FrieslandCampina launches organic milk formula with smart packaging for traceability
Hong Kong has been chosen as the first market for the launch before it is released globally
05 Aug 2020 --- Consumer demand for organic products is rising and responding to this FrieslandCampina is launching an “ultra-premium” organic milk formula, dubbed Organic Friso Prestige Bio. The first market to welcome the launch is Hong Kong, via the company’s namesake subsidiary, before a global rollout. The launch comes as the infant formula space is heating up with vegan and cell-cultured formulas coming to the fore, to boast a sustainable approach to infant nutrition. However, FrieslandCampina maintains its position as a prolific Dutch dairy cooperative, while focusing on ensuring sustainability via its organic offerings.
“Organic solutions are crucial, but it is never easy to develop organic products and meet the stringent requirements of our grass-to-glass process. Massive efforts have been contributed to ensure that our dairy farms and production plants are organically certified,” says Berndt Kodden, President at FrieslandCampina Specialised Nutrition.
The company says that by harnessing the organic first layer of milk, freshly collected from liquid organic whole milk sourced from Dutch farms, Organic Friso Prestige Bio offers stand-out nutritional value. This is as it closely resembles original milk nutritionally. Moreover, it contains natural nutrients, such as sn-2 palmitate, phospholipids, medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA) and short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), in their natural structures, to help better support digestion, as well as support a child’s overall development.
In recent years, the demand for organic products has been gaining popularity as consumers increasingly consider the health and environmental consequences of their food choices. Of all the food categories, the Baby & Toddler category has shown the strongest growth (18 percent) in organic product launches over the past year, according to Innova Market Insights.
“Hong Kong was selected as the first market to launch, as the company says it is a key market for the milk formula industry in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region,” Jan-Willem ter Avest, Director of Media Relations & Spokesperson at FrieslandCampina, tells NutritionInsight.
Moreover, ter Avest says the product has no added sucrose or vanilla flavoring, which gives it not only a more natural and light taste, but also helps reduce sweet tooth tendency.
At FrieslandCampina’s organic farms, cows are fed with 100 percent organic feed. Any preventive use of antibiotics, hormones, mineral nitrogen fertilizers or growth enhancers is strictly prohibited. On top of adhering to the EU’s organic certification standards, all these organic farms choose to comply with the Aanvullende Normen. These are additional stringent requirements initiated by Dutch organic farmers to guarantee high standards for ecological dairy farming with a focus on animal welfare, use of medicines, outdoor grazing and biodiversity.
“With Aanvullende Normen, a minimum 5 percent of land must be in its natural state, meaning that 5 percent of the land use must be under nature conservation. This has contributed to a healthy ecosystem with rich biodiversity at FrieslandCampina’s organic dairy farms, enabling it to achieve around 50 varieties of living things,” says Dr. Marchel Gorselink, Director Development FrieslandCampina Specialised Nutrition.
According to Dr. Gorselink, Organic Friso Prestige Bio is crafted from the natural richness of organic farms which are full of diversity and life. For example, dandelions, a common plant on Dutch protein-rich grasslands, supply dairy cows with calcium which is important for milk production.
The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has flagged that consumers need access to timely, clear and reliable information to make good food choices with the rising complexity of food safety. The company says that in Hong Kong and mainland China, milk formula is fast topping the list of baby-related products that parents are most concerned about, especially in light of previous infant formula ambiguity.
This has made the need for traceability very important and to tackle this need FrieslandCampina has created on-pack traceability features. “To strengthen parents’ trust and empower them in making more informed milk formula purchasing decisions, TrackEasy# has been launched as an industry-first smart packaging innovation,” explains Kodden.
TrackEasy# enables consumers to access and trace the fully controlled Dutch supply chain process. By scanning a QR code specific to each batch of milk formula tins – including the newly launched organic milk product range – consumers can trace every step in the process: from milk collection in FrieslandCampina's own farms in the Netherlands, through packaging, final quality checks, export permissions and all the way to the date of arrival, thus giving consumers peace of mind.
Helena He, Managing Director of FrieslandCampina in Hong Kong says, “As well as putting extra emphasis on the scientific benefits of our products in maintaining a good immune system, we also focus on our innovative TrackEasy# to address consumers’ concerns on food safety and traceability.”
In 2020, the average number of monthly TrackEasy# scans nearly doubled as compared to last year. Despite the quick and easy access to information on the system, consumers are spending more time on each page with a 0 percent bounce rate, showing their intentions to look for solid evidence to ensure the safety and quality along FrieslandCampina’s “from grass to glass” production process, she explains.
The pandemic’s effect
The COVID-19 outbreak has changed not only the way consumers select the products, but also how they shop, notes He. “In view of the changing consumer behaviors during the pandemic, we have been swift in gearing up and expanding our marketing initiatives to reach our target consumers and stakeholders through online, social media and e-commerce channels,” she notes.
In the future, the company seeks to continue to create more local contents and organise more marketing activities to promote the e-stores of Organic Friso Prestige Bio and TrackEasy#, which empowers parents in making more informed decisions when purchasing milk formula.
Previously FrieslandCampina spoke to NutritionInsight in an exclusive interview on its latest infant formula ingredient, launching in September.
By Kristiana Lalou
This feature is provided by NutritionInsight’s sister website, PackagingInsights.
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