China Focus: Bayer’s nutritional business decline, electrolyte beverages and pre-packaged labelling standards, Evergreen Food’s convenience focus and more

By Hui Ling Dang

- Last updated on GMT

China Focus: Bayer’s nutritional business decline, electrolyte beverages and pre-packaged labelling standards, Evergreen Food’s convenience focus a...

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New standards for electrolyte beverages and labelling of pre-packaged products, Bayer’s declining nutritionals sales, Vietnam looking to increase food trade with China, and Evergreen Food targeting international market with convenience-focused line-up feature in this edition of China Focus.

Stricter and safer: China proposes new pre-packaged labelling standards mandating clearer ingredient and origin information

The Chinese government’s new draft regulations governing the labelling of pre-packaged foods and beverages contain stricter guidelines, including mandating manufacturers to include clearer information on compound ingredients as well as more details on country of origin.

China has emerged as the latest Asian market to embark on a revamp of regulations governing pre-packaged food and beverage labels, after other recent examples including Vietnam​, Philippines​ and Thailand​ – following a trend of regulatory updates that FoodNavigator-Asia​ previously predicted​ would come strongly into play this year.

Bayer FY23 results: Nutritionals sales dragged down by weaker China, SEA demand

Known for its immunity brand Redoxon, energy brand Berroca, and fertility and infant nutrition brand Elevit, Bayer said its nutritionals sales were down 8.4% on a reported basis to €1.43bn (US$1.56bn).

The company said that the decline is ​partly due to “a weaker market environment in China and South East Asia.”

Over the past year, Chinese consumers were said to have tightened their spending​ against the backdrop of slow economic recovery post-COVID.

Electrolytes in the spotlight: China’s food industry association to set industry standards for drinks

China National Food Industry Association (CNFIA) is to set industry standards for electrolyte beverages, including its definition, technical and manufacturing, testing, labelling, and packaging requirements.

There has been a renewed interest in electrolyte beverages across China. These are usually consumed as a sports drink to replenish the loss in electrolytes post-exercise.

In China, they are not just seen as sports drinks, but also consumed after recovering from diarrhoea and fever to replenish electrolytes loss as recommended by the government in its COVID-19 health advisory​.

People potential: Vietnam eyes increased food trade opportunities with China

The government of Vietnam has its eye on increasing food trade across various product categories with China, citing huge population demand for meat as well as ongoing successful fruit and vegetable trade relationships as notable drivers.

Vietnam has had a long history of success in fruit and vegetable exports, with recent government data revealing that this reached a record high of US$5.69bn in 2023, a 69.2% year-on-year increase from the year before.

One of its major trade partners in this sector is China, which imports many such items including sweet potatoes, dragonfruit, lychee, longan, mango, jackfruit, watermelon, banana, rambutan, lychee, passionfruit, and durian.

Going global: China’s Evergreen Food brings ‘complicated’ seafood dishes to international convenience channels

China-based Evergreen Food has developed a portfolio of convenience-focused seafood products in a bid to expedite exports of local seafood dishes that would usually be too complicated to prepare without expertise.

The firm has over three decades of experience in the seafood sector, owning eight of its own aquaculture farms, and working with well-known specialty grilled fish restaurants such as TANYU.

It is now looking to make a name for itself among international consumers by moving from behind-the-scenes partnerships to creating retail seafood products that are ready-to-cook (RTC), ready-to-eat (RTE), or ready-to-heat (RTH).

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