FrieslandCampina, the Netherlands-based dairy group, is looking to expand the geographical presence of infant formula brand Dutch Lady in China in 2017.

The co-op launched Dutch Lady in China in September and the formula is on sale in more than 50 Chinese cities, “in [the] Hunan, Sichuan and Chongqing markets”, a spokesperson for the company’s Chinese business said.

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This year, FrieslandCampina, which manufactures the Dutch Lady on sale in China locally, is planning to try to grow the presence of the brand further, hoping to benefit from changes in regulations governing the country’s infant formula sector. “In 2017, we will expand into five more provinces in east and south China,” the spokesperson said. “The new registration regulations of infant formula product would provide Dutch Lady a golden chance to grow, since many brands may disappear from the trade.”

The Dutch Lady range, which includes formula for different ages, is available in the baby-store channel and on the Tmall online platform. The range is manufactured in the north-eastern city of Shenyang through a joint venture with China Huishan Dairy Holdings Co.

The spokesperson said FrieslandCampina is hoping local production will increase Chinese consumers’ trust of domestically-manufactured formula after a series of safety scandals in recent years.

“Since we established the JV in China in April 2015, we have strictly and thoroughly tested and optimised every step of the production process, from feed to farm to milk to factory to final product. By taking control over the entire production chain, we can ensure the same product quality as from the Netherlands. With this approach, we hope to bring Chinese customers our high-quality products and bring back [the] trust of the Chinese consumer in locally-manufactured infant formula products from China.”