Nestle Australia drops Milo’s 4.5 Health Star for Milo

2 years ago

Milo on its own would be 1.5 stars

Nestle Australia has dropped its 4.5-star health rating on Milo products after health experts criticised the food and beverage company for ‘tricking’ its customers into believing that Milo is healthy.

The rating was based on the premise that consumers of the chocolate malt powder would only have three teaspoons and pair it with 200ml of skim milk. Australia’s consumer advocacy group, Choice said that if Nestle Australia used the full cream method to measure the health star rating it would only score a 2.5. Milo on its own would be 1.5 stars.

Wait, what actually is this health star rating? 

It was developed by the Australian and New Zealand government in collaboration with stakeholders. The system assesses the overall nutritional profile of packaged food and assigns it a rating from ½ a star to 5 stars.

The Health Star Rating system includes a calculator designed to assess nutrients in food. The calculator includes total sugar, saturated fat, energy, sodium, protein and fibre.

According to News.com.au, Choice’s head of campaigns and policy, Katinka Day stated that “To claim a health star rating by adding nutritionally superior ingredients of another product is not helpful, especially for people who eat their Milo with full cream milk, or even straight out of the can or on ice-cream.”

Nestle spokeswoman Margaret Stuart said the ratings drop only applies to the Milo powder and all other Milo-branded products will retain the 4.5 Health Star Rating.

In Malaysia, a video on Milo’s high sugar content went viral in February after Vishen Lakhiani founder and CEO of education technology company Mindvalley posted a video (below) on its sugar content.

“In Malaysia, because of Nestlé’s marketing that says Milo is healthy, people feel it’s justified to add sweetened condensed milk on top of their Milo, creating a sugar bomb with up to 40 grams of sugar into a child in the morning before sending them to school,” said Vishen.
Nestlé (Malaysia) Berhad senior nutritionist Nurul Iliani Ahmad released a statement that the recommended preparation is to add 5 teaspoons of MILO into 200ml of hot water. This serving contains only 6% sugar. Out of this 6%, 3% is natural sugar (from milk and malt) and 3% is added sugar. The 40% sugar shown on the label refers to MILO powder before water is added. When added with 200ml water, the sugar content is 6% of the total drink. This includes natural sugar from milk and malt. MARKETING has reached out to Nestle Malaysia’s Media Relations Manager, Maxine Lim who said that the facts in the video were misleading. “The 40 percent sugar was in an undiluted form. When added 200ml of water which is a normal glass, the sugar content is only 6 percent”.


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