Kerry Group have launched an Irish infant formula brand called “Green LOVE+” for the Chinese market. This is a 100% Irish product manufactured from Irish milk.

The milk will come from Kerry Agribusiness suppliers.

The new infant formula retails at €43/1kg can in the top retail supermarkets in China - almost four times the Irish price.

Kerry Group who have a long history in China entering in 2000. In 2012, Kerry Group entered into a partnership agreement with Beingmate for the supply of Irish dairy ingredients for infant nutrition applications in China.

It will be distributed by Beingmate who are unique in that they have a complete distribution chain across the entire country, with over 500 distributors.

Frank Hayes, Kerry Group says “this partnership provides strong export growth opportunities for added value dairy ingredients from Kerry Group's dairy processing facilities in Charleville, County Cork and Listowel, County Kerry. He added that recently over €100m was invested in these two plants.”

This is the first finished canned product to come from the new canning line at Charleville which will manufacture 15,000t of infant formula product this year.

The majority of this is expected to be used for the Green Love+ brand. The Kerry Group work with all the nutrition companies in Ireland and they will continue with this business, according to Hayes.

Beingmate themselves are a leading manufacturer of infant nutrition products headquartered in Hangzhou, in China.

Hayes said that over the past five years they have focused on building deep direct relationships, with the big brand infant formula players. They have had success in Middle East, South Africa and China.

He added that the new development in Naas which also includes their global nutrition centre of excellence will further develop products for the Chinese market. Kerry Group invests 4.5% of revenues in R&D.

Kerry group operates four factories in China with 500 people working in the country.

This product is destined for the super premium market; the growing middle class of consumers who are more discerning about the product they buy.