Nestle, the world’s biggest food and beverage company, has launched a brand of infant formula that uses the A2 beta-casein protein made popular by the New Zealand and Australia-listed a2 Milk Company.
“I can confirm that we are currently launching an A2 product under the Illuma brand,” a spokeswoman for the company in Australia said in an email to the Herald.
No other details were immediately available, but the product is already understood to be available in China, marketed as Illuma “Atwo”.
This Swiss company has been the largest food and beverage company in the world since 2014. Its products range from baby food, to cereals, to dairy products and to snacks.
Fortune magazine last year ranked Nestle as the world’s 64th biggest company.
The a2 Milk Co has said previously that it expected broader interest in the A1 protein-free category to emerge over time.
“It has been monitoring a number of companies operating in China and considers that new entrants should assist in building credibility and awareness for the A1 protein-free proposition, and hence build the overall category more quickly,” the spokesman said.
He said that a2 Milk, as a pioneer in the A1 protein-free category, “considers itself well positioned to benefit from overall category expansion”.
The company’s rapid growth has was first prompted by the enthusiastic take-up of a2 milk in the Australian fresh milk market.
It then branched into infant formula, which turned out to be equally as popular.