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Nestlé introduces baby formula to rival a2 Milk Company

NAN NestleNestlé is launching the new NAN A2 brand in Coles and online in Australia this week, with plans to sell its S-26 A2 brand in New Zealand from November at several Countdown stores and online.

This latest move comes after it launched the Illuma A2 formula brand in China in February. The New Zealand and China formula products are Wyeth Nutrition brands, while the Australian product is labelled Nestlé Nutrition.

“With more than 150 years of experience in infant feeding, we have always been committed to continuously innovate our science-based products and to serve the needs of our consumers. When babies are born, their digestive, immune and metabolic systems are still immature. Breast milk is the best food for babies, as it suits perfectly their physiological and nutritional needs,” a spokesperson for Nestlé told Inside FMCG.

“Our A2 products contain a special protein – A2 beta-casein – a protein that may be similarly digested to breast milk beta-casein. A2 is the original form of the beta-casein protein from when cows were domesticated thousands of years ago, and while today the majority of cow’s milk contains both A1 β-casein and A2 β-casein protein, the milk of selected cows contains A2 only.”

Nestlé sources its milk from different locations globally and selects cows that only produce milk with A2 protein. 

“Illuma is one of the super-premium infant formula brands of Nestlé under the Wyeth Nutrition umbrella. The product enriches the already comprehensive and diverse choice Nestlé offers and has received very positive market feedback so far,” said Nestlé.

“We are going to win [market share] on the strength of the brand. It comes down to the power of the brand. In this case it happens to be the A2 offering, but its still about the brand. The A2 beta-casein protein is the original form of protein before cows were domesticated thousands of years ago. And now cows have both the A1 and A2 proteins. So we are going back to the original manuscript,” Tarun Malkani, Nestle’s global business head for Wyeth Nutrition, told The Australian Financial Review.

“But at the end of the day we have to make sure consumers have a choice. This is a viable lead in the market and consumers have asked for it, so we have a responsibility to give them an option along with the other options in our portfolio.”

Malkani is exploring the entry of A2 product in the US and other countries. He added that the company is awaiting more detailed news from China on the new e-commerce law that is set to come into effect on January 1, 2019.

In August, the Chinese Government has passed a new law providing the framework to e-commerce trade covering operators, contracts, dispute resolution and promotion for domestic and cross-border transactions. It covers e-commerce giants like Alibaba’s Taobao and social networks like WeChat.

“Certainly China is very important to us,” Malkani said to The Australian Financial Review“We recognise the government wants to ensure their growing e-commerce channels are operating appropriately. We don’t have any specific details now of this law, I don’t believe anyone does. But we appreciate the importance of it and we will monitor it closely.”

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