Nestlé launches dairy free Milo in Asia, commits to protect region’s forest landscapes

ASIANestlé has launched its plant-based version of popular chocolate malt beverage, Milo in Asia in response to a rising tide of consumers preferring more dairy alternatives in their diet.

This new version replaces the milk in the original recipe with almond and soy, but the other two core ingredients – malt and cocoa – remain the same.

Its launch follows the roll out of a plant-based Milo powder in Australia in 2020, a launch that created huge excitement in the country where Milo was first introduced in 1934.

Dairy free Milo, Nescafé lattes launch in Malaysia

The Swiss food manufacturing giant says that the launch of dairy free Milo is starting first in Malaysia, a country with generations of Milo fans going back 70 years to its launch there in 1950.

The company further noted that Nestlé Malaysia will also be introducing a range of plant-based Nescafé lattes which will appear alongside the dairy free Milo on shelves this April.

The dairy free Nescafé’s include Almond Latte which combines almond and pea while Nescafé Dairy Free Oat will be comprised of oat and soy.

Dairy-free products become a trend

The need for plant-based dairy alternatives that taste great and offer strong nutritionals is rising, as more families are following this trend.

Many consumers cite environmental reasons for this shift, as plant-based proteins are produced with significantly lower emissions, land- and water usage.

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According to a recent survey by GlobalData, over 40% of consumers in the Asia region are shifting to more plant-based diets, with 11% opting for vegetarian and vegan food, and a third moving to a ‘flexitarian’ diet that is lighter on meat and dairy products.

In response to this rising trend, Nestlé has already launched a number of dairy free products cross a number of countries in Europe, Latin America and Oceania, and most recently launched a range of plant-based Nescafé and Starbucks lattes in Japan.

Saving Asia’s Forests

“We know that addressing deforestation in our palm oil supply chain is not enough. For a lasting and meaningful impact, we are evolving from a no-deforestation strategy to a ‘forest-positive’ one.”

Benjamin Ware, Global Head of Sustainable Sourcing and Climate Delivery, Nestlé.

Apart from launching dairy free products in Asia which are touted as eco-friendly, Nestlé has also announced its support for the protection and restoration of over 500,000 hectares of tropical forest landscapes in Southeast Asia.

The Swiss food conglomerate said its support will be made through the Rimba Collective, the largest private sector forest conservation initiative.

Rimba Collective complements the palm oil industry’s efforts to end deforestation by funding conservation and restoration projects across the supply chain.

The initiative aims at forest conservation investments that simultaneously support forest protection as well as economic development and job creation for local communities. 

The initiative will initially focus on projects in Indonesia before expanding to others across Southeast Asia.

Projects will be prioritized based on their potential to protect and restore large, continuous areas of natural ecosystems and critical habitats.

Other priorities include generating measurable ecosystem benefits (such as keeping more carbon in the ground, purifying water and improving soil health) and making livelihoods more resilient for local communities. 

“We know that addressing deforestation in our palm oil supply chain is not enough. For a lasting and meaningful impact, we are evolving from a no-deforestation strategy to a ‘forest-positive’ one,” said Benjamin Ware, Global Head of Sustainable Sourcing and Climate Delivery, Nestlé.

“This means we will buy from suppliers who are actively conserving and restoring forests while promoting sustainable livelihoods and respecting human rights.”

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