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The 2020 Special Food T20 Summit Held in Changsha
   On November 2, the opening ceremony of the 2020 China Special Food Conference (5th) and the Special Food T20 Summit was held in Changsha. The event was hosted by the CNHFA and industrial leaders exchanged views on the theme of "Special Times, Special Food, and Special Responsibility". The following three topics were covered: (1) "How to optimize the business environment for industrial development and meet people's needs for a better life"; (2) "How to establish new business models and new consumption patterns to promote industrial transformation and technological upgrading"; and (3) "How to break down core technological barriers and create a long-term vision of the whole industry chain".
  As an important part of the Big Health industry, China's special food output value reached RMB 600 billion in 2016 and is growing continuously, thanks to people's increasingly widespread and urgent demand for nutrition and health. China's special food industry is driving in the "fast lane", guided by Health China and Food Safety strategies. It plays a key role in the transformation of the food industry and has become a blue ocean market.
  During the T20 Summit, Jiang Yujun, Vice President of the CNHFA and Dean of the College of Food Science, Northeast Agricultural University, pointed out that due to the pandemic, the public's demand for nutrition and health has increased significantly. He added that as China is stepping up its efforts to promote the formation of a new development landscape with the domestic market as the primary focus, both supported by and supporting the international market, there will be more development opportunities for the special food industry.
  Two Major Changes in the Development Trend of the Special Food Industry
  According to Gu Lei, Vice President of Greater China of Mead Johnson Nutrition (China) Co., Ltd., the post-90s and post-95s have become a potential army of consumers. With more demand for personalized nutrition products, special food companies need to continuously invest in scientific research and innovative products.
  Since the outbreak of the pandemic, there has been a marked change regarding the trend of the industry. Lu Guang, Executive Vice President of Heilongjiang Feihe Dairy Co. Ltd. noted that, "New industries and models are giving rise to a new economy, and the new economy is catalyzing new consumption."
  Chen Jia, Vice President of Amway Asia's Technology Innovation Centre, pointed out that one change is the shift from offline sales to online sales, such as live-stream shopping and social media-based e-commerce; another change is that consumers of healthcare products are younger. For example, young people today like a lifestyle of "zero-burden wellness", with coffee in one hand and a thermos with goji berries in the other. Chen said that "they are more interested in the experience". She concluded that companies should see these trends and adjust their strategies.
  Zou Chunyi, Vice President of Public Affairs at Danone China, mentioned another trend in the Chinese market: the upgrading of consumption and the sinking of consumer demand.
  Li Xiao, Chief Executive Officer of a2 Milk Company (Greater China), said that in the post-pandemic era, there are many uncertainties, but there are also many opportunities.
  Leng Bin, General Manager of Chang Yu Group, echoed that "the health wine industry has grown continuously in the face of the pandemic”.
  Zheng Qunyi, Chairman of Herbalife (China) Group, noted that "as times change, customers' needs change, so products have to be innovative. only products that keep up with the times can give customers a good experience."
  Yang Xuxiang, Vice President of Nestlé (mainland China), said that according to a study conducted by the China Maternal and Child Nutrition Centre, more than 40% of infants face allergy problems. Therefore, companies should develop solutions based on the nutritional needs of these populations.
  Li Fengting, Chief Executive Officer of H&H Group China, believes that under the new trend, companies should interact with consumers in a more innovative way by making their products attractive and interesting.
  Cui Datao, Director of Registration and Regulations Greater China for Nu Skin (China), noted that "E-commerce has grown particularly strongly after the pandemic." He added, "in the health food industry, e-commerce has a 29% market share, while direct selling only account for 15%." He believes that more products from around the world will enter the Chinese market in the future with the introduction of the e-commerce law and cross-border policies.
  Gu Xinxin, President of Nestlé Health Science Greater China, was also bullish about cross-border e-commerce. She believes that by taking advantage of cross-border e-commerce policies , the most advanced, fashionable and trendy Stock Keeping Units (SKUs) of global special foods will enter China, and companies will then select products that meet Chinese consumers' preferences.
  Integrity and Transparency as the Cornerstones of Innovation
  How can regulation help innovation? Li Xiaomin, General Manager of the R&D Centre of Perfect (China) Limited, suggested guidelines, laws, and regulations should be established in three areas, namely new ingredients, new technologies and new dosage forms, to help companies solve the problem of lack of innovation.
  Hu Zhenzhong, Vice President of Infinity (China) Limited, noted that enterprises should provide consumers and the market with high-tech, personalized, and targeted products that are of good quality and safe. He pointed out that exaggerated promotions are a persistent pain point, and enterprises should pay great attention to it and work together to create a regulated market environment.
  Liang Shuisheng, Vice President of BY-HEALTH, said that "Integrity and transparency are important." He believes that if special food companies are transparent, consumers will recognize this, and the industry will have a promising future. He also suggested that health food cannot replace drugs, and that counterparts should work together to educate consumers on basic science and knowledge.
  Opportunities for the Special Food Industry in the Future
  Looking ahead, what are the opportunities for the industry? Yan Weibin, Chairman of Ausnutria Dairy (China) Limited, said that "The next ten years will see a further explosion regarding the demand for health food and food for special medical purposes (FSMPs), thanks to an increasing trend of choosing health products, clear policies and technological advances. Meanwhile, good quality, personalized, convenient, and intelligent nutritional and health services will all enter the homes of ordinary people."
  Liu Weibin, General Manager of Greater China, Food & Beverage Division, DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences, further pointed out that investors have been investing in microorganisms and probiotics for the past five years and that this trend will continue for the next ten years. In terms of the consumer side, he mentioned that as Chinese population is aging, there will be broad demand for the prevention of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases.
  Wan Jianming, Core Founder, Vice President, and General Manager of Marketing of Engnice Holding Group Co., Ltd, estimated that the market for infant complementary foods would have a market cap could be hundreds of billions. The market currently is worth only 10 billion because mothers do not know how to select products. If consumers are provided with suggestions to purchase products according to the infant's physical development, this market will usher in new growth.
  This year's T20 Summit also held an award ceremony in the theme of "Responsible Enterprises Fighting the Pandemic". The following companies were awarded as "Outstanding and Responsible Enterprises in Combating the Pandemic": Ausnutria Dairy (China) Limited, Herbalife (China) Health Products Co. Ltd., Infinity (China) Co., Zhen-ao Group Co., Amway (China) Co. Ltd, Nu Skin (China) Co Ltd, BY-HEALTH Co Ltd, Perfect (China) Co Ltd, a2 Milk (Shanghai) Co Ltd, Heilongjiang Feihe Dairy Co Ltd, Danone Asia Pacific (Shanghai) Co Ltd, Mead Johnson Nutrition (China) Co Ltd, Heilongjiang Wondersun Dairy Co Ltd, DuPont Nutrition and Biosciences, Yantai Zhang Yu Group Co Ltd, Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group Co Ltd, Hunan Engnice Holding Group Co Ltd, and FrieslandCampina (Shanghai) Co Ltd. The following companies received the "Ambassador for the Charity Donation Campaign Against the Pandemic": Yashili International Holdings Ltd, Hebo Trading (Shanghai) Co Ltd, Yangzhou Fangguang Food Co Ltd, Wyeth Nutrition (China) Co Ltd, Nestle (China) Co Ltd, and H&H (China) Co Ltd.