Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Nestle, Lee Kum Kee top MY seasoning brands 

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – In terms of which brands in the Malaysian market lead the seasoning, dressings and sauces market, they would be Nestle, Lee Kum Kee and Mars Incorporated. This is according to the latest data released by global data and analytics company GlobalData.

According to the report, the Malaysian seasonings, dressings and sauces market is projected to grow from MYR2.2b (US$527.4m) in 2021 to MYR2.7b (US$664m) by 2026 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.5% over the five-year period of 2021 to 2026.

It also noted that the per capita expenditure on seasonings, dressings and sauces in Malaysia increased from US$6.4 in 2016 to US$7.8 by 2021, and is further forecast to reach US$9.4 by 2026, which will be higher than the regional average of US$9.1, and lower than the global average of US$13.8.

In terms of where these products are distributed, hypermarkets and supermarkets were the leading distribution channel in the Malaysian seasonings, dressings and sauces sector in 2020, followed by convenience stores, and F&B specialists.

For Siddhartha Rodrigues, consumer analyst at GlobalData, the rise in home cooking since the onset of COVID-19 is driving the demand for seasonings, dressings and sauces, which serve as cooking sauces, table sauces, and as ready-to-consume table dips. He added that consumers are looking for high quality products in convenient formats that can easily endow the flavour of restaurant-quality dishes to home-cooked meals and snacks

“As the pandemic wanes, consumers are poised to venture out of their homes more frequently. Owing to their hectic lifestyles, young consumers are seeking healthier seasonings, dressings & sauces with novel flavours in convenient formats that can help them reduce the time spent in preparing and cooking dishes at home,” he said.

Rodrigues added, “They are seeking traditional and innovative flavours that can elevate the taste of home-cooked dishes and snacks and enhance the overall at-home consumption experience. Manufacturers need to expand their product portfolio with multiple flavours to meet the varying demands of consumers.”

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Nestlé Indonesia expands full-service media mandate to dentsu Indonesia

Jakarta, Indonesia – Consumer goods Nestlé in Indonesia has expanded its full-service media mandate to global advertising network dentsu in Indonesia which now includes e-commerce, social, programmatic, SEO, and performance; for all brands under Nestlé Indonesia.

With the extended media mandate, dentsu Indonesia forms a dedicated dentsu-Nestlé team that brings in the best of ‘One dentsu’ with capabilities spanning across media, creative, and CXM service lines. Nestlé is enabling the greater capabilities to collaborate and elevate their integrated media strategy through data-powered brand building.

“We believe the future of advertising lies in laser-focused insights, powered by data & technology and fuelled with creativity, all integrated in practice. We are extremely proud of the work we do for Nestlé and are deeply committed to strengthening our partnership moving forward,” said Maya Watono, CEO at dentsu Indonesia.

This appointment has also strengthened the existing partnership between dentsu and Nestlé, as it has been two years that Nestlé has tapped dentsu’s subsidiary iProspect Indonesia to manage part of the brand’s search performance in the market.

“Dentsu Indonesia has significantly accelerated in the past two years with a compelling narrative of data creativity, strategic excellence, ruthlessly consumer-first thinking. We are honored, humbled, and proud to bring home the Nestlé account and we commit to make this partnership magical,” said Arindam Bhattacharyya, chief strategy officer for media and performance at dentsu Indonesia.

Meanwhile, Guy Kellaway, communication director at Nestlé Indonesia, commented, “We are excited to welcome dentsu as our media partner for Nestlé Indonesia. With our integrated communications planning, we are confident in accelerating our media ambition to deliver strong business results in this ever-changing and accelerating world of media.”

Marketing Featured ANZ

KITKAT AU’s new campaign addresses debate on right way to eat the chocolate

Australia – With the original formation of a KITKAT chocolate, everyone knows that the best way to eat it is to break the partitions and enjoy it finger by finger. After all, this is where the famous slogan of the brand comes from, “Have a break, Have a KitKat.” But through the years, people have been less traditional and are taking a bite out of their KITKATs with the way they like and how they think it is most enjoyable.

In a fun and light campaign by Nestlé Australia on TikTok, the brand is finally acknowledging the passionate debate swirling online about the correct way to eat a KITKAT.

Done with creative agency Wunderman Thompson, the ‘Have a bite’ social campaign sees KITKAT jump in to respond to the many people proudly flaunting their innovative and somewhat intriguing approach to the correct KITKAT consumption method.

The natural tendency is to tear the pack, break off a finger, and snap in half. But some people have opted to take a giant bite out of all four fingers, or even nibbling off the chocolate layers.

The campaign, which will be running until 30 September, kicked off with prominent TikTok creators throwing their voices into the debate by showing how they have a bite. Roped in the commotion to shed more light is screen legend Michael Caton who bit into a KITKAT himself and asking Aussies, “Is this wrong?” 

Commenting on the campaign, João Braga, chief creative officer of Wunderman Thompson, said, “As Australia’s favorite chocolate bar, we know that people have some serious love for the iconic treat, but we wanted to discover new ways to engage with the fanbase online. What better way to do this than by jumping into the heartfelt and passionate debate over the true, right, and ‘correct’ way to eat a KITKAT.”

Joyce Tan, Nestlé’s head of marketing, added, “We knew it was time to finally weigh in on the conversation regarding how to properly eat a KITKAT and acknowledge the weird and wonderful ways Aussies eat theirs.”

“Teaming up with Wunderman Thompson, we were able [to] leverage the power of TikTok creators and iconic Australian actor Michael Caton to generate real-time conversation about the many ways that a KITKAT is enjoyed,” Tan said.

In line with the social campaign, KITKAT releases limited-edition packs showing variations of the iconic bitten KITKAT.

Ultimately, Nestlé said in a press release, KITKAT is OK with how you choose to eat your KITKAT “as long as you’re taking a break to enjoy it.”

To show that ‘other’ ways of having a bite are at least being entertained by the brand, KITKAT is testing the waters with some limited-edition packs, where the iconic snapping fingers printed on the pack are replaced with some of the different ways Aussies bite their KITKATs.

According to Wunderman Thompson, the campaign has gained 4.3 million views organically across TikTok and Instagram in the first 48 hours of launch, and the attention of some very passionate KITKAT fans with more than 70,000 votes in a Twitter debate.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

MILO defines the Malaysian spirit of strength in latest film for Independence Day

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Nestlé’s classic energy drink MILO tries to define what it really means to have the ‘Malaysia Boleh’ or Malaysia’s can-do spirit in its latest animated ad for the celebration of Merdeka and Malaysia Day.

Malaysia will soon be celebrating its country’s independence on Merdeka day on 31 August as well as on 16 September, which is the country’s official independence day. In time for the commemoration, MILO has partnered with Reprise Digital, Mediabrands’ digital creative agency to create an animated film that would bring tribute to the Malaysian spirit of strength.

Titled ‘Tetap Di Sisi Walau Berganti Generasi’, or which means ‘always by your side’, the ad highlights MILO as a symbol of strength that has stayed with Malaysians over many generations, which is a parallel to the 64-long historic journey of the country since it became independent in 1957.


The ad answers the question, “So what would be the pillars of our strength be then?” The film shows that strength can be ‘given’ and shown in many different ways. It can be through the sharing in the happiness of each other and the fostering of a precious friendship. The ad also shows that strength can be passed on through random support from a stranger.

These were depicted through the cheers of a MILO cup, the sharing of blessings between friends and family through money that was carefully saved in a repurposed MILO tin, as well as the giving of food donations to those who need them the most.

Ultimately, the answer still lies in being able to have the ‘energy’ to overcome own challenges and to become a person for others, which has always been the brand’s slogan.

“Almost like a divine inner whisper, ‘We can;’ for within that energy, lies the strength to overcome challenges,” said in the film.

Reprise Digital’s Creative Director Eddy Nazarullah shared that what they wanted to convey in the film is the spirit of never giving up.

“Though the world has been put on lockdown, it is inspiring to know that nothing can stop creativity and the generosity of spirit which is Malaysians supporting Malaysians.”

“There are many who are struggling through hardships, Malaysians can and will get back up stronger. This film is meant to show the strength in spirit of Malaysians and serve to remind us that as a nation, we are unstoppable,” Nazarullah adds.

Meanwhile, Ng Su Yen, business executive officer of MILO, commented, “Although this year’s Merdeka and Malaysia Day is celebrated differently without the usual parade or fanfare, we want Malaysians to reminisce what we have accomplished together for the past 64 years and how we keep striving to create a better Malaysia.”

Ng Su Yen added, “The team at Reprise have managed to bring that message of hope that MILO brings of ‘staying by your side’ in special times.”

In addition to the film, MILO has also released limited-edition commemorative tins. MILO reimagines its classic tin with two new designs that have been customized by a local designer from ‘Loka made’ to portray the intrinsic culture of Malaysian’s heritage and lifestyle, “both in and out of home.”

Moreover, an augmented reality element has been incorporated by way of a QR code on the tins, with designs portraying the ‘Warung’ known as a roadside stall, and ‘Kopitiam’, a traditional coffee shop setting. 

As of writing, the film has already garnered over a million views since its official launch on 16 August. The digital-only campaign will be running until Malaysia Day on 16 September.

The limited-edition tins are available on both Shopee and Lazada.

Technology Featured Southeast Asia

Nestlé partners with innovation platform Plug and Play in driving innovation efforts across SEA

Jakarta, Indonesia – Food and nutrition company Nestlé has teamed up with Plug and Play, a Silicon Valley-based innovation platform, in an effort to boost innovation opportunities and efforts in the Southeast Asia region.

The recent partnership entails Nestlé enabling the leverage of Plug and Play’s innovation expertise and ecosystem of startups, corporations, and investors, enabling the company to accelerate its innovation capabilities for future food technologies and solutions.

The Plug and Play Program was devised by the Indonesia president Jokowi Widodo in 2016 to drive the country’s innovation efforts within its startup ecosystem. Since then, they have created a thriving ecosystem of like-minded innovators where corporations, startups, investors, and government entities can collaborate to drive further innovation.

“I have witnessed the decline of many traditional and conservative companies because they failed to adapt to rapidly evolving industries. We are really proud that Nestlé Indonesia is partnering with us to embark on this pursuit of innovation and transformative excellence in the food industry,” said Halim Hartono, director of GK-Plug and Play.

Meanwhile, Guy Kellaway, communication director of Nestlé Indonesia commented, “For over 150 years, we have continuously focused on innovating our brands, products, systems, and technologies in order to remain relevant, and competitive. We look forward to this exciting partnership with GK Plug and Play which will drive our innovation efforts in the region.”

Nestlé is the sixth company to join the Plug and Play program, which has seen partnerships with automotive conglomerate Astra International, financial institutions Bank BNI, and Bank BCA, coal supplier ITM, pulp and paper company Sinar Mas Group, and the Global Innovation Alliance.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Bakeable KitKat Cheesecake flavor is available in Malaysia

Malaysia – Japan is known for innovating the global brand Nestlé’s KitKat into a multitude of exciting flavors that transcend the classic and basic variants of chocolate, white, and dark chocolate. One of its flavors – Cheesecake – which also happens to be bakeable is available in Malaysia.

Released in 2015, Japan has showcased yet another form of ingenuity on this one, where the KitKat variant can be eaten as it is or popped into an oven for a better – carmelized – version of the wafer.

Image from @junkfoodonthego on Instagram

According to KL Foodie, instructions to bake the KitKat can be found at the back of the packaging. One Instagram user Huizhen Li, with the handle @huizhen0106, showed on the social media network the transformation.

She shared the wafer selection is “crispy and light” where the white chocolate still dominates the cheese flavor.

KL Foodie said to place the KitKat on a baking sheet and put in a toaster or oven for about two minutes, then immediately, place in a freezer to let chill for a bit.

For the past years, one of the most popular Japan-made KitKat flavors is the ‘matcha’ or green tea. The maker responsible is the ‘KitKat Chocolatory’, which is actually the brand’s store for premium flavors which has presence in different countries worldwide.

KitKat Chocolatory in Japan
KitKat Matcha flavor

The store in Japan has produced the most unexpected selections within KitKats such as Soy sauce, Cherry blossom, and Ginger ale. Similarly with the cheesecake flavor, the country has released varieties Blueberry cheesecake and Strawberry cheesecake, and a bakeable Custard.

The cheesecake flavor is said to be limited edition. It comes in a packet of 12 mini KitKats and can be ordered via Shopee.

Main feature image from Huizhen Li (@huizhen0106) on Instagram.