Danone China’s Aptamil range banks on new HMO, A2 formulas for further success
The two products are Aptamil Essensis and Aptamil Essensis Toddler organic A2 protein milk. Together, they form the Aptamil Essensis 3 series.
The former is said to be rich in HMO 2’-FL and 3’-GL, as well as containing more than 100 galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) and fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) structures to help distribute HMOs in a multi-dimensional way in the body.
HMOs is in the spotlight for its role in developing the infant gut microbiota.
On the other hand, the organic A2 protein milk is said to be the first-of-its-kind that the firm has introduced in China.
Both products are sold via cross-border e-commerce on Tmall Global and JD.
The company told NutraIngredients-Asia that the products were targeted at parents who were looking for products embedded with the most advanced scientific insights.
“Aptamil Essensis 3 is a new attempt for Danone Nutricia in the super premium infant formula market,” Bruno Chevot, SVP, Greater China & Oceania at Danone Early Life Nutrition said.
“We noticed that the consumers’ understanding of early life nutrition is increasing, their demand for high quality products have driven the upgrades in infant formulas,” he said, adding that the firm hoped to promote ‘Healthy China 2030’ through its products.
China is Danone’s second largest market. Within the Aptamil portfolio, Aptamil Profutura launched three years ago has now become the most popular product.
To offer a new consumer experience, Danone China has also come out with the ‘Miracle Mothers’ club, where consumers can be connected with Danone for advice on infant nutrition and parenting tools.
Chevot believes that providing customised advice will offer a better customer experience.
“Through our analysis of the super-premium infant formula market, we realised that these consumers also have a higher expectation on our services, such as the customised service and brand value which are beyond the product itself.
“We hope to drive consumption upgrade across infant formula innovation, product, and consumer experience,” he said.
Key research areas
Danone China has identified human milk analysis, gut and microbiome studies around immunity improvement as its research priorities.
One of the firm’s clinical trials in China is the ‘Dragon study’, which aims to obtain evidence on Chinese infants’ tolerance of innovative nutritional formulas.
These innovative formulas contain pre, probiotic combinations, and partially hydrolysed protein.
The study will also examine the formulas’ ability in developing the infants’ immune systems through the establishment of an appropriate immune response.
Another one is the MURU (breastmilk) study, which will analyse the breast milk composition and distribution of human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) in Chinese mothers, as well as the role of their diets.
Divided into phases, the initial phase of the study focused on the dietary intake of the lactating mothers.
Conducted by Li and et al, the trial found that over 70% of them had failed to meet the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) for micronutrients such as calcium.
There was also insufficient vitamin A, C, thiamin, and dietary fibre intakes reported in the study.
Source: Asia Pac Journal of Clinical Nutrition
The dietary intake of two groups of lactating women in Shanghai during the puerperium
Authors: Dr Jing Li, et al