Wattle Health hoping to cash in on China goat milk formula boom with CFDA accreditation

By Gary Scattergood

- Last updated on GMT

The firm is applying for two China 'brand slots'.  ©Getty Images
The firm is applying for two China 'brand slots'. ©Getty Images

Related tags Milk

Australian infant nutrition firm Wattle Health hopes to get its goat milk infant formula on the shelves in China by the second half of the year, after securing a 'brand slot' with a licensed manufacturer.

Under China's new infant formula rules, Australian contract manufacturer Blend and Pack can apply for up to three 'brand slots' with the China Food and Drug Authority (CFDA).

Last year, it applied for one slot using Wattle Health's cow milk formula, which received approval for a final review in November.

Under this new proposal, Blend and Pack will apply for a second accreditation for Wattle's goat milk formula. The manufacturer, based near Melbourne, already has CNCA approval to produce goods for the China market, but will require the additional CFDA accreditation for Wattle's specific formula.

Wattle Health said the deal would help the firm differentiate itself from competitors, boost brand awareness, and increase sales in the world's largest national dairy market, China.

Goat milk-based formula currently forms a small percentage of the overall infant formula market, but the company said market share is growing steadily as consumers become more aware of the benefits of goat milk.

At the same time, companies can claim a higher price point for their products as there are fewer competitors in this segment.

Data suggests the China market for goat-based formulas will grow by 43% this year to $1.9bn.

Solid relationship

Wattle Health's executive chairman Lazarus Karasavvidis said securing another brand slot with Blend and Pack was a significant step that would increase its product offering in the largest market for nutritional dairy products.

"The ability to capture additional consumers through our goat offering will increase brand awareness, which will also assist the sales of the conventional cow formulation," ​he added.

"Furthermore, this solidifies the relationship between Wattle Health and one of the largest manufacturers of nutritional dairy products in Australia, Blend and Pack."

Wattle Health isn't the only Australian goat milk firm targeting China success. We have reported on expansion plans from Bubs​ and Nuchev​ in recent months.

Meanwhile, the turn of the year marked a new dawn for infant formula firms in China, with new rules​ finally coming into force 18 months after the proposals were unveiled and sparked regulatory uncertainty, market volatility, and a frantic dash to meet the more stringent regulatory requirements.

The new rules stipulate that every firm — both national and global — are limited to three brands (one for each of three age ranges) and nine formulations.

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