Nestlé drops ‘Tick’ from Milo

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 29th April 2009

The world’s largest food group will phase out the use of the New Zealand Heart Foundation’s ‘Tick’ on its popular Milo brand, just eight months after winning ‘Tick’ status*.

The decision is driven by a focus on more promotional campaigns for the drink later this year in Australia and New Zealand and is not a response to criticism in the wake of the decision, the company said.

“We just decided to pursue a different strategy… (The tick) served its purpose,” Nestle Corporate Services Manager, Maurice Gunnell, said – according to the Sunday Star Times.

The Heart Foundation has a set criteria for offering their approval but also requires brands to donate a portion of sales to the charity in order to use the tick logo on approved products.

Nestlé has also pledged less nationally focussed health promotions on popular brands as part of a shake up of their Australian and New Zealand operations.

The food group last year flagged nutritional improvement for their Milo brand as they promised to stamp out advertising to children of products which did not meet a set nutritional profile.

All of their products were set to be analysed and, if they could not meet the new set of nutritional guidelines, they would not be promoted to children.

“Some products simply don’t taste good enough, and the consumer tells us they don’t taste good enough and will not buy them unless they have particular, particularly levels of salt or fat or sugar in them in order to make them taste good,” Ian Alwill, Nestlé Australia’s Marketing Manager, told ABC local radio last year. “What we, our food technology will drive us towards is finding ways of reducing those things over time, but still retain taste. Without taste the consumer is just simply not interested in buying anything.”

* The product only received ‘Tick’ status in NZ and it was the first product to receive approval for a specified serving size only. In Australia, brand offshoot, Milo B-Smart, has the approval of The Heart Foundation.