Thursday, December 13, 2012

NORMAL, but seriously threatened

Infant formula continues to intrude on and disturb my state of equilibrium. It’s the news that China’s hell-bent embrace of Western habits and products now includes an almost unqualified embrace of infant formula. Euromonitor states that China “continues to hold the fate of global baby milk formula in its hands.” The market is predicted to expand to $25 billion by 2017, driven by working women in China and their reluctance to breastfeed.

Having tried with no success (so far) to interest several Chinese entities in the promotion of “healthy parents, healthy baby” (which of course includes the promotion of breastfeeding), through well-established online and retail channels, I know I’m up against it. China has a population of 1 billion, so that means an awful lot of babies and the commercial returns for companies selling infant formula are potentially massive, especially for those providing a clean, green product. Infant formula companies floating on Asian stock exchanges are giving shareholders unheard of returns, takeovers in the infant formula arena are also generating eye-popping figures.

What to do? Just hope that in the helter-skelter embrace of infant formula that will be accompanied by compromises in physical, mental and emotional development, there remain enlightened, committed, attached, nurturing and nursing Asian mothers. I know they’re out their somewhere, may their numbers grow and may their influence spread.

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