Consumer buying habits in China, a major market for our products, are very different to 10 years ago, with a significant shift to online buying across nearly all categories.

Our Westland sales team saw first-hand the impact of a move away from retail sales to online buying when they visited China in March to meet with Westpro BioactiveMax Lactoferrin customers and our new national distribution partner for bioactives, Yijia Grain and Oil Food.

A leading pet food company in China confirmed this trend, saying that more than 75% of their sales are now made through online channels, including social media selling as well as through larger online platforms, a marked reversal to 20% in 2009. Due to the slow-down in “bricks and mortar” trade across nearly all categories, supermarkets and malls, even in highly populated urban areas, are relatively quiet.

The change to online shopping is rapid and for us the positive impact of this change is that consumers can be better educated about product benefits and reached quickly and directly with news about new products. There is also greater product diversity across categories as traditional hurdle rates to be ranged in retail channels are no longer a barrier for smaller brands and products.

China remains the largest market for products containing Lactoferrin as it is increasingly added to new infant and toddler nutrition formulations to enhance their nutritional benefits. The quality of ingredients used by infant formula manufacturers must be exceptional as these products sometimes provide the only source of nutrition to newborn infants and Westpro BioactiveMax Lactoferrin continues to hold a reputation of being of the highest quality – a reputation we are proud of and know is well deserved.

Our sales team continues to promote our products on the world stage and is attending Vitafoods in Geneva, May 14-16. If you are attending and would like to catch up, please get in touch with Nicola Covich or Susan Coveney.

Yijia Grain and Oil Food Limited have been appointed as the Distribution partner in China of Westpro BioactiveMax products. Hamish Yates, GM Sales & Marketing for Westland Milk with Mr Zeqing Mi, General Manager Yijia Grain & Oil Food Limited.

The Westpro and Yijia teams held a signing ceremony in Beijing in March.

Infant formula on sale in a specialist Mother & Baby store in Shanghai.