BMS Index 2024

Yili

PDF

Headquarters

China

Type of ownership

Public

Estimated percentage of Yili's global F&B sales from BMS

15%

Estimated percentage of Yili's global baby food sales from BMS

100%

Countries covered in country studies

China

Company also assessed in:

CF Index 2024

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BMS Marketing
Score 2024
Average score Highest score
Country Studies
Score
0%  1 country
Corporate Profile
Score
0.1%

Important:

The research findings regarding companies’ performance in this Index are based on information shared by companies or gathered by service providers, in addition to information that is available in the public domain.

The level of detail and comprehensiveness of information shared by companies and gathered through external service providers varied. In the case of limited or no engagement by companies, this Index may not represent the full extent of their efforts. Similarly, in the case of limited data collected by service providers, the findings of this Index may not provide a comprehensive representation of company practices.

ATNI’s research and Indexes do not assess compliance with local regulations or laws, but rather assess private sector performance against international standards and guidance.

BMS Country Studies

Country Studies
Score
0%  1 country

The Country Studies component of the BMS and CF Marketing Indexes 2024 evaluates the extent to which a company’s marketing practices align with specific provisions of the WHO Code (not against local Code-related regulations). The main marketing channels assessed in the Country Studies for the BMS and CF Marketing Indexes 2024 are online points-of-sale, traditional and online media outlets, and product labels which were all assessed according to the NetCode protocol. Yili sells BMS products only in China, which represents almost all of the company’s estimated global BMS sales. Yili holds a 13% share of the Chinese BMS market. The Country Studies results for Yili are summarized below for China across each marketing channel.

Country Studies overview

Yili Country assessments BMS market
Total incidences of non-compliance across online, traditional media, and product labels Number of product labels assessed Company brands found BMS market share Proportion of Yili's global BMS sales
CHINA 81 45 Hyproka 1897, Jinglingguan, Kabrita, OZ farm, Pure Nutra, Yili 13% 99,8%
GERMANY N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
INDONESIA N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
US N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
VIET NAM N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Code compliance level
Complete
(0 incidences of Code non-compliance corresponding to a country score of 100%)
High
(>0-10 incidences of Code non-compliance corresponding to a country score of 66%)
Medium
(>10-20 incidences of Code non-compliance corresponding to a country score of 33%)
Low
(> 20 incidences of Code non-compliance corresponding to a country score of 0%)

• A total of 81 incidences of non-compliant marketing practices for BMS products were found for Yili. Non-compliant marketing practices were found across online and traditional media channels assessed in China. A total of 45 BMS product labels were assessed from various Yili brands.

• Yili’s BMS sales are almost entirely in China, and the company has approximately a 13% share of the Chinese BMS market. Of all observations, a total of 23 advertisements and promotions related to BMS brands were found online during the research period, and 16 advertisements were found on traditional media channels in Indonesia. All product labels assessed with clear images contained one or more instances of non-compliance.

Observed incidences of non-compliance with the Code per country

Absolute number of incidences of non-compliance
Category
Infant Formula
Follow-up Formula
Growing-up Milk
Product brand

Main in-country findings

Yili had a total of 81 incidences of non-compliance in China. Most incidences of non-compliance were found on labels (42), followed by observations on online (23), and traditional (16) media. The incidences of non-compliance found online were largely concerning growing-up milks, whereas non-compliant labels were found across all types of BMS products.

Online findings

• Among the total incidences of non-compliance found online (23), six were point-of-sale promotions found on online retail platforms. Despite ATNI's request for Yili to verify any contractual relationship with the retailers monitored, confirmation could not be obtained from the company. Promotions found on online retailers had an average of three instances of non-compliance per promotion found. With each of the point-of-sale promotions, advertisements of BMS products were also observed. The most common form of promotion found on online retailer sites were price-related discounts or gifts, lottery, and giveaways. Invitations to join memberships for the chance to receive gifts and benefits were also found.

• The remaining 17 online media observations were found on Yili’s Weibo channel, with an average of two instances of non-compliance per advert. Apart from advertising BMS – a non-compliance with the Code in itself – other common instances found with those advertisements included: comparison of BMS products to breastmilk, promotion of bottle feeding, company sponsorship of health care workers to present on the topic of infant and young child feeding, as well as company provision of information and educational on infant and young child feeding, all of which are actions that do not comply with the Code. Additionally, 71% of advertisements on the company’s Weibo channel had at least one type of claim.

Traditional media findings

• In total, 16 BMS advertisements by Yili were identified on traditional media channels, with nine on television and seven on radio. Adverts on television were exclusively for growing-up milk, while adverts on radio did not make reference to specific age for the BMS products. All 16 adverts had nutrition, health and marketing claims, with the exception of one, which had health and promotional claims only.

BMS product label

• The number of Yili BMS products assessed totaled 45. However, for three products images were missing and had incomplete assessments, therefore it was not possible to determine whether they comply with the requirements of the Code. All remaining 42 BMS labels contained at least one or more instances of non-compliance, with an average of three non-compliant incidences per product label.

• Of the products assessed, 38 were found to contain at least one type of claim (nutritional (36), health (15), and/or promotional (5). Other most frequently occurring incidences of non-compliance included:
o Not including a statement on the importance of exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months of life and continued breastfeeding for up to two years or beyond (19)
o Not including the words “Important Notice” or their equivalent followed by a statement on the superiority of breastfeeding (15)
o Not containing a clearly legible statement that the product should be used only on the advice of a health worker (13)

• It is worth noting that, ATNI did not have the resources to collect products from the different markets and take pictures of their labels. In this iteration, ATNI’s research was based on product label images from an external provider. For a total of total 26 products, images were not clear enough or did not show all parts of the package, thus ATNI asked Yili to provide images of the labels. Yili did not respond to ATNI during the verification phase, and no images of product labels were provided, as requested by ATNI. Therefore, incomplete assessments remained for a total of 26 products. If at least one incidence of non-compliance was identified from the existing images, these labels were still counted as a non-compliant observation, which was the case for 23 out of 26.

Recommendations

• Given the 81 incidences of non-compliant marketing practices observed across China, Yili is strongly encouraged to strengthen its responsible BMS marketing policies and ensure their full alignment with the recommendations of the Code and all subsequent relevant resolutions, including the guidance supported by WHA resolution 69.9. ATNI has developed a model company policy on the responsible marketing of BMS which can guide the company on how to incorporate Code provisions and align with the latest public health requirements in practice.

• Yili is urged to restrict the advertising and promotion of all types of BMS products and brands on all forms of media platforms. The company should also refrain from the use of incentives that promote the purchase of its BMS products, such as discounts, deals and giveaways, and from providing education and information on infant and young child feeding to caregivers.

• Yili is strongly encouraged to take responsibility for monitoring its marketing practices beyond local regulations, according to the principles and the aim of the Code and subsequent relevant resolutions, and to take steps to ensure this includes online media channels.

• Yili is encouraged to engage with its industry associations, retailers and/or regulators to ensure that there are no promotions of BMS products in the retail environment, and see that products are appropriately marketed in line with the Code.

• As point-of-sale promotions were found for growing-up milks, which is contrary to the requirements of the Code, specifically the guidance supported by WHA resolution 69.9 that extended the scope of the Code to growing-up milks. Yili is recommended to ensure its commitments are extended to include growing-up milks in their policies to prevent the cross-promotion of its BMS products.

• Given that 42 of the labels assessed were clearly found to be non-compliant with the Code requirements, in at least one aspect, Yili is encouraged to focus on improving labeling practices to ensure full compliance with the Code and all subsequent relevant resolutions, including the guidance supported by WHA resolution 69.9. This includes ensuring that product labels clearly include a statement on the importance of exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months of life and continued breastfeeding for up to two years or beyond.

• Yili is strongly encouraged to cooperate fully with any future independent third-party assessments by providing clear and comprehensive product label images. Incomplete assessments can lead to inaccurate evaluations and hinder efforts to address incidences of non-compliance effectively.

• ATNI is calling on Yili to review all incidences of non-compliance identified across all marketing channels, which were shared in detail with the company, and to take corrective action.

BMS Corporate Profile

Corporate Profile
Score
0.1%

The Corporate Profile component of the BMS and CF Marketing Indexes 2024 evaluates the extent to which a company’s policies align with various provisions of the Code, the effectiveness of its related management systems as well as the company’s level of disclosure on commitments relating to BMS marketing. Yili’s BMS marketing commitments were assessed across 11 topics that cover different aspects of the Code on which the company scored an average of 0,52%. This score is equivalent to the company’s initial overall Corporate Profile score before a geographic penalty (if applicable) is applied to each BMS product type. The final Corporate Profile score considers how the company’s BMS marketing commitments are applied for the different BMS product types sold by the company, and across different markets. As Yili sells infant formula, follow-up formula, and growing-up milks, the company’s application of BMS commitments was evaluated for each product type, as shown in the next section on ‘Geographic application of BMS commitments by product type’. The scores and findings on each topic are described in further detail in the section below on ‘BMS Commitments by Topic’.

Geographic application by Yili of BMS commitments by product type

The table below shows the percentage of product sales where commitments are upheld and the geographic penalty applied to each type of BMS. The penalty ranges from 0% up to 90% depending on whether a company fully upholds its BMS marketing commitments in all or none of the countries in which it operates, respectively, where national Code regulations are absent or less stringent than the company’s policies and standards.

Corporate Profile
score before
penalty
Product
type
Percentage of Yili’s global sales from markets where BMS commitments are upheld Geographic
penalty applied
Final Corporate
Profile score
0.5% Infant
formula
0% 90% 0.1%
Follow-up
formula
0% 90%
Growing-up
milk
0% 90%
Commitments are upheld
Upheld for all products in this category - without exception - globally
Upheld for some products in this category - without exception - globally
Upheld for all products in this category - without exception - only in some markets
Upheld for some products in this category, and only in some markets
Not upheld for this product category in any market
No policy found in the public domain nor shared by the company, therefore no information on how commitments are upheld

• No information was found in the public domain nor shared by the company describing how BMS marketing commitments are upheld for each product type and in which markets.

• Therefore, the corresponding geographic penalty for each product type (infant formula, follow-up formula, and growing-up milk) is the maximum of 90% and the final Corporate Profile score is 0,05%.

• ATNI calls on Yili to develop and/or publish a BMS marketing policy that fully aligns with the wording of the Code, in addition to upholding the relevant national regulations in China. The policy should also cover all milks that are specifically marketed for feeding infants and young children from birth up to the age of three years, and it should be applied in all markets in which the company operates in.

Infant formula

• The corresponding geographic penalty for this product type is the maximum of 90%.

Follow-up formula

• The corresponding geographic penalty for this product type is the maximum of 90%.

Growing-up milk

• The corresponding geographic penalty for this product type is the maximum of 90%.

Topics Overview

Average score Highest score
These represent the initial overall scores before applying the penalty.

BMS commitments by topic

Most topics include assessments on both policy commitments and management systems, except for the topic on ‘Implementation and Monitoring’, which mostly considers management systems, and the topic ‘Overarching Commitments’, which considers policy commitments only. A separate topic assesses the level of disclosure and transparency practiced by companies on the different aspects of the Code.

Select one of the 11 topics from the drop-down menu below.
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