Monday, August 13, 2012

Ovaltine vs Milo

Did you catch the debut of the tv programme, Mementos of Singapore, on the Okto Channel last week? In this programme, they mentioned several items from our childhood days, such as the Labour soap bar, wooden washing boards, paper bags and the Milo beverage. This last segment of the show seemed to give the impression that Milo was the only chocolate beverage that has been around since our childhood days. This simply is not true.

During our childhood days in the 1950s and 60s, there were two equally popular brands of chocolate beverages, Ovaltine and Milo. Competition between these two very similar beverages was fierce; just like that between Pepsi Cola and Coca Cola. It was only during the last couple of decades that Milo gained dominance in Singapore.

When my children were growing up in the 1990s, we used to buy both brands. But gradually, my children developed a preference for Milo. I asked them why, and they said they liked its creamier taste; which was the very same reason why I preferred Ovaltine. At that time, I frequently drove to peninsular Malaysia for my consultancy work. Often, I would do some shopping in the supermarkets before I returned, because household items were cheaper there. Invariably, my purchases would include a family-size tin of Milo.

For a comprehensive write-up of the history of Ovaltine and Milo, do check out my blogger friend, Laokokok’s well-researched article here.

*Creative Commons photo courtesy of member, jason0x21


korina said...

Hi Chun See,
Interesting article about Milo and Ovaltine. I was a Milo man myself.
I can even remember the Malay advert on TV with a boy scoring a goal with 45 seconds left on the clcok.
The words went something like, "Minum Milo anda jadi, sihat dan kuat."

R. Burnett Baker said...

When I was in S'pore I was a Milo drinker. Every morning with honey. But then came that oh so annoying jingle: "Get your HoHoHoHo Horlicks, and have a hohohoho day....." Sometimes that pops into my tiny little mind even now, and I can't shake it! Haha!


TheSounDOne said...

The milo man often made an appearance during school sport days right?

Lam Chun See said...

I think Milo marketing quite aggressive. I understand they will provide free drinks for events. Recently my son took part in the kayaking marathon at the Marina Bay. They got the Spore winners to pose for a photo holding a packet of Milo each.

korina said...

Hi Chun See. it's Paul Warner again. Since we're on the subject of adverts and moving away from the Milo chat, does anyone remember the advert for Hacks involving tarzan?
It was very funny. Tarzan can't do his 'oh-ye-yo-ye-ohhh' because he has a cough and out comes a packet of Hacks. Problem solved. Genius!

Lam Chun See said...

Hi Paul. Forgot your sign-in name is Korina. Yes I remember that advert. Only the line but not the details. The one I liked was the Ribena ad. Girl shares her Ribena with boy, but reminds him to to finish the whole packet by saying; "But not too much". So sweet.

Anonymous said...

Hi Chun See

I remember during my schooling days they have the Ovaltine, Horlicks and Milo Candies which is oval shape and looks like vitamic tablets. thats was in the mid 80's. I think its no longer sold in SG
I guess children in the present era may not enjoy such tidbits
but i remember how we used to like chewing these candies
Another thing I enjoy doing when i was young is to scoop milo and Ovaltine powder and eat it instead of mixing with water and drink it, come to think of it i wonder how i managed to eat cos its very very sweet!

Patrick said...

Ovaltine actually is still around in Singapore. I am still getting my Ovaltine from Prime Supermarket currently.

Lam Chun See said...

Really? Thanks Patrick. Maybe I'll go get myself a can just for the nostalgia. Maybe my children - grown up now - will like it now.

Unknown said...

PhilC: I was told that because Ovatine include eggs therefore vagetarine d'not drink it thats why Milo is more popular.