Are you a mother living in mainland China with an infant in need of milk powder? Do you want to know the best way to being able to buy the best baby formula at the lowest cost? Do you want to beat the system? Well, this guide is for you: everything you need to know about the best way to buy milk formula in China — how to go to Hong Kong and score milk powder for cheap!
[part two is here]
From Sohu Baby:
The 2013 [Mainland] Strategy Guide to Buying Milk Powder in Hong Kong
These days, mothers in the interior of China all love to travel to Hong Kong to purchase milk formula powder. Why do they prefer to buy milk formula in Hong Kong? What is the best way of purchasing good quality milk formula? Our suggestions are listed below.
Q: Why does one need to go to Hong Kong to purchase milk formula? A: Because there is a difference between milk formula that comes from Hong Kong and that which comes from the mainland!
The same brand and make of milk formula sold in Hong Kong is not the same as its counterpart sold in China; even the very quality of this product may be different. Everybody knows that the milk powder imported into mainland China is of inferior quality. However, because Hong Kong and Taiwan implement higher standards that equal that of the European Union, the United States and Canada, the products imported here are of better quality. As a result, factories will conform to higher standards for the Hong Kong market, but will ship inferior goods to mainland China.
For example: the milk formula produced by Abbott Laboratories called “Similac Advance HH” for sale in Hong Kong is not the same as the milk formula “Similac with High Q+ Shield” that is sold in mainland China; not only are the manufacturing country of origin and ingredients different, but the outward appearance of the actual formula is different as well (eg coarseness of grain, coloring, proclivity to foam,having a crisp and dry outward appearance or one that is damp etc).
Many well-intentioned domestic milk formula enterprises have signed agreements with international milk formula producers that don’t fully advertise their relationship, thus not encroaching upon the trust of consumers. These include Topfer/Tofer/Toepher, Friso and Nestle; as the former two abide by this policy, they are relatively lesser known. On the other hand, Nestle treats the Asian market in the same way it treats the European market; as it employs heavy use of advertisements, it enjoys a well-known reputation.
Q: Where is a good place to purchase milk formula in Hong Kong? A: Quality is guaranteed in large-scale supermarkets; however, it is cheaper to purchase in drugstores
Hong Kong has many franchise chain stores like Park N’ Shop, Wellcome, Watsons and Mannings. All of these stores have ample supplies of quality milk formula powder that meet the required high standards of the region. As well, many private drugstores also have milk formula for sale, and many times these prices are tens of Hong Kong dollars cheaper than the same products sold in the previously mentioned supermarkets.
There are no counterfeit goods in Hong Kong; all merchandise for sale is either smuggled and legitimate goods. All the same, this editor humbly suggests that it is most appropriate to purchase milk formula products at a legitimate chain supermarket. Because even though it may be the same brand, the milk formula product may be manufactured in another location.
For example, the drugstore may sell Mead Johnson milk formula that is manufactured in Thailand or Malaysia which are in fact more or less the same quality as milk products manufactured in China. On the other hand, milk formula sold in supermarkets is Holland-manufactured Mead Johnson products set for sale in the Hong Kong and Macao markets – precisely the kind of formula that mainland parents want to purchase.
Another advantage to buying the milk formula in these large Hong Kong supermarkets is that you will be able to directly use your mainland Union Pay bank card. The exchange rate is based upon the current daily rate, and using this card is much more convenient than paying with Hong Kong currency.
Q: How do the best quality milk formula products rank? A: Whether best quality or average quality, quality is guaranteed
Among the best quality milk formula products include: Friso, Abbott Gold brand (made in Holland/Denmark), Nutrilon (Hong Kong). Products of slightly lower quality include: Mead Johnson Gold brand, Wyeth Gold brand, Nestle NAN H.A., Dumex Nutrilon, and Milk Goat. Average quality milk formula products include: Yili Gold brand Complete Flavor Superior+, Synutra Superior Plenty, and the Japanese brands Meiji and Morinaga among others. Of special note are the products listed below:
[To be continued in part two]