China Focus: Local dairy growth, plant-based fried chicken, agri-food sector revolution and more feature in our round-up

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China Focus: Local dairy growth, plant-based fried chicken, agri-food sector revolution and more feature in this edition of China Focus. ©Getty Images
China Focus: Local dairy growth, plant-based fried chicken, agri-food sector revolution and more feature in this edition of China Focus. ©Getty Images

Related tags: China

Local dairy growth, plant-based fried chicken, agri-food sector revolution and more feature in this edition of China Focus.

China dairy growth: Rising consumer income and increased functional product innovation yields large leap

China’s dairy industry witnessed a large growth in per capita consumption in 2021, backed by rising consumer incomes and firms responding to current trends with the development of functional products.

According to data from the Dairy Association of China (DAC), 2021 saw the per capita consumption of milk in China rise to 14.4kg, a significant increase of 10.6% from the previous year.

“One of the contributing factors to this has been the recovery and rise of consumer income, allowing for a corresponding increase in demand for [quality] products such as dairy,”​ the association said via a formal statement.

Clucking good: Shanghai plant-based ‘fried chicken’ firm Haofood reveals exclusive expansion plans

Shanghai plant-based firm Haofood has exclusively revealed its ambitious expansion spans, both at home and abroad, after receiving a major funding boost from investors.

CEO Astrid Prajogo outlined plans to achieve a 4,000% to 6,000% growth through advancing its R&D infrastructure, diversifying sales channels and expanding to other regions.

“I feel extremely grateful and honoured. This funding can empower us to accelerate our business.

“When I was about to build Haofood, I intended to do good. I thought… How can I secure a good future for my daughter? She’s 20 now. What kind of life and environment do we want to pass on to them? This makes me think time and again. What I do will come back to me,” ​said Astrid.

Tech revolution: Intense Chinese uptake of digitalisation, robotics propelling food, ag sector

The rapid adoption of digitalisation and robotics is making serious waves to amplify China’s status in the food and agtech sectors, claims a leading regional investment expert.

For example, China is now heavily dependent on drones to monitor and even conduct plant operations, such as spraying fertilisers and pesticides, said industry expert Isabelle Decitre.

“The most popular and trending in China is the use of drones. It has become commercial equipment for agriculture,”​ said Decitre, the CEO of ID Capital.

Dairy intake of up to 100g daily associated with lower fracture risk in Chinese adults – review

Consuming up to 100g of dairy daily can help prevent the incidence of fractures among Chinese adults, according to a new review.

The review titled Association between Dairy Product Intake and Risk of Fracture among Adults: A Cohort Study from China Health and Nutrition Survey​ was published in the journal Nutrients​.

“Dairy product intake is much lower in China than in America and European countries and is below the recommendation of the Chinese Dietary Guideline in 2016 for adults (300g daily), which causes an insufficient intake of multiple nutrients, such as calcium and protein.

“Based on different intake statuses of nutrients, such as calcium and protein, between populations in China and other countries, we hypothesised that the effect of dairy products on bone health in China may be very different from that in countries,"​ said the researchers.

Colour-coded plant-based yoghurt: China’s Jooma launches new coconut range and packaging designs

Chinese plant-based yoghurt firm Jooma has launched a new coconut yoghurt range and revamped its almond yoghurt recipe, in addition to colour-coding its various products to enhance its consumer appeal in the market.

When we spoke with Jooma last year, the firm had just launched its first plant-based almond yoghurt range, but its market research has since uncovered that almond is what has been described as a ‘polarising’ flavour in the market.

“By polarising, it basically means that there are consumers who absolutely love the almond yoghurt and the strong almond taste because we don’t use almond milk but instead a whole handful of actual almonds – but also that there are consumers who don’t like the almond taste and smell at all,”​ Jooma’s parent company NOIX AG’s Founder and CEO Dr Stefan Schmale told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

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