10 Aug 2017 --- FrieslandCampina's infant foods brand Friso has announced that it has become one of the first 22 companies to obtain the Infant Nutrition Registration Certificate in China, and one of only five foreign brands to be approved. Friso is the first import brand to receive the certificate from the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA), which approved Friso stage 1, stage 2 and stage 3.
“We are very proud that Friso is among the very first batch of brands and the first import brand to obtain China infant nutrition recipe approval,” says Rahul Colaco, Executive Director of FrieslandCampina Consumer Products China. “With this approval, we will arrange the production and make sure that the new products will be on the shelves as soon as possible.”
“Friso is one of FrieslandCampina’s key brands in China and highly appreciated by Chinese moms, as demonstrated by the strong growth momentum in recent years. We will continue to invest in the Chinese market and R&D in order to develop products more suitable for Chinese babies and further expand our distribution channels so as to make Friso products available to more Chinese families,” Colaco adds.
Registering in China
Since the infant nutrition registration regulation officially took effect on 1 October, 2016, Friso says a Sino-Dutch team has dedicated itself to preparing relevant documents according to the application requirements. These documents were then submitted to the CFDA in March.
Only after specific approval of the recipes by the Chinese authorities can infant nutrition products continue to be sold as from 1 January, 2018. An infant nutrition producer must include a certificate number on its product label.
It has also been agreed with the Chinese authorities that products manufactured and/or sold in China before 1 January, 2018, may be sold until their expiration dates.
Friso in China
Friso points out that it has grown rapidly in China in the last two years. Friso Prestige was introduced late 2015 and Friso Gold updated its formula and packaging in July 2016. Friso, including Friso Gold and Friso Prestige, holds a market share of 9.8 percent, ranking third in the Chinese infant nutrition market. This is according to latest statistics by AC Nielsen, published in June 2017.
The company’s certification comes as the Chinese public continues to have an uneasy relationship with infant milk formula, a relationship that dates back to the 2008 Sanlu group tainted milk scandal in which at least six children died and 300,000 were injured. Authorities said the milk suppliers mixed melamine, which is commonly used to make plastics and fertilizer, into raw milk to artificially pass quality tests for protein. Tourists from the Chinese mainland are also notorious for buying infant formula from Hong Kong, which led to a two-can milk formula limit at the border being imposed in 2013.