Consumers can rest easy about the Milo sold in Singapore as it is manufactured here, Nestle Singapore has clarified.
On Sunday, food manufacturer Nestle Malaysia started a campaign to help consumers identify counterfeits of its iconic Milo drink, after the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry busted counterfeiters in Negeri Sembilan last week, reported the Malay Mail Online.
In response to queries on the Milo Singapore Facebook page, Nestle Singapore said: "The incident reported in the media does not refer to Milo in Singapore. Milo sold by Nestle Singapore is manufactured in Singapore at our Jurong factory and comes with a differentiated label with the statement 'Made in Singapore'."
An Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) spokesman also clarified that Milo products sold here are mainly manufactured locally, although small quantities are imported from other countries like Australia and Malaysia. She said AVA has so far not received any reports of fraudulent Milo products being sold in Singapore.
Meanwhile, major supermarkets here said consumers can be assured of the Milo powder in their stores.
A Sheng Siong spokesman said it had checked with Nestle Singapore and could confirm that its Milo comes only from Singapore.
A spokesman for Dairy Farm, which owns both Cold Storage and Giant supermarkets, gave the same confirmation.
FairPrice said it carries Milo beverage products - in powdered and liquid form - only from authorised manufacturers and distributors that are AVA-approved sources, and the Milo powder in its stores comes from Singapore and Australia.
Nestle Malaysia said it is taking the matter seriously and is working very closely with the authorities. It urged customers to lodge reports with its customer service department if they purchased counterfeit versions of the chocolate malt drink. It also posted a photo on Facebook to help consumers distinguish between real and fake Milo packaging by looking at the packet's perforation.
On Sunday, Malay daily Utusan Malaysia reported that the ministry had seized RM250,000 (S$94,000) worth of imitation Milo in Negeri Sembilan last Friday. Other items seized included 1,000 empty boxes, 50,000 empty plastic packs and a printer.
State chief enforcer Saifulbahri Abdul Kadir was quoted as saying the counterfeit products were ready to be distributed around the state.
Six immigrants from Myanmar and Indonesia were also arrested, reported the Malay Mail Online.
Swiss food giant Nestle is the world's largest food company by revenue, and has over 100 products in its portfolio - although Milo is arguably its most loved product in Singapore and Malaysia.
Singaporeans reportedly drink about 400 million cups of Milo and Nescafe every year. Nestle Malaysia has claimed that Malaysians are the world's largest drinkers of Milo, said the Malay Mail.
Additional reporting by Lim Yi Han