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Growing internationally and without copying

It’s been a powdery week in dairy, as Fonterra upgrades and reopens its dairy powder plant in Malaysia, and Mintel is predicting growth in the infant nutrition market in China. As consumers there reach out for trusted brands, international companies are seeing improvements in their bottom lines from the smallest consumers. Domestic companies are also seeing growth in these nations.

The growth in infant nutrition has been a trend for awhile, that was only slowed by the scandals of the previous decade. Health and safety standards have moved to the top of the list, as well as food safety and security.

As populations continue to grow, it is likely that we’ll continue to see impressive expansion of these markets. What had taken Western Europe decades will be done in emerging economies within the space of several years, I suspect. New technologies and consumers with more access to other markets will make it all possible.

Meanwhile, the trick is to keep abreast of both the internet hackers and the counterfeiters. It seems someone is always working to make money through criminal enterprises, and just because the end consumer is an infant, it makes no difference to them. The attacks can come from anywhere on the globe, and national borders are no protection for this.

Companies realise this. Fonterra has been busy developing cans that have anti-counterfeiting properties embedded in them, and other packaging companies are also working on helping brands protect their trusted products, from supply point to end user. It is an ongoing challenge for these companies, and it is also a growth area that shows no sign of slowing down.

It does go to show that dairy, while being one of the oldest businesses on the planet, has to move with the times, in order to provide safe products for all.

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