APAC’s top 10 food and beverage brand stories of 2018 revealed

By Pearly Neo

- Last updated on GMT

Nestle, Coca-Cola and Pepsi are some of the big brands that feature heavily in our top 10 most-read  APAC brand stories of 2018. ©Nestle
Nestle, Coca-Cola and Pepsi are some of the big brands that feature heavily in our top 10 most-read APAC brand stories of 2018. ©Nestle

Related tags Brand Top 10 APAC

Nestle, Coca-Cola and Pepsi are some of the big brands that feature heavily in our top 10 most-read APAC brand stories of 2018.

Pakistan water crisis: Nestle, PepsiCo and Coca-Cola amongst companies summoned for water usage

In September this year, the CEOs of Nestle, PepsiCo and Coca-Cola, amongst other beverage giants, were summoned​ by Pakistan’s Chief Judge with regard to their water usage in the country.

Pakistan Chief Judge Mian Saqib Nisar has requested that the companies reveal data about their water usage in relation to ‘holy ponds’ belonging to the Katas Raj Temples in Punjab.

"They are extracting water and selling it, someone should tell whether these companies are paying for it or not," ​said Nisar.


Nestlé Malaysia defends Milo over viral video accusations about sugar content

Nestlé Malaysia responded to a viral online video​, which claims its Milo drink contains 40% sugar, by stating: ‘The facts in this video are clearly misleading’​.

The online criticism started when Vishen Lakhiani, founder and CEO of technology company Mindvalley, posted the YouTube video “The food industry is lying to you about health & nutrition — here's why”.

In his video, Lakhiani attacked various Nestlé products and criticised them for being marketed as healthy, including powdered Milo, which he claimed comprised 40% sugar.


Coca-Cola FEMSA Philippines lays off 600 employees just weeks after sugar tax introduction

Coca-Cola FEMSA Philippines is laying off 600 employees​, blaming the move on the "regulatory environment" just weeks after the country introduced its sugar tax.

The joint venture company between the Coca-Cola Company and Mexican beverage company FEMSA officially announced this on 6 February, but employees claimed to have had their contracts terminated before then.

The Center for People's Media (CPM) by People's Media Advocacy Asia (PMAA), a grassroots labour issues advocacy network, said about 600 workers, or about 7.5% of the company's 8,000-strong labour force, would be laid off.


FEMSA quits Coca-Cola Philippines venture five​ years after taking 51% stake

Coca-Cola FEMSA is to sell back its 51% stake in Coca-Cola Philippines​, after a tough period marked by labour unrest and the introduction of a sugar tax.

Parent business the Coca-Cola Company has stated that its Bottling Investments Group (BIG) will now take over the operation, subject to regulatory approvals.

“We respect Coca-Cola FEMSA’s decision, and we appreciate the progress made during their five-year tenure in the Philippines,”​ said Coca-Cola Company president of the Asia Pacific Group John Murphy.


Nestlé suspended by RSPO for ‘failing to submit’ palm oil sustainability reports

Nestlé risks no longer being able to claim the use of certified sustainable palm oil following suspension of its Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) membership​.

The food and drink giant was suspended yesterday (June 27) after RSPO said it had failed to report its efforts in promoting the sustainable use of palm oil for two consecutive years. 

RSPO Supply Chain certification for its facilities were also suspended, its voting rights at RSPO General Assemblies will be revoked, and it was not allowed to join any RSPO task force or working group.


Pepsi takes on Coca-Cola with J-Cola brand just for Japan

Pepsi has followed in arch-rival Coca-Cola’s footsteps and launched its own cola for the Japanese market​ in the form of J-Cola.

J-Cola, which comes in a bottle that is immediately recognisable as Pepsi, is fused with Japanese spice and citrus.

It had previously watched on as Coke launched such goodies as a Sakura Cherry Blossom edition for the spring, and a unique peach-flavoured variety in February.


Amul plans 10 new dairy plants as boss seeks to attract more farmers

Indian dairy giant Amul will invest Rs5,000 crore (US$812m) on around 10 milk processing plants​ over the next year as it targets revenues of 10 times that investment by 2020.

Amul managing director RS Sodhi said the plans included two plants in Delhi, three in Uttar Pradesh, one each in Kolkata and Maharashtra and the rest in the co-operative’s native Gujarat to achieve its goal earnings of Rs50,000cr in five years.


Nestlé's Milo PR problem spreads to Australia following Sri Lanka and Malaysia spats

Nestlé’s persistent PR problem​ about the nutritional value and high sugar content of its Milo drink shows no sign of abating after the firm moved “to avoid confusion” over its star rating in Australia, hot on the heels of similar disputes in Sri Lanka and Malaysia.

Nestlé recently announced it is removing its Australian Health Star Rating (HSR) of 4.5 on its powdered Milo product, “pending the Australian Federal Government’s review of the HSR system”​.

In an official statement, the multinational firm said powdered Milo’s HSR of 4.5 had been “correctly calculated under the relevant regulations”​.


Coca-Cola extends health drive with no- / low-sugar RTD tea drink range launch

Coca-Cola Singapore has launched a new line of low- or no-sugar ready-to-drink (RTD) teas​ called Authentic Tea House, as the firm continues its focus on reformulating products with lower sugar content.

Currently, the Authentic Tea House range has three variants including the sugar-free Ayataka Japanese Green Tea that has been rebranded from the Heaven and Earth range, which mainly comprised RTD teas that fused fruit flavours with healthy natural ingredients in contemporary expressions.


JUST CEO Josh Tetrick reveals billion-dollar start-up will open first Asia manufacturing site

Billion-dollar US start-up JUST will open its first manufacturing site in Asia​ this year, with CEO Josh Tetrick telling us in an exclusive interview that Asia holds huge promise for the egg-free and 'clean meat' firm.

San Francisco-headquartered JUST manufactures egg-free mayo, dressings, cookie dough and its Scramble product – an egg-free scrambled egg for foodservice outlets.

The products are currently manufactured in the US, but Tetrick said the firm would soon confirm the location of its first Asia site, with China, Singapore and Japan in the mix.

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