Two-hundred 'sugar reduction' retail stores to help slash obesity and diabetes in China

By Lester Wan

- Last updated on GMT

Bayn's joint venture with Huahe will lead to 200 sugar reduction stores and a sugar reduction industry park in China. ©GettyImages
Bayn's joint venture with Huahe will lead to 200 sugar reduction stores and a sugar reduction industry park in China. ©GettyImages

Related tags Nutrition Sugar

China is set to be home to 200 'sugar reduction' retail stores and an industry park, after ingredient firm Bayn signed a joint venture agreement with real estate outfit Huahe International.

The stores will be named after Bayn’s brand taak! and will be rolled-out across the country on a franchise model.

They are being touted as a practical way to help reduce China’s soaring cases of obesity and diabetes.

“Sugar reduction means a system change, and the food chain is broken when the added sugar is replaced. This is also true for the Chinese market, despite having 110 million diabetics and a very large child obesity problem due to unhealthy lifestyles with excess sugar consumption,” ​said Lucy Dahlgren, CEO of Bayn Europe.

“We are glad to now have a strategic agreement with a partner, outside the food system, who pursues the real need for sugar reduction,” ​she said.

Bayn will hold 65% of equity in the venture and Huahe will have the other 35%.

A showcase for sugar reduction

The first of these stores will be launched in Beijing, and Dahlgren said it will be “the first showcase for sugar reduction”​.

She said the stores will feature the indulgence range of products that usually contain high added sugar content, such as chocolates, confectionery, bakery products, beverages and ice cream.

“Today, our formulations are based on European regulation; so now we are reformulating it according to Chinese legislation,” ​she added.

Apart from selling food products that use Bayn solutions within them, Dahlgren said they will include other products if they pass the sensory and ingredients selection criteria.

While discussions are still ongoing about the sugar reduction industry park, Dahlgren gave a teaser when she shared: “We had several deep discussions with the Chinese government for the setting up of the infrastructure to catalyse on efficient sugar reduction.

The infrastructure she is referring to includes an IT cloud platform for R&D in Shenzhen to shorten the R&D process for sugar reduction, for cultivation, extraction and sugar replacer solution production in Xi’an, and logistic centres in a few third or fourth line cities.

Dr Henry Yang, general manager of Huahe, said: “We are glad to have Bayn who has brought us a totally new concept to our property customers. Particularly to government stakeholders, who want to develop their cities in a sustainable manner.

“We, as lifestyle architects in real estate and the property industry, believe that the opportunities arising out of the synergies between our two companies are very promising.”

Research and development

The store concept is the latest sugar-reduction effort from Bayn in the country.

In November last year, it signed a strategic framework agreement with Kong Wua Group in China, outlining the establishment of an R&D centre for sugar reduction and production of sugar replacer solutions.

Through the outlined agreement, Bayn and Kong Wua would bring sugar replacer solutions to the market to help tackle sugar overconsumption. 

The agreement between the two companies was signed during the “Belt and Road Innovative Cooperation Forum” in China.

Then, Zhang Qiaozhen, the president of Kong Wua Investment Group, said: "In China, the economic growth has led to a change in lifestyle for many people. Recent overconsumption of sugar has caused an increase in social problems such as diabetes and child obesity​.

"We are very happy that Bayn Europe, with their sugar reduction know-how and technical capabilities, have made the decision to enter the Chinese market.”

In November, we reported on Bayn Europe developing a new cloud-based reformulation tool that its CEO said can help fix the “broken” food chain​ and heighten sugar-reduction efforts.

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