Mlekpol is building a new plant, its 13th already, to produce powdered products. Considering that for years powdered milk was Poland’s main milk product exported to China, can we expect that this investment project is carried out for the needs of the Chinese market?
The Mlekpol dairy cooperative in Grajewo is one of the largest milk processors in Poland and one of the 20 largest in Europe. Every day the cooperative buys close to 6 million litres of milk from its own suppliers and processes it in 12 plants. With its
highly specialised and technologically advanced production processes, the Mlekpol is Poland’s leading exporter of milk products. The company’s cooperation with large and demanding customers on the Chinese market is successful, thanks to growing demand for high-quality products. The new investment project, which is the construction of the processing plant for
powdered milk products in Mrągowo, will make it possible for Mlekpol to expand its product line, by more specialist products derived from milk and whey, and at the same time increase the volume of exports, including exports to the very demanding Chinese market.
What do Chinese consumers expect? Are they more demanding than European consumers or less?
European and Chinese consumers both want to eat healthy and natural products. This is what they have in common. But thanks to the Internet and travels, which make it easier to access the wide range of products offered by producers on
the global market, we have observed a particular increase in demands and expectations on the part of Chinese consumers. Apart from quality, Chinese consumers increasingly pay attention to the origin of products. When choosing milk or another milk product, the Chinese consumer checks by means of digital applications who the producer is, where the product has been made, of what raw materials, and according to what standards. In a word, the consumer needs to feel safe with his or her choice. This is why we are very happy to see growing interest in Mlekpol products, which are made using the best milk sourced from the cleanest regions of Poland. Considering our overall exports to China, we can say that milk, flavoured milk drinks, and creams under the Łaciate brand, coming in a variety of packaging types, enjoy the biggest interest from Chinese consumers. We also receive more and more inquiries about butter and cheeses, especially mozzarella. Exports of these products to China are consistently growing at Mlekpol.
What does Mlekpol do to reach the Chinese customer and consumer? In the West, advertising and CSR activity are the methods used most widely. And what is it like in China?
The Chinese market is very diverse in terms of culture, geography and even language. This is why, in conjunction with our Chinese partners, we follow through the behaviour of Chinese consumers to fully understand them and choose effective forms of marketing. As a result, we employ influential trendsetters and conduct marketing activities based on the story-telling and heritage concept to make our brand stand out against others. Sharing with Chinese consumers our rich history and cultural background associated with the Łaciate brand definitely attracts their attention and builds their trust. Thanks to our long presence on the market and systematic marketing activities, the Łaciate brand has become synonymous with milk for the Chinese. Consumers are changing and expect modern forms of communication. As a result, personalised marketing content has already become the main trend in communication with the consumer. At the same time, Mlekpol has introduced the highest standards and hi-tech solutions to production processes to deliver top quality and homogeneous products to Chinese consumers. This is possible thanks to the Institute of Innovation of the Dairy Industry that was established in 2010 in Mrągowo. This accredited Research and Development Centre deals with the design and development of new products, by taking care of their innovation, pro-health qualities and functionality. The Institute improves existing and develops new production processes. It also conducts research on innovative packaging for the dairy industry. Poland is known for playing a significant role in Europe among healthy food producers. This experience, combined with an innovative approach, has opened Mlekpol the door to Chinese markets with both supply and high expectations for quality.
In order to develop the Polish economy and the volume of Polish exports, it is necessary to look for markets outside the European Union. Experts, and some politicians as well, seem to understand that, but can we already talk about a coherent strategy worked out for Polish exporters?
Food is one of the fastest developing sectors in trade between Poland and China. Mlekpol is the leader of Polish milk exports to the country, mainly under our own brand Łaciate. Polish exporters need a coherent and consistently pursued strategy, worked out with their participation, for economic cooperation between Poland and China. Rare and irregular meetings do not help to narrow our trade deficit. Mlekpol tries to be present at the biggest events and fairs of the food sector in China and other countries in South- East Asia. But we also need systemic support and commitment within bilateral trade. Mlekpol is open to direct dialogue with Chinese partners on cooperation in trade and undertakes talks with Chinese businesses with great pleasure and commitment.
To get more information about Mlekpol products, visit https://mlekpol.com.pl/
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