Is Nestle (Nestlé®™) having a bet both ways?

Some Nestlé®™ products such as Milo®™ are loaded with sugar etc that create a potential for people to become overweight/obese if they don’t carefully manage their diets. But Nestlé®™ also produce Optifast™ & other health products to help combat obesity.

Is this so they can benefit from a problem that they may have had a part in creating? Did they anticipate the issues and saw an opening to further increase their presence in the food/health market? Was it by design?

I do wonder about this and I have some dark thoughts about it all.


I have also wondered the same thing about the products of many multinationals. They get very big and often consume (takeover) other companies to maximise their market share. Some of these taken over companies may have products which compete (possible reason for the takeover) or conflict with their existing products.

Maybe they are hedging their financial bets…meeting the need of one trend/taste (such as towards sweet drinks) and then following another trend which is about weight loss. At the end of the day, they want to make as much money for their owners/investors, and flooding the market place with a range of different products which either in effect do the same thing (under different brands or labels- such as Nurofen) or in different markets where products seem in conflict.

I wonder if it gives an indication of the ethics of the particular company?


Do you mean like Bayer. which is one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies. taking over Monasnto, one of the world’s largest poison manufacturers?


Is that right Fred123. Talk about control the whole circuit of food and health. The story just gets worse and worse. Why people think people with power are looking after us will forever amaze me. You see and read it day after day how these people are looking after number 1 yet they still think otherwise.

Big companies came into the food industry because food is the one thing people can’t live without. Don’t expect high moral values from any of them.
Nestle is an interesting example. They are surrounded by the EU, and the EU is pushing to force food manufacturers to lift their game, by constantly monitoring what’s for sale within the EU and denying manufacturers the right to sell product with unacceptable levels of ingredients like fat, sugar, salt and carbohydrates - or artificial whatever - because they are determined to give kids a chance to grow up without spending their childhood ingesting “product” which in later life will leave them exposed to - guess what? - morbid obesity, heart disease and diabetes.
So Milo is another interesting example. Next time you’re in a supermarket, check it out - you’ll find an almost identical product with a slightly different name - I know, because a few months back I picked it up by mistake, thinking it WAS Milo - and a MUCH lower sugar content. A lower price, too - possibly reflecting the lack of sugar. Same size tin - but unless I owe Nestle an apology for this remark, a lower weight in the tin. I guess half a cup of sugar weighs a bit!
MORAL - always - ALWAYS! - check the labels.
I found one in a Woolworths supermarket (not one of their house brands - that’s a whole 'nother issue!) which was morbidly fascinating. An instant soup, laced with around 2.3 times the maximum recommended dose of salt for ANYONE in Aus., no matter how healthy they are. I always check the salt content (given as sodium content - stuff if I know how “they” get away with that - not everyone studied chemistry at school). The industry standard is utterly revolting, it’s around 700mg of sodium per serve, and that’s enough to make all the bought soups taste like sea water. But this one was amazing - according to the label, it had 3,700-odd mg of sodium per serve.
To tweak the salt content, you’re supposed to multiply the sodium content by 2.55 (which of course every shopper anxious to finish and get out of the store and back home to cook dinner can EASILY and INSTANTLY do in their heads!) I figured it was somewhere around 11.5 gm of salt per serve, and the maximum recommended is 5gm PER DAY (NOT just for one item in a meal of perhaps two or three courses, forming only one out of the three meals most people eat each day).
This of course is quite ridiculous.
It adds NOTHING to the quality or flavour of the food. Actually it does the opposite - and if anyone really does want that much salt in their food, they can easily add it - but the rest of us can’t remove it.
And it’s actually life threatening.

Interesting about the instant soup as the ones we buy don’t taste very salty. Which brand should we avoid?

The product details including brand names, and as needed pack shots of the labels or tables of ingredients, are often posted for all to share.

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My take is that it is a business. Business purpose is to make profits. Each product stands on its own P/L. They push Milo because it is profitable. Nestle got into the weight reduction business because there is money to be made. With all my cynicism I doubt there is a conspiracy to load people with fat in order to sell them weight loss products. It is just about what people are buying, thus they are eager to sell to whatever market exists and ‘create shareholder wealth’.

True there are cases where individual products have been ‘crafted’ to make themselves more popular (habit forming, whatever), but autonomously from other products. Much was learned from the potato famine about diversification, and it is probably that simple.

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The classic SF novel The Space Merchants takes up this thought. Consumers go through a self reinforcing consumption cycle.

Smoking a cigarette makes you go for the salty snack, the snack makes you thirsty and you go for the sweet fizzy drink and the drink demands that you have another cigarette…

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