Chinese hoarding forces Nutrilon to increase baby formula production

Baby formula (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Симилак)Baby formula (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Симилак)

Baby formula manufacturer Nutricia is increasing the European production of formula Nutrilon by 50 million packs per year in an effort to counteract the shortages in stores caused by Chinese hoarding. This will be done through a new production line in Germany and will about double the supply in the Netherlands, AD reports.

The demand for Nutrilon baby formula has been growing significantly since 2008, when Chinese parents massively started hoarding the product. This was the result of a baby formula scandals involving Chinese baby formula that was mixed with toxin melamine. Six babies died and more than 50 thousand had to be treated in hospital. As a result, the majority of Chinese parents have lost trust in Chinese products and started hoarding products from elsewhere.

This has resulted in a shortage in the Netherlands. Many stores have taken measures, such as limiting the sale of Nutrilon to one or two cans per customer, but many Dutch parents still face empty shelves when going to buy food for their baby.

To meet the continuing high demand from China, Nutricia will now be producing some 150 thousand extra packs per day, the company announced on Monday, according to Dutch newspaper AD. "We think this will have a positive effect, but our advice is to maintain the restriction of one to two packs per customer", director Albertine van Wolfswinkel said.

Detailhandel Nederland, Retailers Netherlands in English, calls the increased production a "nice gesture". "But I doubt that it will be sufficient to remedy the problem in our stores." Bert van Steeg, secretary of retail crime, said to the newspaper.