as well as the gifting tradition in China, Satine managed to impress consumers with its high-end positioning and exquisite gift wrapping, and was accordingly considered amongst the most popular gift options in dairy in China.
Thanks to its strength in fresh milk, New Hope Dairy directly benefited from the strong performance of fresh milk over the review period, witnessing strong growth in its entire range of drinking milk products in 2018. On the one hand, by consistently acquiring various regional dairy players across the country, New Hope managed to widen the distribution of its fresh milk, and accordingly strengthened its awareness and reputation in the Chinese market.
Hebei Yangyuan Zhihui Beverage, despite seeing serious value declines in 2016 and 2017, witnessed strong growth in 2018, primarily thanks to the upgrading of its product portfolio, with the launch of more premium and fashionable products targeting the younger generation, along with the renewal of the company’s branding strategy. To better impress consumers with its new products, Yangyuan invited Wang Yuan, one of the most popular teenage idols in China, to be its brand ambassador, which enabled the brand to completely refresh its image with a trendy young positioning.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Packaged Food market research database.