Stage-four formulas: Nestle China expands portfolio with partially hydrolysed and A2 milk formulas

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

Nestle China has launched two new stage-four formulas for children age three to six. ©Getty Images
Nestle China has launched two new stage-four formulas for children age three to six. ©Getty Images

Related tags China toddler formula A2 milk

Nestle China has expanded its stage-four formula range for children age three to six with a partially hydrolysed and an A2 milk formula.

Launched under the NAN range, the two new products are Chao Qi NAN (超启能恩) and Rui Bo NAN (瑞铂能恩). 

The former, first launched on last month, is the company’s first partially hydrolysed stage-four formula. This means that the milk proteins are broken down into smaller pieces and could reduce protein allergenicity and its symptoms, such as atopic disease, in infants.

Vitamins A to D, DHA, Bifidobacterium lactis ​BB-12, dietary fibre, calcium, iron, zinc, and magnesium are the key ingredients used. 

NAN chao qi Nestle
Chao Qi NAN

Rui Bo NAN, on the other hand, is the company’s first stage four formula to contain both Bifidobacterium lactis ​BB-12 and Lactobacillus rhamnosus.

The A2-milk base formula also contains vitamins and minerals, DHA, folic acid, and taurine.

Other than these two products, Nestle also has a stage-four formula catered to toddlers two years and above under the NAN Optipro brand. It contains the human milk oligosaccharide (HMO) 2’-fucosyllactose (2’-FL), Bifidus BL probiotics, iron, zinc, DHA, ARA, and vitamins.

Nestle China believes that the stage-four category will be benefited by China’s new birth policy and a sizeable market scale. 

“The Chinese government recently allowed the three-child policy, and this will bring new opportunities for the entire maternal and infant product market.

Rui Bo NAN Nestle
Rui Bo NAN

“Looking back at 2015 when the second-child policy was enabled, the birth rate was pushed to a new high between 2015 and 2018, and children born during these few years are now about three to six years old,” ​She Shiang Yeoh, VP, China Midland Business Executive Officer Nestle Infant Nutrition told NutraIngredients-Asia. 

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China announced the three-child policy on May 31 in response to a declining birth rate.

In May, national media Xinhua ​reported that China’s birth rate had dropped to 1.3 last year.

This follows a continuous downward trend when birth rate declined from 1.58 to 1.49 and further down to 1.47 in the three-year period between 2017 and 2019.

Is there a need for stage-four formula?

Acknowledging that there are parents who might doubt the need for stage-four formulas, the company stressed that its formulas were designed to meet the nutrition and regulatory needs of Chinese babies.

“Take Chao Qi Nan stage-four formula as an example, it not only provides children three to six years old with good proteins and essential fatty acids, it is also made based on Chinese toddlers' diet composition, and has added vitamins and minerals that are easily missing in the daily diet, such as vitamins C, D, calcium, and iron.

“At the same time, it also added DHA, which plays an important function in the brain and corneal, as well as the live probiotic BB-12 which can help balance the babies’ microbiome and support their defence system,”​ said Qian Qing, who oversees the company’s maternal and infant formula innovation and medical affairs.

Other brands that have a stage-four formula include Mead Johnson’s Enfagrow A+, Danone’s Aptamil Gold+, which are also for kids three years and above.

The former contains key ingredients such as DHA, choline, prebiotics galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS), and beta-glucan.

The latter contains GOS and fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) at the ratio of 9:1, Bifidobacterium Breve ​M-16V, EPA, and DHA.

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