Nestle launches Milo Gao Kosong, made-in-Singapore formula without added sugar

President Halimah Yacob made and drank the first official cup of Milo Gao Kosong at Plaza Singapura on June 19, 2018.
President Halimah Yacob made and drank the first official cup of Milo Gao Kosong at Plaza Singapura on June 19, 2018.ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID

SINGAPORE - Fans of Milo can now get their beverage in a formula without any added sugar.

Milo Gao Kosong contains only natural sugars from malt and milk, which means it has 9.7g of sugar in each serving compared to 13.5g of sugar in the regular formula.

The beverage was launched on Tuesday (June 19) by President Halimah Yacob, who made and drank the first official cup of the Gao Kosong, at Plaza Singapura.

If you are curious about what it tastes like, the Milo Gao Kosong Pit Stop at Plaza Singapura's Outdoor Front Plaza will be handing out samples from Wednesday to Sunday. Olympic champion Joseph Schooling, who is the ambassador for Milo, will also mingle with fans at the venue on Sunday from 4pm to 6pm.

The Health Promotion Board (HPB) has included the drink in its Healthier Choice Symbol programme, which highlights healthier packaged food options. The board said that it looks forward to more companies coming on board with options to encourage consumers to reduce sugar intake from beverages.

The new formula, which was developed and produced in Singapore, comes as Singapore battles a high rate of diabetes in its population.

Sugared drinks could soon be taxed, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said in an exclusive interview with The Straits Times on Monday, as part of Singapore's war against diabetes.

Besides sugared beverages, rice and noodles have also been targeted in the HPB's drive to improve Singaporeans' diets. In April, the HPB collaborated with hawkers at Tiong Bahru Food Centre to incorporate wholegrain variants in their dishes. The hawkers' offerings included wholegrain versions of dishes such as traditional kueh and prawn noodles. The HPB had said it would implement similar initiatives at 20 other hawker centres.

More recently, eight stalls at the Geylang Serai market introduced dishes prepared from wholegrain ingredients.

F&B companies here are also starting to offer healthier food options. For example, home-grown company TSK has created wholegrain versions of yellow mee and mee tai mak under its Kang Kang brand. Similarly, Prima, whose instant laksa packs have been a hit, also has a wholegrain noodle version.