China has imported larger quantities of milk powder since 2008, when hundreds of children were sickened after drinking tainted milk produced by the Sanlu Group, a domestic dairy company. The melamine incident gives opportunity for international brand to expand as well as some emerging domestic brands who claim to adapt strict quality control systems. Imports of milk powder more than doubled to reach 310,000 metric tons in 2009, while imports in 2010 rose 55 percent year-on-year to hit 480,000 metric tons. As the world's most populous nation, China has great demand for dairy products and has become the world's largest market for milk powder.
According to a market research released by a third party, the sales volume of milk powder in China has increased by 4.4%, while the sales amount has unexpectedly increased by 15% in 2012. Currently, liquid milk accounts for the vast majority of dairy product consumption of Chinese inhabitants, while milk powder consumption also sees great changes from all the people to special class such as infants, pregnant women and quinquagenarians, from ordinary whole milk powder and whole sweet milk powder to formula. Needless to say, there will be a tremendous growth appeared on baby formula consumption in Chinese market in the coming years.