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1940s Milo tin.

In 1934, Australian industrial chemist and inventor Thomas Mayne developed Milo and
launched it at the Sydney Royal Easter Show.[2]Milo began production at the plant located
in Smithtown, near Kempsey on the North Coast of New South Wales. The name was derived
from the famous ancient athlete Milo of Croton, after his legendary strength.[3]


Milo differs among regions, as is seen in this side-by-side comparison of Milo from New
Zealand and Ghana.

Milo is manufactured by evaporating the water content from a thick syrup at reduced pressure.
The thick opaque syrup is obtained from malted wheat or barley. The whole process takes
around an hour but operates in a continuous mode. At the bottom of the box the varying sized
chunks of soft solid, from fist size to fine powder, fall from the last conveyor into an airlock
where they are brought back to atmospheric pressure. The solid is introduced into a hammer
mill where it is broken up into the final granular form. The hygroscopic granular powder is
packaged by filling cans from the "bottom", because the "top" end has been previously
fabricated with an aluminium foil seal beneath the lid. The cans then have the tinplate bottoms
affixed by a roll seam and the paper label is applied to complete the product. Some other
chocolate drink bases, such as Ovaltine, are made by similar processes.

A cup of hot Milo

Latest Milo powder of Australia in 2016

Milo is added to hot or cold water or milk to make a malted chocolate beverage. It does not
dissolve readily in cold milk, and so retains the gritty texture of its raw state. Milo can be stirred
into steamed milk to make a drink akin to hot chocolate or cocoa. Use of very hot water when
making a Milo drink can also alter the taste somewhat as will re-heating a made-up drink which
has gone cold.
Milo is sometimes sprinkled on ice cream or breakfast cereals. Milo is often the favoured
beverage for the Tim Tam Slam.[4]
Also very popular is the "Magic Milo" which involves adding Milo to a small amount of milk with
sugar and whipping it to increase the amount of air in the milk, thereby doubling it in size. Then
one adds small amounts of hot water and milk in layers stirring each new layer vigorously to
maintain its lightness. A final layer of whipped cream is then topped with extra Milo or chocolate
sprinkles. This is more of a 'warm' beverage rather than a 'hot' one and is a more popular
version of hot Milo for children.[citation needed]
Milo manufactured outside Australia is customised for local methods of preparation. In Malaysia
and Singapore as well as Brunei and some other parts of Asia, Milo with ice added is known as
"Milo Ice" (alternatively, "ping" or "peng", meaning ice in Cantonese and Hokkienrespectively).
Iced milo is even available at fast food restaurants such as KFC and McDonald's.[5][6][7] Milo is
also served locally in kopitiamsand mamak stalls in versions such as "Milo Dinosaur" (a cup of
Milo with an extra spoonful of undissolved Milo powder added on top of it), "Milo Godzilla" (a
cup of Milo with ice cream and/or topped with whipped cream) and "Neslo" (combined
with Nescaf powdered coffee). The Milo powder is also usually used in the making of Batik
cake. In Hong Kong, Milo is served in Cha chaan teng.[citation needed]
Milo is also a famous beverage in Indian Muslim stalls, or fondly known as Mamak stalls in
Malaysia. It is also sometimes used as an alternative to jam and spread on bread or also as an
ingredient in Roti Canai, and is usually called "Roti Milo".[8]
In the Caribbean, Milo is a popular hot beverage analogous to tea or coffee. It is also sold in a
popular juicebox size and served cold.[citation needed]


Milo packaged in cans being sold in a Hong Kong Food Market in Northwest Houston.

750 g Milo tin in 1990.

450 g Milo tin in 2016.

In Australia and most other countries, the packaging is green and depicts people playing various
sports on the tin. A higher malt content form also existed in Australia and was marketed in a
brown coloured tin which was usually only available in the 375g size. As of May 2015 this form
is no longer manufactured. An organisation called MILO in2CRICKET, which operates in most
areas by volunteers, teaches girls and boys the skills of the game.
Milo's commercials and taglines are "Go and go and go with Milo". A recent Australian
commercial incorporating this slogan depicts four generations of women on a skipping rope
singing "and my mum gave me Milo to go and go and go." The tag "I need my Milo Today" is
also used. The packaging of tins of Milo in Malaysia and Singapore are also green and also
have people playing sports on the tins, giving it the affectionate name of "Tak Kiu", which is
Hokkien Chinese for football. In Colombia, Milo is closely tied to football, and the slogan several
generations have sung is Milo te da energa, la meta la pones t ("Milo gives you the energy,
you set the goal").
Milo is very popular in Malaysia and Singapore, where the brand name is synonymous with
chocolate flavoured drinks: Milo has a 90% market share in Malaysia (not the often quoted 90%
worldwide share of Milo consumption),[9] and Malaysians were said to be the world's largest
consumers of Milo.[10] This is because Milo was once used as a nutrient supplement when it was
first introduced in the country, and has thus gained a reputation as a 'must have' drink for the
old and the younger generations. Milo manufactured in Malaysia is made to dissolve well in hot
water to produce a smooth hot chocolate drink, or with ice added for a cold drink. "Milo Vans"
were often associated with sports days in these two countries, during which primary school
pupils would queue up to collect their cups of Milo drinks using coupons.
In Peru, during the 1970s military dictatorship, Milo labels displayed Peruvian motifs, such as
photos and pictures of Peruvian towns, history, crops, fruits, animals, plants,[11][12] as an
educational aid. After 1980, when the military left power, sports predominated on the labels.
The Indian version is no longer in production because of intense competition from other
Nestl has now introduced a Canadian version of Milo. It is made in Canada. It dissolves rapidly
like Nesquik, probably due to market expectations, but still retains the malt flavour. It is also
sweeter than other varieties. This Milo as the brand has been in Eastern Canada since the late
1970s with the influx of people from previous British colonial territories such as the Caribbean
and Hong Kong, and India. It was available in mostly small ethnic grocery stores, especially
Caribbean food stores. It has recently been selling at larger chains to beef up their share in the
ethnic market in Canada, and is now available in places like Superstore, Extra
Foods and London Drugs. Some East Asian supermarkets (such as T&T Supermarket in
Edmonton, Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary) will carry the version imported from China or Hong
Aside from the International section of specific grocery stores and certain Asian grocery stores,
Nestl does not market Milo in the United States.
It can also be found in the UK in some Sainsbury's and Tesco supermarkets, which import it
from Kenya and South Africa. Asian food specialists, such as Mini Siam Oriental Foods and Hoo
Hing also stock it. A similar product called Ovaltine is most popular with UKconsumers.
In Ireland, Milo can be found in many Asian or African stores. Typically they will stock Kenyan or
Filipino Milo.
In China, Milo is commonly sold in western supermarkets, but also smaller convenience stores.
Usually packaged in a 240gram flexible foil pouch, single drink packets can also be purchased.
The Milo itself contains more milk solids than the Australian Milo, and so it is not necessary to
add milk before consumption.
In the past Milo was available in Portugal and in Brazil. Nestl Brazil discontinued production of
Milo in Brazil, to focus on the much-popular domestic brands Nescau and Nesquik. The Chilean
version of Milo is still in production and is identical in taste and texture to the one that was once
produced in Brazil.
In May 2013, and after more than 20 years out of the Portuguese market, Nestl reintroduced
the brand aiming at the high-end market.[13]