From June 14-16, the 15th Global Dairy Congress was hosted in Laval, France. Dr. Zhanyou Yun, Assistant President of Yili Group, attended the “Innovation for the Future” session, delivering a keynote speech with the theme “Create Value through Innovation”. Dr. Gerrit Smit, Managing Director of Yili Innovation Center Europe, attended the roundtable discussion.
The World Dairy Innovation Awards was held simultaneously with the Congress. Leveraging strategic synergies and resource integration, Yili Group and its subsidiary Ausnutria topped the tally with six awards, covering segments of packaging design, infant nutrition, intolerance-friendly dairy products, ice cream, cheese and dairy snacks.
One of the judges commented, “Yili have their finger on the pulse when it comes to identifying gaps in the market and creating brilliant innovative products that both taste and look great while simultaneously serving a purpose.”
Dr. Yun explained how Yili has focused on building a globally integrated innovation network, which helped the company win worldwide recognition. “Integrating talent and intelligence resources, we have currently set up a total of 15 innovation centers scattered around the world, and a ‘global intelligence chain’ has now been established.”
Developing health products through consumer-centric innovation
“Guided by our New Vision for Value Creation, Yili pursues development as an innovation-driven company. We are dedicated to launching health products to meet the full life-cycle, all-scenario needs among all types of consumers,” said Dr. Yun.
For consumers to freely enjoy cheese without storage limitations, Yili developed the “Best Cheese” winner — the ambient cheese lollipop, which is rich in nutrition and can be safely stored at room temperature. Revisiting traditional Chinese aesthetics, the Xujinhuan 3D Fresh Milk Ice Cream has been designed into the elegant shape of a Chinese fan, featuring traditional painting carved on the surface. Developed with global high-quality milk and ingredients, the beautiful look is also accompanied by good flavor and nutrition. For middle-aged and the elderly men, a group more focused on bone health and physical fitness, the Shuhua Lactose — Free Milk for Dad includes 50% more natural calcium, vitamin D and taurine. Applying Yili’s patented technology of LHT lactose hydrolysis, the product also addresses the problem of lactose intolerance that is common among Asian consumers.
At the Congress, Dr. Yun also shared the company’s progress in building a “Dairy Silicon Valley”. In June, four key projects of Yili’s Future Intelligence and Healthy Valley will be put into operation in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, including a liquid milk production base, a milk powder production base, the Chilechuan Ecological Smart Farm, and the Yili Intelligent Manufacturing Experience Center.
Commitment to building a net-zero carbon future
Talking about dairy’s role in addressing climate change, Dr. Yun said, “Embracing the tide of sustainable development across the globe, Yili has rolled out net-zero carbon products and factories, issued the Roadmap to a Net-Zero Carbon Future, and joined hands with our partners throughout the industrial chain to build a net-zero carbon future.”
In April, Yili took the lead in China’s food industry to launch time-bound targets on carbon reduction, aiming to realize industrial chain-wide carbon neutrality before 2050.
On June 5, Yili also introduced the packaging featuring “no printing, less ink”. Applying the technology of ink reduction printing, the packaging is able to save ink consumption by 60%. The outer carton is 80% made up of recycled paper. By upgrading into paper handles, every 100,000 outer cartons will reduce plastic usage equating to 260 kg.