THAILAND – Swiss multinational food and drink Nestlé is shaking up the beverage market in Thailand with a new plant-based version of Milo. 

Nestlé says the new ready-to-drink product combines soy with the unique Milo malt flavor, to provide a nutritious plant-based alternative. 

The launch is coming at a time when consumers in Asia are looking to include more plant-based alternatives in their diet. 

GlobalData in its recent survey found that 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. 

Moreover, Asia’s Plant-Based Food market size was valued at US$17,473 million in 2020 and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 10.8% during the forecast period 2021-2026, according to market research firm Industry Arc.   

Satisfying Asia’s craving for plant-based 

To meet this demand, Nestlé is launching versions of some of its most-loved beverages in the region including Milo and Nescafé in Malaysia, and Nescafé and Starbucks in Japan. 

The new Milo Soy has strong nutritional values with a 180ml carton that offers around 5 grams of protein, is high in calcium, and contains vitamins and minerals.  

Production of the new milo also had sustainability in mind as the carton is designed for recycling and comes with a paper straw.  

Mr. Chaiyong Sakulborrirug, Business Executive Officer – Dairy & Adult Nutrition, Nestlé (Thai) Ltd., said: “Milo is a much-loved and iconic brand, so we are proud to offer people this new soy version.  

Plant-based beverages are becoming increasingly popular in Thailand as people look to lessen their environment impact and take care of their health. We believe this launch will help create a positive trend towards plant-based alternatives.” 

Using its plant-based innovation expertise, Nestlé is focused on developing a wide variety of dairy alternatives made from pea, rice, oat, soy, coconut, and almonds. 

Nestlé’s R&D center in Singapore serves as the regional innovation hub for the development of plant-based meat and dairy alternatives in Asia.  

It contributes significantly to the innovation of dairy alternatives for both powdered and ready-to-drink beverages, both regionally and globally, for brands such as Milo, Nescafé, and Starbucks. 

The development teams worked with the Milo team in Thailand to deliver a unique taste profile led by soy milk blended with the Milo malt and using only plant-based ingredients. 

Liked this article? Subscribe to Food Business Africa News, our regular email newsletters with the latest news insights from Africa and the World’s food and agro industry. SUBSCRIBE HERE