Under the brand “Nestlé AiSiPei”, the firm has unveiled three new products – including two milk powder, and one oatmeal – aimed at the young children and adolescent nutrition market in late August.
The launch of “Nestlé AiSiPei” is also an upgrade from the previous “Nespray Student Nutrition” portfolio. The upgraded version has added nutrients such as DHA, vitamin C, D, calcium, and zinc into the formula.
Interestingly, the upgraded brand include a milk powder targeted at adolescents up to 15 years old, although liquid milk is the preferred option for teenagers.
In response to queries from NutraIngredients-Asia, Henry He, associate marketing director of the Nestlé Dairy Business Unit, said: “In general, when it comes to the number of student consumers and their frequency of consumption, the market penetration of milk powder is lower than that of liquid milk.
“(However), according to the Nielson report, in the recent two to three years, milk powder targeted at student consumers is growing at double-digits, while the growth of liquid milk is slowing down,” He said.
He pointed out that this particular category was growing faster than expected. As such, many firms are now trying to catch up with the trend by devoting more R&D resources to this area.
“Many big manufacturers, national and overseas enterprises are building up their milk powder business…Many firms are now injecting more R&D resources into making milk powder and nutritional products for students.
In its previous financial report, Chinese firm Mengniu said its milk powder products was the second biggest contributor to its revenue at RMB$6bn (US$893m) – accounting for 8.7% of the total revenue and was slightly than year 2017.
Fellow Chinese dairy giant Yili also highlighted milk powder and milk products contributing greatest growth, with revenue from this segment jumped by 25.1% in its previous financial year.
Lower tier cities
Nestlé China has plans to launch new nutritional products specially catered to consumers from the lower tier cities.
A white paper on the nutrition status of Chinese teenagers has found that teens from the lower tier cities lacked intake in vitamin A, D, zinc, and iron etc.
As such, He said that the firm would develop products aimed at meeting their nutrition needs in the future.
And milk powder seems to be a viable medium in satisfying these needs.
According to He, the growth for milk powder in certain lower tier cities is higher than liquid milk due to logistics issues.
“In some lower tier cities, it is still not very convenient to buy liquid milk or fresh milk, as such, the growth of milk powder is instead higher.
“Milk powder is dried and able to store for long, it is easily prepared and also makes a nutritional breakfast.”