Infant, adult nutrition-led: Danone's sales growth highest in China, North Asia, Oceania in first quarter 2023

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

Danone reported a sales growth of 16 per cent in China, North Asia, and Oceania in the first quarter of this year.  ©Getty Images
Danone reported a sales growth of 16 per cent in China, North Asia, and Oceania in the first quarter of this year. ©Getty Images

Related tags Danone Aptamil

China, North Asia, and Oceania contributed the highest sales growth for Danone at 16 per cent in the first quarter of year 2023, led by increased purchases of its key products, including infant nutrition and adult specialties.

The MNC operates three major portfolios in the three regions, namely specialised nutrition, waters, as well as essential dairy and plant-based products.

A breakdown shows that specialised nutrition, traditionally its largest portfolio in the three regions, had increased by 15.2 per cent in net sales to 609 million euros (US$672m).

Specialised nutrition comprised 71 per cent of Danone’s total sales in these three regions last year. The remaining 19 per cent and 10 per cent of sales in these regions came from its waters and essential dairy and plant-based business.

In total, China, North Asia and Oceania delivered a like-for-like sales growth of 16 per cent in the first quarter of this year. 

As part of its specialised nutrition portfolio, Danone's infant nutrition range reported “a strong start to the year fuelled by higher shipments” ​in China in the first quarter of this year.

Aptamil is considered the firm’s powerhouse in China.

In late March, the firm unveiled its Aptamil and Nutrilon branded goat milk infant formulas newly approved by the Chinese regulators.

These products were manufactured according to the new infant formula national standards or Guo Biao (GB) standards officially enforced from February 22 this year.

They are said to contain A2 protein, as well as pre and probiotics. In the case of Aptamil, the new products also contain naturally occurring lactoferrin in goat’s milk as well as fortified lactoferrin. 

So far, the products have been launched on Aptamil’s and Nutrilon’s official Tmall, JD stores, mother-and-baby stores, as well as supermarket chains.

Similar to its paediatric business, Danone's adult specialties range also reported double-digit growth in China.

China ranked number two in terms of sales contribution for Danone last year, only behind the US and a rank above France.

South-East Asia, on the other hand, delivered mid-teens growth from a low base, sustained by its waters and specialised nutrition businesses in the first quarter of this year.  

Overall, Danone’s specialised nutrition category was up 12 per cent in like-for-like sales to 2.14bn euros (US$2.37bn) net sales in the quarter.

Elsewhere in Europe and North America, the specialised nutrition range generated sales of 752 million euros (US$830m) and 86 million euros (US$94m), up 2.5 per cent and 6.7 per cent respectively for 1Q23.

However, unlike Asia, Danone’s market strength lies in essential dairy and plant-based products instead of specialised nutrition in Europe and North America.

Specialised nutrition only made up 34 per cent and six per cent of Danone’s sales in Europe and North America last year.

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