Challenge research confirms Chinese parents would buy baby foods supporting immune health

07 November 2017

Consumer research in China confirms that parents of infants would buy foods that built up their children’s immune systems. The research, commissioned by High-Value Nutrition, is part of an ongoing series of consumer research reports on Asian consumer behaviour. Researchers interviewed Chinese mothers and fathers in their homes about their choices of foods for their babies.

They talked to them about their beliefs, attitudes and perceptions regarding the introduction of the first solid foods to babies. Complementary feeding occurs when breast milk alone is no longer sufficient to meet the nutritional requirements of infants, and therefore other foods and liquids are needed, along with breast milk. It typically covers the period when the baby is between 6 and 24 months old. Complementary foods are a target for a number of New Zealand companies and the High Value Nutrition Science Challenge has an ‘immunity-science’ target to support companies developing foods that also protect these infants from illness.

Like parents everywhere, Chinese mothers and fathers are very concerned that their babies get good food. Yet for some of them, the memory of the sick infants during the melamine infant formula scandal is still fresh and they prefer to purchase foods sourced from outside China. Once they were confident that complementary food was safe, parents desired that among other benefits the food contributed to: maintenance of overall health and prevention of future illness (immune health). An online survey of 1500 parents from Hong Kong, Guangzhou and Shanghai confirmed that foods that support the immune health of infants were desired. The report is available now to subscribers of our resource hub The Knowledge.