Nestlé is shaking up the beverage market in Thailand with a new plant-based version of Milo, the world's leading chocolate malt beverage.
The new ready-to-drink product is based on soy combined with the unique Milo malt flavor, to provide a nutritious plant-based alternative.
Consumers in Asia are looking to include more plant-based alternatives in their diet, and Nestlé is launching versions of some of its most-loved beverages in the region. That includes launches of Milo and Nescafé in Malaysia, and Nescafé and Starbucks in Japan.
The new Milo Soy has strong nutritional values. A 180ml carton offers around 5 grams of protein, is high in calcium and contains vitamins and minerals. The carton is designed for recycling and comes with a paper straw.
Mr. Chaiyong Sakulborrirug, Business Executive Officer – Dairy & Adult Nutrition, Nestlé (Thai) Ltd., spoke about the launch: "Milo is a much-loved and iconic brand, so we are proud to offer people this new soy version. Plant-based beverages are becoming increasingly popular in Thailand as people look to lessen their environment impact and take care of their health. We believe this launch will help create a positive trend towards plant-based alternatives."
Using its plant-based innovation expertise, Nestlé is focused on developing a wide variety of dairy alternatives made from pea, rice, oat, soy, coconut and almonds.
Nestlé's R&D center in Singapore serves as the regional innovation hub for the development of plant-based meat and dairy alternatives in Asia. It contributes significantly to the innovation of dairy alternatives for both powdered and ready-to-drink beverages, both regionally and globally, for brands such as Milo, Nescafé and Starbucks.
The development teams worked with the Milo team in Thailand to deliver a unique taste profile led by soy milk blended with the Milo malt and using only plant-based ingredients.
"We're expanding our plant-based offerings with nutritious, tasty, products that complement the everyday diet of people in Asia for many different meal occasions. We leverage our expertise in dairy proteins, nutrition science, plant sciences, as well as culinary arts, to adapt the products to local preferences and needs," says Guglielmo Bonora, Head of Nestlé's R&D center in Singapore.
The need for plant-based dairy alternatives that taste great and offer strong nutritional value is rising, as more families are following this trend. According to a recent survey by GlobalData, over 40% of consumers in the Asia region are shifting to more plant-based diets, with 11% opting for vegetarian and vegan food, and a third moving to a 'flexitarian' diet that is lighter on meat and dairy products.