Nestlé Australia is introducing a new version of Milo without cane sugar in response to the changing tastes and health concerns of consumers.

The new product is called Milo 30% Less Added Sugar, and is formulated much like the original with malt barley, milk powder and cocoa, but it includes the substitution of cane sugar with stevia for sweetness and soluble corn fibre for texture.

Nestlé said the reduced-sugar version also contains lactose, which is a naturally occurring sugar in the milk powder, and added sugar in the malt barley.

Last year, Nestle removed the controversial 4.5 health star rating on Milo product after ongoing questioning by consumers. Following the system’s “as prepared” rule, Nestle calculated 4.5 stars based on the assumption that Australians added three teaspoons of the mix to 200ml of skim milk. On its own, Milo scored only 1.5 stars.

“Milo was originally designed as a nutritious drink for undernourished children during the Depression, delivering added vitamins and minerals in a format children enjoyed,” Nestlé general manager Andrew McIver said.

“With parents increasingly concerned about added sugar in their children’s diets, we’ve created an option that is true to the Milo heritage and encourages people to drink milk, but delivers less added sugar.”

The new Milo 30% Less Added Sugar is RRP $6.99 and will hit the shelves in early May, alongside the original Milo range.