CHINA – Arla Foods Ingredients a multinational cooperative and Zhongbai Xingye Food Technology have signed a distribution agreement for Arla to provide its products to the Chinese food and nutrition markets.

The partnership is aimed to build on Arla and Zhongbai’s long-standing relationship, spanning over 15 years, during which they have significantly grown their presence in the Chinese market

Zhongbai Xingye Food Technology is part of the Brenntag Group, a chemical and ingredients distribution company that acquired the Danish-Swedish multinational cooperative in 2021.

The newly established agreement focuses on three key sectors that include infant nutrition, in which the partnership will be focused on helping manufacturers enhance the nutritional value of formulas and other products for infants and toddlers.

The deal will also unveil the potential for further growth in China’s performance nutrition market, which includes sports nutrition, nutrition for seniors and dietary supplements; and food and beverage.

The collaboration between the two companies includes a jointly financed Innovation & Application Center situated within Zhongbai’s Beijing facility.

The centre, which serves as a hub for creating formulations tailored specifically to the Chinese market, will be expanded to include additional capabilities for creating products tailored to local market needs.

“Demographic changes in China have increased the demand for high-quality products, particularly in the infant nutrition and performance nutrition spaces. This agreement will help us adapt, and make our offering to Chinese markets even stronger,” Luis Cubel, commercial director of Arla Foods Ingredients, said.

“Zhongbai offers a wealth of expertise and local knowledge and it’s been an incredibly productive partnership for both companies. We’re hugely excited about this new opportunity to co-operate even further, and to continue to invest in one of the world’s most important nutrition markets.”

According to Michael Friede, CEO of Brenntag Specialties, the agreement is a deal that builds on some very solid foundations laid by the two companies.

“We have a great working relationship with Arla Foods Ingredients, whose expertise, capacity and understanding of market needs have helped both companies grow in China. There’s still potential for major expansion, particularly in key segments like performance nutrition,” he said.

In 2021, Arla Foods launched yoghurt in pouches and cheese snacks featuring its Nutrilac range of functional protein solutions targeting Chinese children.

The dairy cooperative noted that there was a significant potential for organic snack foods for Chinese children with 57% of young mothers in China considering organic a highly important food attribute.

The company also highlighted that organic food is seen as premium, safe, healthy and natural and further points out that China’s organic market is expected to grow by 16.3% between 2020 and 2025.

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