An expanding – and increasingly affluent – middle class is fueling demand for premium products in China, which has the world’s second largest population of children. Organic food is seen as premium, safe, healthy and natural, and the country’s organic market is expected to grow by 16.3% between 2020 and 2025. According to Euromonitor International, one of the main categories driving growth is baby food and formula.
A Lindberg International study also showed in China, 57% of young mothers consider organic a highly important food attribute. Many choose organic formula for infants, but there are opportunities for organic products for older children. The study adds 47% of young women with children say they would consider organic foods as their first choice if they were more readily available.
Arla Foods Ingredients recently added new organic lines to its Nutrilac range of functional protein solutions. It has now launched two new concepts demonstrating how manufacturers can tap into opportunities in China by creating kids’ snacks with a premium positioning.
One example is yogurt in pouches. Arla Foods Ingredients said the squeezable concept demonstrates the benefits of Nutrilac organic milk protein in yogurt snacks. Available in plain and fruit versions, benefits include the potential for a source of protein claim and a source of calcium claim, and stable viscosity during shelf life. With an optimal fermentation profile, it also offers reduced acidic taste to increase appeal to children. Sourced from ingredients found naturally in milk, it also meets the growing demand for clean-label solutions.
Also possible are cheese snacks: By combining Nutrilac organic milk protein with cheese, the snacks – available in plain or sweet – provide children with much of their daily recommended intake of calcium and protein.
Yuanyuan Li, sales manager at Arla Foods Ingredients, said, “Children have a special place in Chinese culture, and the growing number of affluent middle class parents want the very best for them. This is driving demand for snacks that can be trusted as safe and nutritious, and an increasing interest in organic and clean-label options.
“High-quality dairy protein is a perfect match for these needs. Our new recipe concepts demonstrate the potential for health-focused innovation in the Chinese market, and highlight the opportunities to expand product lines with organic and premium options.”