Milo under the spotlight after fake products seized in Malaysia: 10 facts about Milo

Popular energy drink Milo - sold under the Nestle company - has been put under the spotlight after authorities in Malaysia seized RM250,000 (S$94,058) worth of imitation Milo products in Negeri Sembilan on March 13.

Milo in refill packs were found to have been counterfeit products.

Such refill packs that can be bought in Singapore are not affected as they are made in Singapore, Nestle Singapore told The Straits Times on Monday (March 16).

The incident prompted Nestle Malaysia to embark on a campaign to educate its customers on how to spot the fakes.

 

//

It posted a photo on Facebook showing consumers how to distinguish fake Milo packaging by looking at the perforation on every pack.

Here are 10 facts you may not know about the drink that is still savoured in Singapore.

1. Milo was developed in Australia during The Great Depression of the 1930s

Milo was developed in Australia for Nestle in the 1930s during the Great Depression, the longest-lasting economic downturn in the history of the Western industrialised world. Milo was meant to provide children the nutrients they were not getting in their daily diet.

2. Milo was launched in Sydney, Australia, in 1934

Thomas Mayne, a Nestle engineer, created the nutritious and delicious beverage using Australian milk knowledge and Swiss cocoa expertise. He named the drink Milo after the Greek mythical character Milo of Croton, who was known for his strength. Milo was launched in 1934 at the Sydney Royal Easter show in Australia.

3. Milo has been sold in Singapore since 1936

Nestle Singapore said that Milo is made in a factory in Jurong here. Milo made here is differentiated by a label with the words "Manufactured in Singapore". According to Milo Singapore's Facebook page, the malt is derived from malted barley from Europe, Canada and Australia, while the milk used comes from Australia and New Zealand. Milo has been sold in Singapore since 1936 and produced locally since 1984.

4. Milo is savoured in several ways in Singapore: 'Dinosaur' and 'Godzilla'

Dw milo dinosaur 150316

Other than the Milo drink, Milo also comes in the form of  snack bars, cereal and "nuggets". Singapore bakeries also use Milo in their baked goods. There is also Milo Dinosaur, a drink sold in coffee shops which features a heap of Milo powder on top of a Milo drink, and Milo Godzilla which in addition to Milo powder, has either whipped cream or ice cream.

5. It's Marvellous What Milo Can Do For You

 

//

This jingle released as part of a Milo advertisement in the 1990s is probably the catchiest slogan Milo has had. The slogan was used for several years.

6. Milo vans still give out free cups

Dw milo van 150316

According to the SEA games website, more than 1 million cups of Milo are given free to Singaporeans annually through various sports and community events. Milo vans, which can be spotted during Sports Days in schools, provide free Milo. They can still be arranged through this website: http://www.nestle.com.sg/sponsorships. According to the Nestle website, the van holds enough Milo for at least 1,000 people.

7. Milo's nutrients

Dw milo 1949 ad 150316

The four main ingredients in Milo are malted barley, milk powder, sugar and cocoa. It also contains nutrients such as iron, vitamin C and vitamin B1.

8. Milo's love affair with Singapore's sports scene

Dw milo football 150316

Milo started the Milo Football Training Scheme in Singapore in 1974. Soccer player Fandi Ahmad was the first player from the scheme to make it to Singapore's national football team. The scheme was stopped during former national soccer coach Barry Whitbread's tenure as technical director from 1995 to 1998. Milo is also an official partner in the South-east Asia Games to be held in Singapore in June 2015.

In 2010, Milo injected more than $3 million into youth sports development. The year also marked Milo's 60th year in advocating the development of youth sports in Singapore.

9. Milo around the world

Milo is not just loved in Australia, where it was first produced. It is sold in 40 countries worldwide including Kenya, Colombia and Peru. Malaysia has the largest Milo factory in the world located in Chembong, Negeri Sembilan, according to the Milo Malaysia website. According to the website, Milo was introduced as a tonic food drink in Malaysia in 1950. Malaysia is also believed to be the largest consumer of Milo.

10. Ways to improve Milo are researched in Singapore

Dw milo factory 150316

In 2013, Nestle announced the extension of its research and development centre in Singapore to focus more on the food company's fastest-growing markets in Asia-Pacific.

The Nestle Singapore centre employs about 100 experts from 17 countries specialising in fields including mechanical engineering, analytical chemistry, microbiology and sensory science, taking the global lead for the company's innovations in Milo-powdered beverages.

Sources: News.com.au, Facebook, Milo Malaysia website, EDB website, Nestle Singapore website

jalmsab@sph.com.sg