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Nestle launching sugar-free packet Milo in June 2019, starting with Thailand

How to win the war against diabetes.

Tanya Ong | March 15, 12:13 pm

Nestle plans to roll out sugar-free Milo sometime this year, according to the Nikkei Asian Review.

This new variety of Milo is sweetened by its milk constituents as well as malt.

According to the Nikkei Asian Review report, the beverage comes in ready-to-drink, 180ml packets.

Apparently, it is already available in Thailand at 7-Eleven and selected places, but only on a very “limited scale”. It retails for 13 baht (S$0.55).

This move was a response to the Thai government’s implementation of a sugar tax which aimed to quell rising medical costs due to the increasing prevalence of diabetes.

The no-sugar product will be fully rolled out from June 2019, starting with Thailand.

It is unclear if and when this sugar-free drink will arrive in Singapore.

Cutting back on sugar

Increasingly, more Southeast Asian governments have introduced a sugar tax, especially on sugar-sweetened drinks.

In 2018, the Phillippines government levied taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages. Similarly, in Malaysia, the government will be implementing a sugar tax of 40 sen per litre on sweetened beverages starting April 2019.

And as part of Singapore’s war against diabetes, the Ministry of Health recently concluded a public consultation on the possible measures to reduce Singaporeans’ intake of sugar from pre-packaged sugar-sweetened beverages (such as Milo packs).

Measures suggested by the ministry include an excise duty on manufacturers of pre-packaged sugar sweetened beverages, and a total ban on such drinks.

For consumers who want healthier variants of Milo, instant Milo formulas such as Milo Gao Siew Dai (50 per cent less table sugar) and Milo Gao Kosong (no added table sugar), are currently available in Singapore.

Top photo via FairPrice website & FreeImages.com

About Tanya Ong

Tanya hopes to own a roller skate disco one day.

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