Mengniu is the No.1 diary brand, and also one of the most prominent brands in China. The brand is as famous as Lenovo in the country. Its milk product is not only popular in Mainland China, but also in Hong Kong. Here in Hong Kong, my father drinks its yogurt drink; my company’s pantry has Mengniu’s milk; one of my colleagues just told me the milk in her home’s fridge is always Mengniu’s milk. “Because it tasted good,” she said.
The company’s President Niu Geng Sheng often toured the country and Hong Kong to speak about brand management. It publishes Corporate Social Responsibility report, and actively goes green – it has just built the world’s largest methane power plant using cow-dung (investment RMB 45M /US$5.7 M).
So when I learnt of the news this morning that not only its baby formula, but also its milk are found contaminated by the industrial chemical melamine, it is a real shock to me.
How could it be possible to trust a Chinese brand anymore, if even a brand like Mengniu cannot be trusted?
The investigation by the quality watchdog of China, the General Administration for Quality Supervision, just found that 11 out of 121 batches of milk from Mengniu contain melamine.
If you ever live in China, you would know that three diary brands dominate the market: Mengniu, Yili and Guangming. In the supermarkets in China, it is very likely they are the only diary brands you can find.
The saddening thing about China’s milk scandal is that all its major diary manufacturers – Mengniu, Yili and Guangming – are involved. Yili’s and Guangming’s milk are also found contaminated by China’s General Administration for Quality Supervision.
In Hong Kong, tests conducted by the Food Safety Centre have found Yili’s milk products contaminated and the authority has asked the distributor to recall all the company products. Milk products by other mainland companies are still in the testing process.
By the way, here in Hong Kong, I eat Yili’s ice stick. Thank God, only occasionally.