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30 September 2011

Milo on Fair Go

There was this rather interesting segment on last Thursday's Fair Go (a consumer affairs TV show).  And it's all about Milo, that chocolate drink whose fond memory I have of them is their school visits for an afternoon of fun back in grade school.  To make the long story short, the imported Milo tasted a whole lot different from what the Kiwis are accustomed to.  It has, in their words, less taste and has less nutrients.  And this imported Milo is from the Philippines where Filipinos (sorry Hannah but it's not spelled Phillippinos) where apparently we like it with less dairy and with less malt.  And the Kiwi version of Milo has four times as much vitamins, iron and calcium.

Whaaaat?!?! (insert your comments that cannot be printed here)

In case you are curious what this is all about, head on to the Fair Go website and read the article (which I have also conveniently placed below).

Reporter Hannah Wallis
Milo-mad Jay got in touch with Fair Go because he'd just bought a new pack at his local superette and it just didn't taste the same.
Less chocolate-y, less malty, less flavoursome all round. We tried it, we agreed. Last year's Masterchef Brett McGregor tried it in a blind test, he agreed.
Nestle say it's a parallel import, made by Nestle but in the Philippines to local taste - the Philippinos like it with less dairy and less malt. For us, that's less taste, and less nutrients - the Kiwi Milo has up to four times the vitamins, iron and calcium than the imported Milo.
Nestle say they are concerned about the possible damage to their brand reputation when consumers get the non-Kiwi recipe.
But there's nothing illegal about parallel importing.  They say retailers need to clearly identify that it's not the local product - say so on the shelf, and directly to the customer.
How can you tell?
On the NZ Milo pack, you will find local contact details. On the parallel imported pack, you should find, along with the made in Manila info, the Kiwi contact numbers for the distributor or importer - that's so you, the consumer, can get in touch with them if you are unhappy.
The packs we found was missing that, which is a breach of the packaging regulations.  Kiwi Milo fans - we say - don't buy the parallel imported Milo. If you have and you are unhappy, ask the retailer for a refund.
And if there's no local contact numbers supplied, try and find out from your retailer - usually dairies, superettes and service stations - and then let us know.
You may also view the TV segment concerning this (might not be available in some regions though).

Oh, hang on.  Is New Zealand increasing imports from the Philippines besides bananas, pineapples, Milo, and Rexona?  Um... could you please import men's soap too?  The choices here are a bit limited.  How about Irish Spring and Safeguard?  And get also a couple of soap operas that our friends from Samoa also love.  Thanks!