French dairy giant Sodiaal has decided to launch a chain of shops in China to sell Candia-branded lines in a bid to tap into demand for foreign milk products.

In a surprise move, the co-op has launched Candia in China with a retail outlet in the city of Wenzhou in China’s south-eastern Zhejiang province. Candia products are not available in retail stores. The company is selling UHT milk and baby formula in the outlets. 

It said yesterday (29 July) it plans to open ten outlets by the end of the year, with stores opening in another city in Zhejiang, Ningbo, as well as Hangzhou, the capital of the province.

Sodiaal said Chinese consumers wanted reassurance about the origin of dairy products, particularly liquid milk and infant formula.

“With this type of store, the Candia brand is providing Chinese consumers a source of supply direct from France,” Candia CEO Giampolo Schiratti said.