You are on page 1of 3

Ovaltine was developed in Bern, Switzerland, where it is known by its original

name, Ovomaltine (from ovum, Latin for "egg," and malt,which were originally its main
ingredients). Soon after its invention, the factory moved out to the village of Neuenegg, a few
kilometres west of Berne, where it is still produced.
Ovomaltine was exported to Britain in 1909; a misspelling of the name on the trademark
registration application[citation needed] led to the name being shortened to Ovaltine in English-
speaking markets. A factory was built in Kings Langley, which exported it to the United States
as well. By 1915, Ovaltine was being manufactured in Villa Park, Illinois, for the U.S. market.
Ovaltine was later manufactured in Peterborough, Ontario for distribution in Canada.[2][3]
Originally advertised as consisting solely of "malt, milk, eggs, flavoured with cocoa", the
formulation has changed over the decades, and today several formulations are sold in different
parts of the world.
The popular chocolate malt version is a powder which is mixed with hot or cold milk as a
beverage. Malt Ovaltine (a version without cocoa) and Rich Chocolate Ovaltine (a version
without malt) are also available in some markets. Ovaltine has also been available in the form
of chocolate bars, chocolate Easter eggs, parfait, cookies, and breakfast cereals, where it is the
only brand name that connects the cereals with the chocolate drink.
Ovaltine also manufactured PDQ Chocolate Flavor Beads, PDQ Choco Chips and Eggnog
Flavored PDQ, which are no longer available. These drink mixes were very popular from the
1960s to the 1980s. Ovaltine discontinued the PDQ products around 1996.

Popular culture[edit]
The U.S. children's radio series Little Orphan Annie (19311940) and Captain Midnight (1938
1949), and the subsequent Captain MidnightTV series (19541956), were sponsored by
Ovaltine. They had promotions in which listeners could save proofs-of-purchase from Ovaltine
jars to obtain radio premiums, such as "secret decoder ring" badges, or pins that could be used
to decode messages in the program. Children from the time may remember that "Ovaltine" is an
anagram for "Vital One".
Another radio program aimed at five- to fourteen-year-olds, The League of Ovaltineys, was
broadcast to Great Britain by Radio Luxembourgon Sunday evenings at 5:30 PM. Beginning in
February 1935, it was broadcast until September 1939, when the outbreak of World War
IIforced closure of the station, and again after the war from 1952. Like with the U.S. program,
listeners could obtain badges, pins, and secret codes. The Ovaltineys' advertising jingle was
regarded as one of the most successful jingles of the era.[4] and featured the iconic English
singing trio The Beverley Sisters.

Acquisitions[edit]
Villa Park, Illinois, was home to the Ovaltine factory in the United States until the company's
purchase and withdrawal in 1988. The Villa Park Historical Society maintains a permanent
exhibit of Ovaltine advertising and memorabilia. The old factory was converted to loft
apartments keeping the original floors and wall exposed.
In 1992, Himmel Group obtained the right to make and sell Ovaltine in the U.S. from Sandoz
Nutrition Corporation. In 2007, Himmel sold their rights to Novartis. As of 2007, Nestl had
acquired Novartis' medical nutrition division and has the rights to Ovaltine.[5][6] With this
purchase, Nestl immediately ceased Ovaltine's previous television advertising campaign
targeted to older and nostalgic audiences, where Ovaltine was presented as more nutritious
than former competitor Nesquik, and though it is still sold widely in the United States, Ovaltine is
currently not advertised on American television.

International appeal[edit]

Former Ovaltine factory, Kings Langley. This is the listed art decofaade of the former Ovaltine factory. It
was redeveloped into housing in 2002.

Ovaltine was also very popular in Britain, and was manufactured at Kings Langley in
Hertfordshire using a process that included GEA Wiegand falling film evaporators to concentrate
liquid malt extract which was then dried under vacuum in steam heated band dryers. The art
deco style Ovaltine factory in Kings Langley is a well-known local landmark. Production ceased
in 2002 and the factory has now been redeveloped as luxury flats. Near the factory was a health
farm run by the Ovaltine works which was set up as a model farm and a health resort for
disadvantaged children, which operated until the 1960s. Later the farm land was sold and is
now largely occupied by the M25 motorway. The Ovaltine Egg Farm is now the site
of Renewable Energy Systems Ltd. and the site of the first wind turbine visible from the M25.
In October 2002, the food and drinks division of Novartis, the maker of Ovaltine, was bought
by Associated British Foods. ABF currently produces Ovaltine in Switzerland, China, Thailand
and Australia. In the United States Nestl manufactures Ovaltine.
In Hong Kong, Ovaltine, like Horlicks, is known as a caf drink. It is served at cha chaan
tengs as well as fast-food shops such as Caf de Coral and Maxim's Express. It is served hot,
or on ice as a cold drink. In Brazil, it is commonly mixed with vanilla ice cream. In
the Asianmarket, it is a chocolate ice cream flavoured with Ovaltine powder. The Ovomaltine
brand is highly recognizable in Switzerland, and the brand is associated
with skiing and snowboarding. The Mccafe in Hong Kong provides "Ovaltine Crunchy Latte" and
other drinks and desserts.[7]
In Malaysia, Ovaltine has lost its popularity to Nestl Milo. Ovaltine is sold in Tetra Pak cartons
for cold serving and widely available in shops and supermarkets, yet it has a low profile
compared to similar beverages in the market. In Japan, Ovaltine was sold for a short period in
the late 1970s by Calpis Industries (presently Calpis Co., Ltd.), but it was not a commercial
success. In Australia, Ovalteenies are sold as round tablets of compressed Ovaltine, eaten
as candy.
Brazilian fast-food chain Bob's, the largest competitor to McDonald's in that country, offered,
since 1959, milkshakes and sundaes made with Ovaltine, where it goes by the name of
"Ovomaltine", which became a flagship product of the fast-food chain in Brazil. In 2016,
McDonald's acquired exclusive rights to sell "Ovomaltine"-branded milkshakes. Brazil has the
second largest Ovaltine factory, in So Paulo, and is the second largest consumer market for
the product, after Thailand. The Brazilian Ovaltine is unlike any other in the world, originating
from an assembly line malfunction that made the powder crispier that is still maintained today.[8]
In 2011, Ovaltine was banned in Denmark under legislation forbidding the sale of food products
with added vitamins unless claims are proven to the satisfaction of Denmark.[9]

Ovaltine cup manufactured exclusively for the Wander Company, makers of Ovaltine