Milo, A Chocolate And Malt Powder
Milo, a chocolate and malt powder that is mixed with either hot or cold water or milk to produce a beverage is popular in many parts of the world and is one of the many products produced by Nestle Company. Milo was developed by an Australian industrial chemist and inventor, Thomas Mayne and launched at the Sydney Royal Easter Show in the year 1934.The product was named after a famous ancient athlete known as Milo of croton after his legendary strength since milo was a product meant to boost a consumer’s energy levels. The manufacture of milo is a continuous process that takes like an hour and it involves the evaporation of the water content from thick syrup that is normally obtained from malted barley or wheat at reduced pressure. The varying sized chunks of soft solid, from fist size to fine powder, fall from the last conveyer into an airlock. The solid is then introduced into a hammer mill where it is broken up into the final final granular form. The granular powder is then packaged into green cans as green is the colour scheme of milo.
Milo can be consumed in a number of ways including; adding the milo to hot or cold water and/or to milk to make a malted chocolate beverage and since it does not readily dissolve in cold milk, it retains the gritty texture of its raw state. It can also be microwaved for about 40 to 60 seconds giving it a biscuity cover on top. Milo can also be stirred into steamed milk to make a drink like hot cocoa or chocolate .Other uses include sprinkling it on breakfast cereals and ice cream as well. Milo manufactured outside Australia is customised for local methods of preparation. In Singapore, there is also iced milo which is available even in fast food restaurants. The availability of several milo products make it even more attractive to consumers. Milo products include the following:
- Milo powder
- Milo ready to drink
- Milo chocolate bars and wafers
- Milo Protomalt; etc.
Swiss food Giant Nestle is the world’s largest food company producing over 100 products with milo being the most loved product of Nestle in Singapore due its nutritional value. With the concept of more malt as well as more milk, it has become a household name due to its energy provision role. In the early post-war days, advertisements for milo majorly focused and pointed out all kinds of health benefits that it provided such as; general health and energy, improved immune system, increased stamina and strength and even enhancement of a good night’s sleep. However, after Singapore’s independence, the market strategy for Milo majorly focussed on sports events. Milo has long been marketed as the official drink of the SEA games. The current advertising strategies being used in Singapore by Nestle to promote the product and increase sales include the following:
Nestle understands the importance of production of quality products to meet the expectations of its consumers and as such is vigilant in continuous research and innovations to enhance the quality of milo. Nestle opened a new extension to its R & D centre in Singapore that employs people who specialize in fields such as analytical chemistry, microbiology and sensory science that is responsible for the development of beverage and culinary products with great taste and balanced nutrition leading to the continuous improvement of milo products thereby making these products even more appealing to consumers. This strategy goes a long way in maintaining and sustaining their market in the competitive business environment against competitors such as Cadbury Schweppes Limited and other cocoa related products.
Branding refers to a collection of attributes that the consumer has come to expect from a product which greatly influences their purchasing power. In a market where profitability is highly dependent on repeat purchase, branding is an important factor in determining the success of that product. In the case of Milo, the product is recognized by its colour scheme which is green. When people see green cans or products packaged in green, they mostly associate it to milo. Milo is quite a strong brand even in Singapore. A brand name promises consumers certain benefits such as value for money as well as quality. Branding is a form of advertisement strategy in itself because it takes quite a number of years to gain consumers trust and approval of a certain product. Once this trust has been developed, sales of the product are assured as consumers are willing to buy that commodity due to the continued belief in that brand to keep on producing quality products and needless to say, milo is such a trusted brand in many parts of the world including Singapore and this explains the why Milo performs relatively well in sales.
Another common strategy/ tool that is usually used in promotion of products is product packaging. The packaging of a product says a lot about a product and at times it usually determines the level of sales by a certain margin. A product that is well packaged is mostly preferred over poorly packaged products. Initially, milo was packaged in green cans bearing only the brand’s name and obviously was not so attractive.
However, with the growing need to increase sales and also improve the brand, milo has continuously made changes to its packaging. More information has been added to the packaging as well as provision of useful information about disposal and recycling. Milo has gone an extra mile in making the packaging more appealing to its consumers by adding pictures of prominent athletes. People of South east Asia are particularly fanatics of various kind of sports such as table tennis and running and are often featured on milo tins. Also since the major market target audience for milo is children, Nestle milo in Singapore has made sure to make the packaging as attractive as possible so as to attract children and parents with also increased nutritional information being added on the packaging.
Advertising is a form of promotional strategy that refers to any paid kind of product information that is delivered to potential consumers in a non-personal way. Nestle uses a various types of advertising media to promote milo as discussed below:
In the current world, the internet is a very important tool for advertising any kind of business as very many people obtain information from the internet. All businesses should actually take advantage of this tool to market and let the world know about their business. With increased computer literacy in many countries of the world, it sure is an effective way marketing a business. Nestle has not been left behind in this revolution since they own a website as well as a website for each of their products in a bid to provide consumers with all the information that they need about their products. For milo, the website is. With just a click of a mouse or using a smartphone, any Singapore native can log onto this website to get all the information that they need about the product.
Perhaps the television is the most mainstream method of passing information to a large number of people but still a very effective method of advertising. Thousands of companies pay media houses to have adverts about their products be aired on television and Nestle company is no different as it has had an advert produced showing a boy and a girl becoming more energetic after consuming some milo. This strategy is to reach as many consumers as possible especially children and parents as a method of persuading them to buy this product. I n this time and age, television sets are relatively cheap thus accessible to many people and therefore this is quite an effective way of advertising the product
c) Outdoor media
Nestle, Milo sponsors almost all types of sports events and even collaborates with the Ministry of Sports and youth to organise national as well as international sport events. During these events, free milo drinks are usually handed out. This is a good marketing strategy as it gives children and their parents if present, an opportunity to taste the milo products and give them a free feel of the quality, taste and nutritional value so that the next time they are in a store or supermarket, they can pick up milo products owing to the simple fact that they actually tasted it during the sporting events and thus a good strategy to establish a remarkable relationship between the product and consumers.
d) Print media
This is another advertising method used by milo to promote the product. The target audience being majorly children, the company often places milo adverts in children magazines. Also adverts are placed on the sports columns of popular people.
Milo’s niche strategy
Milo continues to hold its competitive edge over other competitors due to its niche strategy. This is a winning strategy for milo because it is the only company that solely focuses on promotion of sport activities and the overall health improvement of children and youth. Through excellent campaign strategies, milo has been able to persuade parents, children, and youths of the importance of engaging in sport activities since sports help in the physical development of the body as well as the brain. Milo is also responsible for the sponsorship sport events in many countries. T-shirts with the milo logos are given out during this milo sponsored games as well as other milo goodies which go a long way to make it a preferred choice for many young consumers. With its promise of increased energy levels to its users, it has become the preferred choice of product for energy needs during physically engaging needs among many people. This strategy is also being used currently in Singapore and it is an effective strategy since the brand not only seeks to cater for the nutritional values of its consumers but also is great motivator to children and youth giving them hope of being champions. It caters not only for the nutritional aspects of its consumers but also the overall well-being of the consumer that is physical and also mind development which makes it a special brand even amidst competition from some upcoming and also strong competitors. The niche strategy is therefore a relevant marketing tool as it has been successful and continues to be successful.
Check on pricing: pricing is an important determinant in the sales performance of any product. Milo has always been considerate to the consumers when it comes to pricing. However, milo is still not affordable to some middle class and lower class people. They should look for ways of cutting down on production costs without compromising the quality of the product so that it can be more affordable and accessible to more people. This is a good marketing strategy because more affordable prices mean more sales.
Embrace the use of social media: In as much as milo has websites in place, the use of social media has not yet been utilized. Social media provides a platform of interaction and reaching huge numbers of people. Given the fact that the major target audience for this product is children from around 6-13 years as well as youths, social media would be a really useful tool in marketing of the product since majority of children and youths have access to social media. This would be a great platform for informing them of any developments concerning the product like for instance addition of a product to the product line. Social media also provide a great platform for getting media. With sites such as Facebook, twitter, and Instagram, the world has been made easier as people can share their concerns about the product as well as compliment and give credit where due and so it would help the company to know the areas to improve on regarding the product as well as customer service.
On advertising: In spite of using the above mentioned advertising strategies, Nestle, milo Singapore should embrace new and innovative methods of marketing the product. Apart from using the mainstream channels only such as television, print media and outdoor media, they should set aside some money to be used in fun and innovative advertising such as putting up of billboards all over the city. Billboards ae quite attractive and due to the gigantic nature, hard to miss and as such can be seen by everyone with ease hence a very effective way of advertising a product.
On product branding: Although milo has proved to be quite a remarkable brand, Nestle Company should always come up with new ideas of improving the brand so that it can continue being attractive to consumers as it has always been or better yet become much better. In such kind of businesses branding is everything and in order to be always ahead of the competition, improvement of the brand is vital and the company should not cease providing quality products to the people of Singapore. Consumer satisfaction should be the driving force towards better branding, a move that will ensure customer loyalty.
On product development: Milo has the potential of developing its products further as well as adding to its product line. With competitors springing up all over and coming up with new products, Milo is facing greater competition than ever and the future is bound to be even more competitive. The only way to beat competition is to always be ahead and so Milo should be add to its product line in order to have an edge over the other competitors and to also always have a variety of new products to be sampled by its consumers, something that would be highly appreciated by the consumers.
In coclusion,Milo is a highly loved and appreciated product in Singapore due to its high quality and product range as well as its availability in different sizes with different prices so as to cater for as many people’s needs as possible but there is always room for improvement.
- Milo is a chocolate and milk powder that is used to make beverages and has a high nutritional value consisting of vitamins, carbohydrates, energy among others
- There are several marketing and advertising strategies that are used to promote the product in Singapore such as product branding, pricing, packaging use of television, print media, outdoor media among others
- The most effective and dominant strategy used is the niche strategy where milo’s target is children and the youth
- Milo’s colour scheme is green and this is what makes the brand recognizable to consumers
- Milo has the potential to improve its brand and set itself ahead of the competition
William Gervase Clarence-Smith (2000) Cocoa/and chocolate,1765-1954.London Rutledge
Nestle.com (2010).Nestle. Annual report 2010.Good food good life.