Milo marks 25 years of promoting sports among Vietnamese kids

March 27, 2019 | 07:00 pm PT
Encouraging parents to have children grow up with sports is a Nestlé Milo mission, says Vietnam executive.

Ali Abbas, business executive officer, Milo & Milks Business Unit, Nestlé Vietnam, told VnExpress that Nestlé Milo wants to make a great impact by promoting an active lifestyle in Vietnam.

Ali Abbas, business executive officer, MILO & Milks Business Unit, Nestlé Vietnam.

Ali Abbas, business executive officer, MILO & Milks Business Unit, Nestlé Vietnam.

Milo has been in Vietnam since 1994. Over these years, how have you made your products match Vietnamese consumers' needs?

In the last 25 years, Nestlé Milo has become the favorite drink of Vietnam’s young generation. Over 10.5 billion of Milo cups have been consumed during this period. Even though Nestlé is a global brand, we adapt our products to the taste preferences of local countries.

The Milo that we sell in Vietnam is also adapted to local preferences of school-going kids. We ensure our products have the best quality, nutrition and stay up to date with the local taste. For example, last year we launched the first-ever Milo Breakfast Drink in the world to meet the energy needs of Vietnamese kids. Currently we are selling Milo UHT, Milo Powder and Milo Can in Vietnam.

So, do your products address some health issues in Vietnam? 

In line with the vision of Nestlé to contribute to a healthier future of our consumers, the Milo recipe has a unique blend of nutrients called Activ-Go formula. It contains seven essential vitamins and minerals which are needed for growing kids. It also contains iron which is one of the key nutritional deficiencies in Vietnam. 

On top of that, we ensure that our products have the highest global standards of food safety. We partnered with National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) in fortification project (2015-2017). Together with NIN, Nestlé Milo organized workshops on nutrition in 32 provinces with the aim to raising mothers’ awareness of the importance of fortifying micronutrients in the children’s daily diet. 

We have collaborated with the Ministry of Education and Training and the General Department of Sports and Physical Training to launch the "Activ Vietnam" program since 2016. This program belongs to the National Project 641 "Enhancing the stature and endurance of Vietnamese for the period of 2011-2030".

What is the reasoning behind your focus on sports as the way to improve consumers' health?

At Milo, we believe sports is a great teacher. It teaches essential life skills that kids need to become champions in life. All these skills, like teamwork, persistence, passion and determination are not always learnt in the classroom environment. At the same time, sport is an excellent platform to stay active and healthy. This is why Milo aims to inspire parents and kids to grow up with sports. 

Over these years we have coordinated and organized various sport events which attracted the participation of more than 2.5 million kids. We have partnership with football association, basketball association and many others which have been running for years. Every year we organize multiple events in basketball, football, swimming, Vietnamese martial art Vovinam and running to enhance the physical stature of kids. 

One of our biggest events is Energy Run and Energy Camp which attracts more than 10,000 kids per year. In 2016, Milo signed a global partnership deal with FC Barcelona football club. Since then, Milo Vietnam sends five Vietnamese kids every year to get world-class football coaching at the FC Barcelona stadium in Spain.     

Milo believes that sports is a great teacher of children.

Milo believes that sports is a great teacher of children.

You say that you expect to make a massive impact. What are some of the impacts you have seen so far?

The Activ Vietnam campaign is based on societal changes, new trends and then need for kids to learn practical life lessons that sports can teach very well. The expectation is for parents and kids to dedicate at least 30 minutes to sports 2-3 times a week. We have received very positive responses to our message and we heard from nearly 200,000 parents last year, who committed themselves to this target.

Our long-term big goal is to inspire and gain commitment from parents of at least one third of the school-going population to let their children grow up with sports. On top of that, an even bigger goal is to provide nutrition and health to all children in Vietnam. We are committed to building an active and healthy Vietnamese generation.

Now, we are expanding our Activ Vietnam program in more localities in the country, aiming to ensure that every child in the country is able to access Milo’s sports platform.

Nestlé Milos Activ Vietnam program has expanded to Mekong Delta area this year.

Nestlé Milo's Activ Vietnam program has expanded to Mekong Delta area this year.

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