There are about 17 million infants in China annually. Assuming that 80% of the infants are breastfed, the rest 20%, namely 3.4 million infants need infant formula. At present, annual production volume of infant formula ranges from 80,000-120,000 tons while annual market demand is about 300,000 tons, and therefore annual demand for infant formula is in a shortage of about 200,000 tons.
1 Overall Infant Formula Market Declines while Demand for High-end Infant Formula Grows.
China’s consumption of milk powder declines slightly on the whole. China’s monthly consumption per capita of milk powder is 0.046 kilograms, declined by 4.2% compared to that of the same period in the last year. Although the total consumption of milk powder declined, the prospect of China’s high-end milk powder and infant formula market is optimistic in domestic and oversea manufacturers.
2 Low Concentration Rate of High-end Infant Formula Market
China’s high-end infant formula market remains weak. There are only 40 Chinese enterprises with licenses to produce infant formula, so the market concentration rate is low. Infant formula accounts for over one-third of the total milk powder market while high-end infant formula accounts for less than one-third of the market.
3 Newly Upgraded Foreign Infant Formula Enjoys Advantages
The ever-growing market brings more fierce competitions to infant formula market. The high-end infant formula market is dominated by foreign brands. To further develop the market, international infant formula brands with R&D advantages lead the trend of upgrading formula.
China imports large quantities of infant milk powder each year due to unstable quality control over domestic milk powder and its high prices.
The output volume of liquid milk continuously increased in China in recent years, from 20.61 million tons in 2011 to 24.98 million tons in 2015, while the annual growth rate had a declining trend.
According to CRI, China’s per capita consumption of dairy products in 2015 was only about one third of the world average level, and there was still room for growth.