Yili Group, Asia’s largest dairy company, participated in the 14th Global Dairy Congress from 22 to 24 June. As the only invited speaker from China, Dr Zhanyou Yun, assistant president of Yili, attended the keynote session and delivered a speech entitled “Driving innovation and branding”.
At the World Dairy Innovation Awards ceremony, an annual event held during the Global Dairy Congress, the judging panel considered 222 entries from 25 countries across 20 categories, and Yili won three awards, including “Best Dairy Drink” for Cute Star Rub Your Tummy dietary fiber yogurt drink, “Best Functional Dairy” for TOORAN Black Milk Powder and “Best Packaging Design” for SATINE X Palace Museum Product of Special Edition. Notably, Yili is the only award winner from Asia and also the one with the most nominations and awards globally.
“The era of Industry 4.0 calls for dairy players to embrace digital technology in order to drive greater innovation. Always putting our customers first, Yili has established ‘dual centres’ online and offline and achieved the ‘dual integration’ of informatisation and digitalisation. Digital technology also empowers our partners to improve their efficiency and will ultimately help to provide products of even higher quality for global consumers,” said Dr Yun.
Creating digital tools for the development of a smart dairy industry
As consumer needs become personalised and segmented, Yili has been developing a wide range of digital tools to stay ahead of the market. The company has established its own “radar” to track consumers’ evolving demands and receive feedback around their experiences, as well as a series of platforms for product lifecycle management (PLM), compliance and standard platform management, and risk assessment.
Based upon nearly two decades of research, Yili has become the first Chinese company that sets up its own breast milk database. Together with Wageningen University & Research, Yili has applied the key research findings to its Jinlingguan infant formula.
Introducing digital transformations throughout the industry chain
For Yili, achieving true digitalisation means transforming the entire industry chain through the deployment of cutting-edge Internet technologies.
In the upper reaches of the industry chain, Yili actively promotes digital farming and is building smart pastures. Using Yili’s digital management system, pasture workers are able to keep real-time digital health records for every cow. In the middle of the industry chain, Yili has been accelerating the construction of “smart factories”. Downstream, Yili has been promoting the concept of “new retail” to optimise consumer shopping experiences and achieve the full integration of online and offline channels.
Driving product innovation through “dual integration”
Yili integrates IT applications with the dairy industry, and uses big data to accurately understand consumers’ rapidly evolving needs.
For example, after finding out that 80% of Asians have a lactose deficiency, Yili spent four years on product development to help address this issue and came out with the new lactose hydrolysis technology and the Shuhua Lactose Free Milk. Based upon its big data radar platform, Yili has collected and taken into consideration consumer recommendations around the rapid launch of its new AMBPOMIAL products.