[SHANGHAI] The rolling green hills and gurgling blonde toddlers in the ads for Yashili International Holdings Ltd underscore how keen China's biggest milk powder producers are to appear global to emerge from the shadow of a fatal baby formula scandal.
The 2008 incident, which involved melamine-tainted milk powder, soured China's US$12.5 billion infant formula market for local firms and helped multinationals with established safety records to nearly double their market share in the past five years. Foreign brands now account for about half of total sales.
Armed with global partners and slick marketing, Chinese firms such as Yashili, Biostime International Holdings and Zhejiang Beingmate Scientific Technology Industry and Trade Co Ltd now want to challenge the dominance of international brands with "100 per cent imported" brand labels and competitive prices.
"We're an international Chinese firm in exactly the same way that Coca-Cola or McDonald's are international US companies," said a Yashili spokesman, adding that the company sources all its raw products from New Zealand.