Tuesday, July 22, 2008

What is Actigen-E?

How food industry mislead customers

Adding salt to pepper to sell pepper….
Actigen-E to Nestomalt
N.W.A.N.Y Wijesekara

We want both salt and pepper. You are marketing pepper. Customers buy pepper because it is pepper. You try to be smart. You add salt to pepper and ask people to buy your pepper because it is salt-added. People do buy salt-added pepper (of course at a higher price) because they feel that you have presented something special. But few actually realize that they wanted to buy only pepper, they already had salt in the stores. This is not very different from how the food industry plays on their customers.

Nestomalt had been a Malted Food Drink which has been marketed for decades in Sri Lanka. It has been marketed by Nestle. Since recently Nestomalt is claimed to have a new compound named Actigen-E.

What is Actigen-E?
“Actigen-E? This should be a marvelous compound with some miraculous property.” This is probably the first impression that an average human being may feel about Actigen-E when they hear about it. This is exactly what the food industry wants the customers to feel and unfortunately that is not the reality about Actigen-E at last.

This is the industry’s claim about Actigen-

E: Nestomalt contains Actigen-E, a combination of 8 vitamins and 4 minerals with enriched levels of Vitamin B, Vitain C and Calcium to help optimize the conditions for the release of energey from Carbohydrate, Protein, and Fat in your food. 2 cups of Nestomalt(56g) will fullfil 1/3 of your Recommended Dietary Allowance of vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6 aand B 12. (Source: Nestomalt Package)

It is not a miraculous compound yet, a mixture of already existing vitamins and minerals that are found in a healthy diet. We did a Pubmed search for Actigen-E and did not find a single article containing it. Nor it is found in any of the standard text books on Nutrition.

Actigen-E, who owns it?
The Brand Owner for Actigen-E is SOCIETE DES PRODUITS NESTLE S.A. Nestomalt is claimed to be the only compound which has Actigen-E. Obviously only their product can contain Actigen-E as there are no competitors! The fact is that another company can make a cocktail of vitamins and minerals and call it “Fastigen-E” for example and own the brand and claim that their product only contains Fastigen-E.

Confusing the customers…
This is a well known strategy of the food industry: take advantage over the confused customers. The customer is thinking about the Vitamins and minerals and how they release energy etc. They are masked of the negative effects of this sugary high calorie food item which will not favor a healthy life style. The minor details have blurred the large picture. The mission completed! Product hits targets. Alas health!