Blackmores makes first foray into Singapore's crowded infant formula market

By Cheryl Tay contact

- Last updated on GMT

Blackmores' Stage 3 Toddler Milk Drink is for children aged 12 months and above.
Blackmores' Stage 3 Toddler Milk Drink is for children aged 12 months and above.
Australian supplement firm Blackmores has entered Singapore's increasingly competitive infant formula market, albeit with a more cautious approach in light of recently enforced government regulations.

It has launched its Stage 3 Toddler Milk Drink, meant for children aged 12 months and above. The product retails at FairPrice outlets at $41 for a 900g tin, and is also available in certain web stores.

Blackmores is marketing the product as a gluten-free supplementary food for toddlers that contains iodine for cognitive function, zinc, iron and vitamins A, C and D to boost the immune system, and calcium for healthy bone development.

It is also said to contain proteins from fresh cow's milk sourced from Australian farms.

However, the other two products in the company's infant nutrition range, Stage 1 Newborn Formula and Stage 2 Follow-on Formula, are still available only in Australia.

Jason Low, country manager of Blackmores Singapore, told NutaIngredients-Asia​,"Based on Euromonitor's data, milk for toddlers occupies 84.6% of the total infant nutrition market share (as of 2015), which is why we decided to launch Stage 3 first."

Blackmores' Nutrition Foods GM Tim Scotcher added: "There is high demand from Singapore consumers for high-quality infant formula products from Australia to support their children's well-being as they grow.

"Our Stage 3 product was readily compliant with Singapore regulations, so it made sense to launch it first and give mothers in Singapore access to one of Blackmores' infant nutrition products; we will follow with Stages 1 and 2."

As for when the other two products will be launched in Singapore, Low said Blackmores does not "have a concrete timeline as of yet"​.

What about the rest of APAC?

This development comes not long after the scrapping of a joint venture​ between Blackmores and Bega Cheese to supply infant formula across APAC, with a focus on China.

Scotcher said the formula the company had planned to launch in China "is not exactly the same (as the product launched in Singapore) as different countries require different products to meet consumer needs and to ensure regulatory compliance"​.

With regards to the latest developments in China, as well as Blackmores' plans for its infant nutrition range in the rest of the APAC region, he said the company aims to use its "growing presence in this channel"​ to help mothers globally gain "access to high-quality infant nutrition products"​.

However, he declined to name specific countries, merely saying that apart from Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and China, "we are currently exploring distribution in other Asian markets in which we operate".

The launch comes after the Singapore government clampdown on infant formula marketing​ in Singapore, whereby a taskforce​ was set up to counter increasing prices after parents voiced concerns over the issue.

Several manufacturers have since responded, introducing more affordable infant formula products in the country.

This includes local company AE Solutions, which launched its infant formula brand, Einmilk, shortly after the taskforce as formed.

Singaporean supermarket chain FairPrice​ also recently released a range of infant formula products made with ingredients from Australian dairy farms.

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