Sugar out, stevia in: Nestle Australia to launch cane sugar-free Milo next month

By Pearly Neo

- Last updated on GMT

Nestle Australia is set to launch its new cane sugar-free Milo 30% Less Added Sugar next month after over two years of development. ©Milo Australia & New Zealand
Nestle Australia is set to launch its new cane sugar-free Milo 30% Less Added Sugar next month after over two years of development. ©Milo Australia & New Zealand

Related tags Nestlé Australia Milo sugar reduction

Nestle Australia is set to launch its new cane sugar-free Milo 30% Less Added Sugar next month after over two years of development – but consumers will getting less beverage for their buck due to higher production costs.

The new recipe contains malt barley, milk powder and cocoa like original Milo, but replaces cane sugar with stevia for sweetness, and soluble corn fibre for texture, to give a new version that looks, tastes and behaves like the original.

“Milo 30% Less Added Sugar contains lactose, which is a naturally occurring sugar in the milk powder, and added sugar (maltose) in the malt barley – but the cane sugar is gone,”​ Nestle Australia General Manager Andrew McIver told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

What this means is that the new product is also free of sucrose (table sugar), which would normally be found in cane sugar.

McIver added that it was formulated in response to consumer concerns about added dietary sugar, especially from a family context, and conceptualised as an option that ‘encourages people to drink milk, but delivers less added sugar’​.

“When we were working on developing [this version], our focus was on creating a product that looks like original Milo, tastes like original Milo, and behaves like original Milo – crunchy bits and all,”​ he added.

Milo 30% Less Added Sugar will hit Australian shelves early next month, at a retail price of A$6.99 for 395g – slightly pricier than original Milo which is priced at A$6.99 for 460g.

“Much as we wish we could produce it for the same cost, it’s quite a bit more expensive to produce – the ingredients cost more, it’s much slower to make, and the production runs are smaller. However with its great taste, it still represents terrific value,”​ said McIver.

The new product will be available in Coles and Woolworths supermarkets as well as independent grocery stores throughout the country.

Cane-sugar free Milo elsewhere

Nestle has formulated Milo without cane-sugar or sucrose is several other countries worldwide as what has been described to be a ‘global move’​ to reduce sugar in its product portfolio.

According to McIver: “Milo 30% Less Added Sugar has been developed separately to these, recognising the uniqueness of Milo in Australia.”

Other countries that have previously released similar formulations include Thailand​ with its Milo UHT No Sucrose launched earlier this year, which similarly only contains sugars derived from milk and malt.

“Nestle Thailand is introducing new products [with more] healthier and tastier choices [to] let consumers choose the amount of sugar they want,”​ Nestle Thailand Business Executive Officer (Dairy & Adult Nutrition) Chaiyong Sakulborrirug previously told us​.

“[These include our] three MILO variants – the new Milo UHT No Sucrose, which joins Milo 30% Less Sugar (first launched in 2017) and regular Milo.”​

He had also said that Milo UHT No Sucrose was ‘one of several projects ongoing in different countries where Milo is sold’​, such as Australia, in order to meet consumer demands for tastier and healthier products.

“[Nestle is] on a journey to reduce the amount of added sugar in across our Milo range, while ensuring that the products meet consumer taste preference,”​ said Sakulborrirug.

Nestle Singapore previously also released two similar Milo formulations: Milo Gao Siew Dai in July 2017 with 50 % less table sugar, and Milo Gao Kosong with no added table sugar last June.

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