China and India providing growth opportunities for Australian infant nutrition firm Wattle

By Cheryl Tay

- Last updated on GMT

Wattle has been expanding steadily in China and India.
Wattle has been expanding steadily in China and India.

Related tags China India Infant nutrition Australia

Wattle Health is making significant headway in both India and China, starting with a 12-month deal with Vasudevan and Sons Exim Private (VSEP) for its baby food range.

The deal will entail VSEP buying A$1.5m worth of baby food products from Wattle over the next 12 months, for sale in one Indian state.

This follows an initial trial order​ from VSEP in January, whereby Wattle secured its first order in India for its natural baby food range.

Indian connection

While the latest arrangement will see the range sold in only one state at first, Wattle "most definitely"​ has plans to expand to other states in India, though co-founder and CEO Lazarus Karasavvidis told NutraIngredients-Asia​ he could not reveal which states the firm was eyeing.

He said: "The intention is to build up a long-term platform within the Indian marketplace. We are establishing a subsidiary company within India itself, and ultimately, we want to be selling online and offline.

"Eventually, we are looking to sell our entire product range in India, not just our baby food."

He added: "India is an important market for us from a few angles: demographically speaking, it has a younger population (almost 50% below 25), it is one of the world's fastest-growing economies, and the market is seeking quality Australian products.

"It's a market we see long-term value in, not only due to population, but also due to the relationship India has with Australia, and the widespread consumer acceptance of Australian-made products."

Meanwhile, in China

More recently, Wattle announced that it had received approval in China for the general sale of additional units of its 1kg retail bag of its Pure Australian Grass-Fed Milk Powder.

At the same time, Wattle is awaiting accreditation from China's SAMR (State Administration for Market Regulation), formerly called the CFDA (China Food and Drug Administration).

In an ASX release, Karasavvidis said, "The addition of additional SKUs available for general trade sale in China will further expand brand awareness and more importantly, revenue.

"This is a continuation of our China market strategy and ongoing commitment to making healthy, pure 100% Australian-made produce available to our China consumers, and supporting our extensive distribution partners."

In January this year, Wattle had secured a 'brand slot'​ in China with Aussie contract manufacturer Blend and Pack, for its goat milk infant formula.

In April, the company reported record sales​ as it was expanding in Asia, having entered Macau and Vietnam.

Later that month, it further reinforced its China strategy, announcing a distribution agreement with ISDC​, a Chinese firm specialising in premium food products.

Karasavvidis told NutraIngredients-Asia​: "We already have pending registration in Vietnam and China for further business plans, but I can't reveal any other information right now."

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