Business

Wednesday 20 June 2018

Ergo: Glanbia planning to bulk up in China with protein push

Siobhan Talbot, Glanbia group MD. Photo: INM
Siobhan Talbot, Glanbia group MD. Photo: INM
Samantha McCaughren

Samantha McCaughren

GlanBIA made headlines in 2014 when it launched its dairy brand Avonmore in China, but it has been making headlines in the world's second largest economy in recent days for its new push on its nutritionals business.

According to state newspaper China Daily, the company recently rebranded its most popular whey protein brand in China, Optimum Nutrition, which has been available in there for six years, with a new logo and 'an official Chinese translation'.

"The launch of a new Chinese logo reflects our investment and commitment to the local market," Sam Bedi, Asian regional director for Glanbia Performance Nutrition told the publication, during the annual International Health, Wellness and Fitness Expo in Shanghai. "From our point of view as a global leader, it's the right time to make significant investment in the Chinese sports nutrition market," Bedi added.

The company has three brands for sale in China and will launch a fourth, Amazing Grass. Unlike other markets, such as the US, the group will sell mainly online rather than in bricks and mortar stores.

Glanbia Performance Nutrition is now the fourth-biggest protein supplement company in China but has bigger ambitions. The plan is "not to be in China for a year or two, but to be the No 1 leader in the sports nutrition product segment for the long term".

Europhiles have perfect getaway with Hayes tour

With the summer now upon us, thoughts have turned to planning getaways for the next few months. An interesting trip to Germany was brought to my attention, one that will appeal to political junkies in particular. Travel agents GTI are promoting the Brian Hayes MEP Tour, encompassing Strasbourg, the Black Forest and Heidelberg.  While the "stunning" Black Forest and the "picturesque villages and beautifully maintained old houses" of the Alsace region are flagged in the promotional flyer, perhaps the highlight is the visit to Strasbourg, "the official seat of the European Parliament - and enjoy lunch with Brian Hayes MEP".

Eager fans of the workings of the institutions of the EU have just missed the May visit to Strasbourg with the travel agent but another tour is planned for autumn. In view of Brexit and the anti-EU sentiment rising in Italy and elsewhere, delays in booking are not recommended.

An Post network's future to be delivered by new assessors

An Post is working away on paring back the postal network following an agreement with the Irish Postmasters' Union. Some 80pc of members voted in favour of the plan, which will offer voluntary retirement, among other things.

As part of the agreement, a protocol was agreed whereby two assessors would be appointed to judge if a new post office will be required when a postmaster decides it's time to move on. All eyes at An Post will now be on the appointment of the assessors. But fears that closures may hurt rural communities should be put to rest with one of them, at least.

I hear Paddy McGuinness, former chairman of the Western Development Commission, is being tipped as one of the likely assessors. Last year he sought not to be re-appointed to the role of commission chairman, reportedly due to his belief the Government was failing to deliver for the west. One would have to imagine he will have the interests of rural communities, which will surely strengthen any An Post closure decisions.

Sunday Indo Business

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