Finnish dairy firm, Valio is expanding further into China with the recent opening of its new head office in Shanghai.
The new office will focus on serving the Chinese market. Besides the Ingredient business units, Valio China has also established new Retail and Food Service business units.
Since its entry into the Chinese market in 1986, Valio witnessed rapid growth in China’s economy which also boosted consumption for dairy products in the country, which stood at US$59 billion in 2017. Valio hopes to ride the growth in dairy market which is set to surpass US$75 billion by 2022.
Valio CEO Annikka Hurme said, “We are really excited to inaugurate our China head office in Jing'an, Shanghai. In 2008, Valio created a dedicated office in Shanghai. Today we officially established our China head office. Right now, there is good momentum in the Chinese economy; we do hope that our China head office can write the next chapter for Valio in China.”
Finland Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Jari Leppa said, “China is a very important market for Finnish companies, and we see a lot of potential in China. The strengths of the Finnish dairy sector include the high quality of products and the very minimal use of antibiotics in our farm produce. The hygiene, safety and product traceability of the food chain are our competitive advantages.”
Valio DEMI demineralised whey powders entered the China market in 1990. Thanks to Valio's world-leading demineralisation process and the pure quality from Finland, the product was widely used to produce infant formulas as well as chocolates and ice creams. Since then, Valio has been driving its growth in China by establishing a sales, marketing and service system to provide professional and innovative solutions for the premium dairy ingredients market in addition to demineralised whey powders and skimmed milk powders.
Furthermore, Valio also opened flagship stores on e-commerce platforms, such as JD.com and Tmall.com in 2017.Valio China Managing Director Xiao Lu said, “Valio's ability to win the trust of the Chinese market in a relatively short period of time is mainly because of our sustainable business model that ensures that our products are fresh, safe and traceable.”
He further added, “Right now, China is undergoing a new round of consumption upgrading, and natural, healthy and environmentally sustainable foods are gaining popularity among consumers. Valio will continue enriching its product categories in China. For example, Valio's unsalted butter, made using the pure, high-quality milk from Finland through a traditional fermenting process, was awarded 'Best of Class' at the World Championship Cheese Contest in 2018. It will undoubtedly be a pleasing addition for food enthusiasts in China.”
Valio will also step up efforts to promote the development and application of its patented Eila lactose-free technology.