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Chinese Brand Involved In Melamine Scandal Goes Organic

Under new ownership, Sanlu is attempting to rebrand with organic grains. The question is will Chinese consumers buy in?

Sanlu Headquarters

Photo: Malcolm Moore (Flickr)

Sanlu headquarters, in 2008 during the melamine milk scandal. Sanlu has reemerged on the market not as a dairy producer, but as an organic grain brand.

Toxic Additives

Sanlu, the Chinese company whose milk was found to contain toxic amounts of melamine in 2008, is back on the market under new ownership.

Despite the company’s attempts to rebrand itself with a new line of organic products, consumers have not forgotten the poisoning incident that killed six babies and sickened 300,000 others.

After going bankrupt following the scandal, Sanlu’s trademark and logo were sold at auction in 2009 to businessman Jiang Xinhua.

Under the new name Zhejiang Sanlu, the company recently premiered a line of organic grains.

Organic Goods

Despite its new products, Zhejiang Sanlu is still fighting its bad reputation. Chinese consumers have taken to social media to express their ongoing distrust of the brand.

Sanlu was once a dairy giant in China, worth 14.9 billion yuan (or 2.5 billion U.S. dollars) in 2006.

Five years after the scandal, many Chinese continue to buy infant formula in bulk when they travel to other countries.

Read More:

  • A reviled Chinese baby formula company is rebranding with organic noodles (Quartz)
  • Sanlu brand reappears in local supermarkets as organic food (Global Times)
Liz Leslie

Liz Leslie is a journalist based in Chicago. When she's not writing about food, she's likely eating food. Or dreaming about food.

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