Delicias, Chihuahua.- Reckitt, the company that has Choco Milk and Enfamil among its brands, saw an opportunity to respond to the shortage of infant formula in the United States, from Mexico.
To stock the shelves of American retailers , the English company installed a state-of-the-art dryer for the production of traditional and prescription formulas at the Delicias plant in Chihuahua, for which it made an investment of 85 million dollars ( about 1,690 million pesos).
To this will be added 178 million pesos that will be allocated for the development of technology, sanitary measures and actions in this plant next year, which adds up to 2,000 million pesos of investment made by Reckitt in this municipality since 2016.
The production surge comes a couple of months after US President Joe Biden met with infant formula makers – Reckitt among them – to find alternatives to alleviate domestic shortages by importing foreign supplies. and the use of the Defense Production Law to accelerate domestic production.
“Crises can create opportunities, and this shortage in the United States was a start to consider the Delicias plant and see its qualities. Now we are on the map of the corporation to produce for different countries,” said Anne Engerant, at a press conference. senior vice president of the firm for Latin America.
Shipments to the United States began after the company received authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
In October, Reckitt sent 150 tons of the base to produce the milk formulas, which are added with specific ingredients in the plants in the United States. Next month they will export 250 tons.
The company will fill the gap that was generated in this market due to the closure of an Abbott plant in February, after registering some that caused the product to be withdrawn at points of sale.
An analysis of data from Datasembly revealed that last April, the stock out of baby formula in the United States reached 30%. The lack of powdered milk jumped to 43% for the week ending May 8. For the analysis firm, in addition to the product recall, the shortage of milk formulas for babies is exacerbated by interruptions in the supply chain and high levels of inflation.
Sergio Urbina, director of the Reckitt plant in Delicias, explained that the increase in the production of infant formulas is only for the United States, since the rest of the markets have a stable supply.
Urbina assures that the new automated dryer guarantees that the base material for the development of milk formulas maintains the required health levels, without the risk of contamination.