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Mead Johnson wrestles "irrational" Chinese market

Mead Johnson's business in China has come under pressure and was a factor in the US infant formula group's profit warning earlier this month...


Dean Best | 17 Jul 2015

Two significant announcements this week - from dairy giant Fonterra and from infant formula group Mead Johnson - further underlined how the impact of China's recent economic slowdown is affecting companies in our sector.


Katy Askew | 16 Mar 2015

E-commerce has rapidly emerged as a key battleground for multinational infant formula manufacturers in China. In a category that has come under recent pressure, changing consumer patterns and a shift in the way people shop in the country has resulted in the mass migration of Chinese infant formula purchases to online channels. Katy Askew looks at how this fast-paced sector is developing.


Dean Best | 12 Dec 2014

Danone today (12 December) made a series of announcements, including a division to focus on Africa, an update on the future of the company's medical nutrition arm and changes in senior management. Analysts saw the moves as a sign recently-appointed CEO Emmanuel Faber was making his mark on the business and they gave the initiatives a warm welcome. Dean Best reports.


Katy Askew | 6 Nov 2014

Rumours linking Danone to Mead Johnson have periodically surfaced over the past five years. Much of the rationale justifying such a significant move lies in Danone's strategy in key emerging markets such as China. Following a tie-up with Chinese infant formula maker Yashili International Holdings it would seem Danone is intent on developing strategic partnerships with local players to foster growth. But would a big-bang acquisition make more sense? Katy Askew reports.

Latest Interviews

David Green | 15 Jul 2013

As the Chinese government moves to step up regulation of the country's food industry, China's domestic brands are developing a for-profit food safety model that aims to restore battered consumer confidence in the quality and reliability of the country's foodstuffs, according to Rick Gilmore, chairman of the Global Food Safety Forum (GFSF). David Green caught up with Gilmore in Beijing to find out more.

Latest News

Dean Best | 19 Jan 2017

Nestle has refused to comment on a report in the US claiming the world's largest food maker is considering a takeover offer for infant formula producer Mead Johnson.


Dean Best | 7 Dec 2016

Murray Goulburn's interim CEO, David Mallinson, has said the Australian dairy group is still looking to invest in infant formula production despite regulatory changes in China leading to the plug being pulled on plans to work with Mead Johnson on selling into Asia.


Dean Best | 5 Dec 2016

US infant formula producer Mead Johnson and Australian dairy group Murray Goulburn have pulled the plug on their plans to work together in Asia Pacific.


Katy Askew | 27 Oct 2016

Infant nutrition group Mead Johnson has lowered its full-year sales and earnings outlook despite noting progress has been made on lifting its sales trajectory in China. 


John Shepherd | 28 Jul 2016

US infant formula producer Mead Johnson today (28 July) revised its net sales outlook and said it now expects full year net sales of 5% to 7% below the prior year on a reported basis and 0% to 2% below the prior year on a constant dollar basis.


Hannah Abdulla | 10 May 2016

Hong Kong-listed nutritional products provider Biostime International Holdings has reported a rise in first-quarter sales, although revenue from its largest division - infant formula - fell.


Dean Best | 28 Apr 2016

Mead Johnson, the US infant formula producer, today (28 April) claimed to be seeing progress in its performance despite reporting lower first-quarter sales and earnings.


Hannah Abdulla | 29 Mar 2016

US infant formula firm Mead Johnson has announced the launch of "premium-priced" brand Enfinitas in China.


Hannah Abdulla | 15 Mar 2016

Murray Goulburn, the Australia-based dairy co-operative, has struck a deal to supply US infant formula manufacturer Mead Johnson with nutritional powders.


Dean Best | 22 Oct 2015

Mead Johnson, the US-based infant formula group, today (22 October) lowered its forecast for its 2015 sales and earnings, a year CEO Kasper Jakobsen described as "challenging on several fronts".


Dean Best | 31 Jul 2015

Nestle this week a change of leadership at its embattled unit India, which has been under the spotlight in recent weeks over the nationwide Maggi recall. Elsewhere, ConAgra Foods was reported to have started talks to sell its own-label unit, with Post Holdings and TreeHouse Foods said to be interested. Our interview pages included chats with the founder of US organic baby food firm - and Danone subsidiary - Happy Family, Chinese bakery business Dongguan Kam Tai Foods and UK gluten-free company Mrs Crimble's.


Dean Best | 28 Jul 2015

Mead Johnson is to pay over US$12m in a settlement of an investigation from the US Securities and Exchange Commission into the infant formula group's promotions in China.


Dean Best | 23 Jul 2015

Mead Johnson today (23 July) posted a fall in half-year profits on the back of flat sales as Asia weighed on the US-based infant formula group in the second quarter.


Dean Best | 17 Jul 2015

Fonterra this week announced plans to cut over 500 jobs as it adjusts to a slump in prices of dairy commodities, caused in part by falling demand in China. And Mead Johnson this week lowered its forecast for annual profits, with the slowdown in China's economy a factor.


Dean Best | 17 Jul 2015

The issue of sugar intake returned to the fore this week with a UK panel calling for official guidance on daily consumption to be halved. Fonterra announcing a different kind of cut, with over 500 jobs to go at the dairy exporter. China is a factor in the New Zealand group's decision and the country's easing growth is affecting a number of food multinationals. This week, infant formula manufacturer Mead Johnson cut its profit forecast on the back of challenges in emerging markets including China.


Katy Askew | 15 Jul 2015

Mead Johnson lowered its full-year sales and earnings outlook yesterday (14 July) after issues in China and other emerging markets hit the group in the second quarter.


Dean Best | 2 Jul 2015

Mead Johnson Nutrition has appointed former Numico executive Michel Cup as its new CFO - and asked the man filling the role temporarily to become COO.


Dean Best | 23 Apr 2015

US infant formula group Mead Johnson today (23 April) reported higher first-quarter profits, helped by price increases, lower dairy costs and a fall in its tax rate.


Katy Askew | 20 Mar 2015

We attended the Consumer Analyst Group of Europe conference in London this week, bringing you strategic updates from the likes of Nestle, Danone and Glanbia. Elsewhere, General Mills reported further pressure on sales and earnings and we profiled the growing importance of e-commerce to baby food makers in China.


Katy Askew | 20 Mar 2015

We attended the Consumer Analyst Group of Europe conference in London this week, bringing you strategic updates from the likes of Nestle, Danone and Glanbia. Elsewhere, General Mills reported further pressure on sales and earnings and we profiled the growing importance of e-commerce to baby food makers in China.


Dean Best | 17 Mar 2015

Danone CEO Emmanuel Faber has insisted the French food giant - which has been rumoured to be eyeing US infant formula firm Mead Johnson Nutrition - does not need to make a "transformative" acquisition "to be successful".


Dean Best | 17 Mar 2015

Danone CEO Emmanuel Faber has insisted the French food giant - which has been rumoured to be eyeing US infant formula firm Mead Johnson Nutrition - does not need to make a "transformative" acquisition "to be successful".


Katy Askew | 5 Mar 2015

Mead Johnson Nutrition executive vice president and chief financial officer Peter Leemputte has decided to leave the company. Mead cited "personal reasons" for his exit.

Latest blogs

Katy Askew | 5 Jun 2015

News that French retail giant Carrefour last month launched an online shopping portal in China, carrefour.cn, comes as further evidence of the growing importance of e-commerce in the market.


Katy Askew | 27 Aug 2013

Chinese regulators have reportedly rebuffed the wide-spread suggestion that it targeted foreign infant formula companies through its competition probe into infant formula pricing.

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