Nestle Malaysia defends MILO product health claims in wake of viral videos

Nestle Malaysia has released a statement defending its MILO product following public criticism. This followed two viral videos from Malaysian entrepreneur Vishen Lakhiani who criticised Nestle for marketing its MILO brand product as healthy one, while disputing its benefits and nutritional value. This includes claims that MILO is made up of 40% sugar.

In a statement to A+M, a Nestle spokesperson confirmed that the company was aware of media reports pertaining to the benefits and nutritional value of MILO. As such, it has taken the liberty to outline the core facts surrounding its MILO product – particularly its sugar content and nutritional content.

Nestle clarified that MILO comprises 40% sugar, but that was only in its raw form before dilution. Consumers are hence recommended to prepare a cup of MILO using five teaspoons of MILO with 200ml of hot water, after which the total sugar is only 6%. It added that half of this sugar comes naturally from milk and malt, such as lactose and maltose, which it adds are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals.

“As always, we encourage consumers to prepare MILO with powdered milk and/or water and enjoy it as part of a balanced diet. In line with the ever-evolving needs of our consumers, we continuously make efforts to produce healthier and tasty products,” the Nestle spokesperson added.

A+M has reached out to Nestle Malaysia for additional comments.

In case you were not aware of what is happening, we got you covered! The first viral video made by Lakhiani, who is CEO of education technology company Mindvalley, was posted two weeks ago. It garnered over 789,000 views, 18,000 shares, 9,300 reactions and over 1,700 comments at the time of writing. The video also garnered mixed responses from netizens, lauding Lakhiani for calling out Nestle, while also sparking conversations on whether or not the video’s criticisms were fair.

Following the responses from the first video, Lakhiani addressed an earlier statement from Nestle calling his video’s claims to be “misleading”. He then proceeded to debunk Nestle’s counter claims towards his first video by creating a second video which breaks down the ingredient found in several Nestle products to justify the points made in its first video. Lakhiani then concludes the video by imploring Nestle to live up to its mission and be “truthful” in its advertising.

The second video, which was posted on 2 February 2018, garnered 265,000 views, 10,480 shares, over 6,000 reactions and 1,000 comments at the time of writing.

In December 2017,  Nestlé MILO launched an ad campaign titled “Back To School Mums”, by sending mothers to the same school as their children and putting them through the exact schedule they have packed their kids with. The campaign was targeted at mothers and aims to highlight the importance of breakfast in giving children the energy they need to take on a school day.

Earlier in 2017, research by MIDF Amanah Investment Bank Bhd’s research arm (MIDF Research) said “aggressive advertising” has delivered strong growth in the domestic segment. This resulted in the company’s domestic share rising from 14.5% in FY2014 to 15.8% in FY2015. This is also supported by Nestle’s financial performance in 2016, which said that strong domestic marketing activities boosted its Malaysia profits.

(Image courtesy: Vishen Lakhiani Facebook)

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