Nestlé launches omega-3 boosted infant drink in Sri Lanka

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Related tags: Breastfeeding

Nestlé launches omega-3 boosted infant drink in Sri Lanka
Nestlé Sri Lanka has launched an up-market omega-3 fortified infant formula developed at its Swiss-based research centre, as it boosts activity on the south Asian island.

'Neslac Excella 1+' is a follow-on milk targeting 1-3 year -olds with enhanced levels of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) omega-3 that has been shown to boost brain and eye performance in infants.

"This product is aimed at the premium end of the market and will complement other products meant for the mainstream and affordable segments,"​ said Nestlé Lanka managing director Alois Hofbauer in press reports. "It will be priced higher than our 'mainstream' products."

As well as the DHA content the product follows infant formula trends by also containing prebiotics.

Nestlé stated it would continue to up its investment in Sri Lanka.

"This year we've already invested over 2.5 billion rupees. We will massively increase manufacturing capacity," Hofbauer told Lanka Business Online.

Commercial interest in Sri Lanka is growing after the end of ethnic conflicts that have plagued the country for more 30 years, with a fast-growing economy and rising incomes defining the new landscape.

Nestlé Sri Lanka announced that in June its net profit rose 55% to 644 million rupees with sales of 6.3 billion rupees.

BabyNes

In May in Switzerland, Nestlé launched another premium infant product - a range of six baby formulas aimed at infants between the ages of six months and three years’ delivered in a coffee machine format.

In a release Nestlé made it clear it supports breast feeding for the first six months and “thereafter for as long as possible” ​but its “nutrition system for infants and toddlers”​ was there for non-breastfed babies.

The launch was not welcomed by the pro-breast milk lobby group, Baby Milk Action (BMA), whose director Patti Rundall stated: “Nestlé is claiming in its announcement to respect the World Health Assembly marketing requirements for breast milk substitutes, yet at the very same time violating it by press releasing magazines which go out to the public.”

Each of the dispensing machines sells for 240CHF (€195) with deliveries available in Switzerland within 48 hours.

But Nestle said: “The statement, ‘WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months. Nestlé fully supports this and continued breast feeding, along with the introduction of complementary foods as advised by your doctor', is featured on all our infant formula products, including on the BabyNes machine box and BabyNes capsules.”

“We have the industry’s toughest system in place to enforce WHO Code compliance. Indeed, we are the only infant formula manufacturer listed by FTSE4Good, the London Stock Exchange’s Ethical Index.”

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