Thursday, March 03, 2011

Bright Dairy Eye on Yoplait

Shanghai based Bright Dairy (aka Guangming Milk) entered the last round of the bidding process for 50% share of Yoplait Yogurt. "It's time for a better snack"

Bright Dairy has adopted an international expanding strategy with purchasing and merging. In 2010, Bright Dairy acquired 51% share of New Zealand's Synlait Milk.

Bright Dairy's overseas expansion at this time is mind-boggling in many ways. Not trusting mainland based dairy products after the past melamine record and most recent leather protein incident, Chinese have emptied shelfs of grocery store in neighboring Hong Kong and Macau. Obviously Bright Dairy is buying an oversea brand to re-badge its dairy products nobody wants. This may trigger a perfect storm for a round of buying western brand among mainland dairy companies. Without surprise, once the purchase went through, Bright Dairy would withdraw Yoplait from the international market and use it to crush other domestic competitors.

Even among the notorious dairy companies in China, Bright Dairy is the worse of the worst. As early as in 2005, Bright Dairy was caught wet hands re-newing dairy product with recycled old product, some already had gone riot. At the beginning, Bright Dairy denied the story. But when their special equipment to process riot old product was video-taped and aired in the TV program, they claimed it was an 'industrial wide standard procedure'. Because Chinese President Jiang Zemin was also CEO of the Bright Dairy, and because the Shanghai municipality's clout, Bright Dairy was not even fined, and the whole incident became of taboo. The media coverage and online protest were quickly silenced.

Bright Dairy was not dented from the incident and nobody dare to say anything regarding Bright Dairy's production procedure anymore. Some online posts alleged if the melamine incident was first revealed to be associated with the Bright Dairy, it would never have been allowed to expose.

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